4.5 43
Director: John Carney

Cast: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh


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A Dublin-based busker and vacuum-cleaner repairman enters into a fruitful relationship with a piano playing florist in a toe-tapping "video album" directed by John Carney and featuring a cast comprised entirely of professional musicians. He (Glen Hansard of the Frames) was a six-stringed street musician. She (…  See more details below


A Dublin-based busker and vacuum-cleaner repairman enters into a fruitful relationship with a piano playing florist in a toe-tapping "video album" directed by John Carney and featuring a cast comprised entirely of professional musicians. He (Glen Hansard of the Frames) was a six-stringed street musician. She (Markéta Irglová) was a flower woman who couldn't afford to purchase a piano of her own. One day, after admiring the musician's songs and asking if he would take a look at her broken vacuum, the flower-pushing piano player discovers that she shares a remarkable sonic rapport with the mechanically savvy guitarist. As their musical sensibilities quickly converge to striking effect, the talented pair soon determines to record an album together.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
It would be easy to crush John Carney's warm-hearted Once with overpraise. It is a very small, very simple, immensely likeable movie that earns an audience's goodwill early thanks to a very winning performance by Glen Hansard. The film opens with scenes of the man earning money as a street singer, and his singing voice, as well as his sympathy for an addict who tries to rob him, make him an instantly engaging character. Thanks to a textbook "meet cute" involving a broken appliance, he makes the acquaintance of a woman (Markéta Irglová) who eventually becomes his collaborator on a series of songs and recordings that will help both of them realize their personal goals. The songs they create together are the center of the film, and tonally they fit the movie perfectly. They are very pretty, with simple repetitive declarations of emotion, although they lack real hooks -- they are like an earthier version of Damien Rice songs. The movie does not build to a false climax. There is no buildup to a gig that will break them into the big time, and although this is a love story, the movie does not hinge on a "will they or won't they get together" template that would drive most films like this. The simple ending provides a gentle poetic touch that underscores how well these two characters know each other, and what they have given to each other during their brief time together. Once is simply a straightforward account of a couple of weeks in these people's lives, a period of time they will only have once.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Fox Searchlight
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Music & film commentaries by writer/director John Carney and actors/musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová; Making a modern day musical featurette; More guy, more girl featurette; Broken hearted hoover fixer sucker guy webisode (animated)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Glen Hansard The Busker
Markéta Irglová The Girl
Hugh Walsh Timmy Drummer
Gerry Hendrick Lead Guitarist
Alastair Foley Bassist
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
Witold Owski Man Watching TV
Krzysztos Tlotka Man Watching TV
Tomek Glowacki Man Watching TV
Attila Kouvacs Man Watching TV
Sean Millar Bank Manger
Pat McGrath Drunk
Praghosa Hari Krishna
Kate Haugh Baby
Senan Haugh Husband
Catherine Hansard Singer at Party
Pete Short Singer at Party
Fergus OFarrell Singer at Party
Bob Hoban Shop Assistant Bogarts
Martina Akindojctimi Person On Stoop
Ruslan Mannanu Person On Stoop
Francis Usanga Person On Stoop
Price Tylot Khumaho Person On Stoop
Joe Adebe Person On Stoop
Bernard Gibsenen Shop Assistant
Paul Clarke Shop Assistant
Maire Walsh Lady on Bus
Dave Cleary Host at Party
Keith Byrne Guy in Piano Shop

