Director: John Carney
Writer: John Carney
Composer: Glen Hansard
Stars: Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglová
Unlike most musicals, which launch into songs in a way that is distracting from the story, Once, which follows two musicians (real-life players Hansgard and Irglová) who meet on the streets of Dublin and bond creatively and romantically, introduces great songs organically. The tunes, which the characters have written about their personal experiences, flow naturally as Hansgard's "Guy" busks for shoppers, records a demo, or teaches Irglová's "Girl" one of his songs in an instrument shop.
The music is so solid that Hansard and Irglová won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song with "Falling Slowly," and the Grammy Awards nominated the soundtrack as a whole. Made for a mere $160,000, Once feels much richer—and way more listenable—than musical movies with budgets 100 times that.