Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Once

I have read countless breathless reviews of this film. The usually reliable Onion wrote this: "Imagine Belle And Sebastian remaking In The Mood For Love as a heartbreaking low-fi musical, and you have a fair approximation of the film's melancholy, unexpected genius."

Um -- I don't think so.

This movie wasn't bad by any stretch. But it was not some amazing breakthrough in the world of musicals. It was a crappy looking movie shot on cheap DV that had a few catchy songs and an appealing hangdog cast.

Most people I know hate musicals because they seem so silly and the songs tend to break up any sort of drama that is being developed. This film gets around that by having it be about a musician who falls in love with a woman, asks her to record with him, and then they record. Problem solved. All of the songs make sense because the film is about musicians playing music, get it? Whatever.

Enjoy this movie, just don't get caught up in the hype.

Directed by John Carney
2007
Sunshine Cinemas

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

i agree 100%. i really don't get the fuss. yes, the characters were lovable, but the plot was slight and the music, well, it was sweet, but not exactly groundbreaking.
-shawn

youthlarge said...

this movie was an EPK. only 110 minutes too long.

Jim said...

I liked it a lot, actually. Maybe because I had low expectations. First, I wouldn't call it a musical at all. I think of musicals as being mostly silly endeavors when people are singing songs about what's going on in that moment...like, "I'm makin' a comment, on Listmaker at the movies, typin' on my keyboard, YEAH!" This movie was about musicians and had a lot of songs in it that were central to the main relationship, but I don't think that's the same thing. In reading reviews as you did, the fact that they all called it a musical made me expect something worse. Also, I think the crappy look made it feel more realistic and fresh, because it's about people who have lo-fi lives and hang out on the street. And I know that guy's music is cheesy but he definitely has a way with the songwriting. Good craft, even though it tends toward the sappy. Thus concludes my late night of commenting on your movie blog.

crispin said...

I agree almost completely with your review. WHy so much hype? I think it's the size of the film, Because it's so small and so crappy digital it feels like a home movie or a little secret you're being let in on. Plus the actors are so natural and sweet and i really loved the ending for veering away from what I thought was a foregone conclusion. Tender and nice and I like it even more in the afterglow after seeing it 2 nights ago. Nothing earthshattering as you say, but lovely just the same.