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Once - Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Alaistair Foley, John Carney

Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

How often do you find the right person?

The Guy (Glen Hansard) works part-time helping his father, who runs a small, vacuum cleaner repair business, but dreams of having his songs recorded and landing a record deal. His girlfriend has recently left him and gone to London, and he is still coming to grips with that loss and is emotionally vulnerable.

One day while busking on Dublin's Grafton Street, he meets the Girl (Markéta Irglová), an East European immigrant who has moved to Dublin to start a new life for herself and currently works as a house cleaner in an upper-class residence. She is struggling financially, and cannot afford the piano she yearns for, while also being in the process of making crucial decisions about her personal life.

In a Dublin that has grown increasingly affluent and materialistic during Ireland's unprecedented economic boom, they are both outsiders, struggling with their art and their hearts. Through music, they find a common bond that brings them effortlessly together.

As the Guy and the Girl get to know each other over the course of an intense few days, their relationship blossoms as they share their music, put together a band to rehearse songs and record some demos, all of which results in them both bringing some much-needed impetus to their artistic and personal lives.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Once theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film drama musical Ireland music Irish busker jam Dublin migrant piano guitar

Persons of interest

  • Alaistair Foley .... Bassist Dude
  • Glen Hansard .... Guy
  • Markéta Irglová .... Girl
  • Hugh Walsh .... Timmy Drummer
  • Gerry Hendrick .... Lead Guitarist
  • Geoff Minogue .... Eamon
  • Bill Hodnett .... Guy's Dad
  • Danuse Ktrestova .... Girl's Mother
  • Darren Healy .... Heroin Addict
  • Mal Whyte .... Bill
  • Marcella Plunkett .... Ex-Girlfriend
  • Niall Cleary .... Bob
  • John Carney .... Screenwriter
  • John Carney .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Agent Derek Williamson

Theatrical report

I wasn't particularly impressed with the musical/drama Once. While the music was fine, even catchy at parts, the entirety of the film was sluggish and uninteresting. The biggest grievance I had was that often when a number was played the visual seemed to be ignored. As a viewer I felt forced to listen to the music simply because what was happening on screen was so boring.

Additionally, the cinematography was quite banal and rarely was I intrigued by the composition or perspectives offered. Markéta Irglová had an enjoyable performance and appeared much more suitable for the screen than her male counterpart. Glen Hansard's singing was always accompanied by a hideous facial contortion of overzealous passion. And when he wasn't singing his acting was disjointed. They both had lovely voices though.

Considering the story, I was happy it played out as it did, but it was formulaic and dull at best. If you like indie music and cute films I recommend Once, but don't expect anything more.

The drama, musical, Ireland movie Once is directed by John Carney and stars Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Alaistair Foley.

Government security censorship classification

M (Moderate coarse language)

Surveillance time

86 minutes (1:26 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 30 August 2007

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