Sunday, May 20, 2007

Huge Praise For 'Once'


I had no plans to see this movie but the reviews have convinced me otherwise. 'Once' is getting some fine write-ups, the consensus of which is that it's a fresh approach to a genre that saw its heyday in the 60s, the movie musical.

LAist: Earlier this week I had the pleasure of experiencing an enhanced version of what viewers all over the country will soon be exposed to when I went to see a screening of the movie Once

A.O. Scott: Periodically -- about twice a year, by my calculation -- someone tries to breathe new life into the movie musical by putting together a lavish song-and-dance spectacle like the ones they used to make, full of big numbers and bigger emotions. (See, most recently, "Dreamgirls" and, before too long, "Hairspray.") Against this trend, "Once," a scrappy, heart-on-its-sleeve little movie directed by an Irishman named John Carney, makes a persuasive case that the real future of the genre may lie not in splashy grandeur but in modesty and understatement.

And, what about Kenneth Turan: Once is about to come into your life and make it whole. It's an unpretentious slice of musical, romantic enchantment that's low-key in concept but completely winning in execution.

My favorite review, though, is that of Billy Mernit: ...the performance of one duet in particular (I'm giving away no details whatsoever because I want you to be as delightfully surprised as I was) packs more emotional wallop and subtext into under four minutes of playing and singing than many scripts I've seen achieve in an entire act's worth of dialogue.

I even like the movie's tagline: How often do you meet the right person? Once.

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