Technical Credits
John Carney Director,Camera Operator,Screenwriter
Ron Coe Camera Operator
David Collins Executive Producer
Tamara Conboy Production Designer
Barbara Conway Makeup
Tiziana Corvisieri Costumes/Costume Designer
Noemi Ferrer Executive Producer
Robert Flanagan Sound Mixer
Tim Fleming Camera Operator,Cinematographer
Glen Hansard Score Composer
Maureen Hughes Casting
Markéta Irglová Score Composer
Riad Karim Art Director
Paul Mullen Editor
Martina Niland Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Once
1. Robbed [3:32]
2. 'Say it to Me Now'/Main Titles [2:32]
3. 'All the Way Down' [2:08]
4. The Hoover [1:37]
5. 'Falling Slowly' [:16]
6. 'Broken-Hearted' [2:27]
7. What? [1:14]
8. My Home [:13]
9. Romantic Streak [:12]
10. 'If You Want Me' [6:10]
11. 'Lies' [:04]
12. Hard Bargain [:26]
13. 'Gold' [1:31]
14. Uncertain Future [1:29]
15. 'Trying to Pull Myself Away' [2:31]
16. 'When Your Mind's Made Up' [4:22]
17. 'Fallen From the Sky' [2:28]
18. 'The Hill' [:34]
19. The Car Test [3:53]
20. Proposition [:04]
21. "Brilliant!" [4:37]
22. Part of Me [:09]
23. Eyes That Know Me [3:35]
24. 'Once'/End Titles [2:55]


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Once 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
cat19lifes More than 1 year ago
I bought this movie pretty much "sight-unseen". I had only read the reviews and thought it sounded good. I loved it! The very first time I watched it, I cried when the characters sang "Falling Slowly". Just a simple story, no glitz, no high-powered action, no big-name stars; only the beauty of the human heart. The interaction between the characters is real, honest and very believable. I recommend it to everyone that enjoys a sweet and real storyline. (And the music is great!!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie is not out yet, but I am enjoying the CD very much...different from the usual fare, very melodic...excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie in the theater four times! It is really something to marvel. It's simple songs and powerful message completely capture your heart and lyrical soul. It's tale of love is one of truth. With infatuation and heart break blending like no film I have seen before. A highlight of the film is early on when Glen Hansard and his muse introduce us to "Falling Slowly." This film is not one to be missed by music lovers and hopeless romantics alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is much to love about the quirky little film ONCE: it is honest, simple, transparent, and made with a low budget and lots of love. The leading characters are gentle people who happen to sing as well as act and the love story they create is a fragile little tale that remains in the air as a nice memory after the credits are past. A Dublin busker (Glen Hansard) is a songwriter and singer who plies his music on the streets when his is not helping his warmly generous father (Bill Hodnett) in his vacuum repair shop: his songs reflect a ruptured love affair and are sensitively poignant. Along comes a Czech girl (Markéta Irglová) who sells flowers on the streets but is impressed enough with the lad's music to stop, listen, and even put ten cents in his case. The two strike up a friendship (the girl plays the piano in a music shop during lunch hour) and in time these two bruised people interact in the wavelength of their love of music. The lad meets the girl's daughter and mother (Danuse Ktrestova) - the father of the child is still in the Czech Republic -, they all become friends, and with the help of a few fellow musicians they cut a recording that hopefully will launch the lad's career in a trip to London. The mood of the extemporaneous feeling piece is one of developing love that can only happen once, especially given the histories of each of the two musicians. Writer/director John Carney demonstrates how a simple story can be made into a touching film for under $150,000. and on a shooting schedule of 17 days. The featurettes have just as much tenderness in outlining the production of the film as the film itself. The only problem with the film for this viewer is the music, which seems redundant and repetitive: for those who favor this type of music this will not be a 'flaw'. It is admirable that films like this are being made, restoring our faith in honest craftsmanship backed by warmth of intent. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
No Hollywood actors! Real musicians write the music and make a movie. For such a low budget, truly outstanding art work! The music is timeless and will be appreciated for generations to come as some of the best singer/songwrite work to ever be produced. If you haven't seen it, now is the time! You will find the must must own the DVD and the CD! The duo are now playing sold out (months in advance) concerts throughout the the US. Hope to hear more from them!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very small piece of life and relationships is one of the best films of 2007 or for that matter any year. The two people are real and you care deeply for them. The ending was realistic and satisfying as true to life!
Obscure More than 1 year ago
A wonderful film!!! It is an inpirational story told through music. The characters are wonderful, because they are very natural. The music is really great, saw the band "The Swell Season" live. Have the movie soundtrack in my car :). Great!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
..... you must see it more than once! While the accents of the principle players are heavy (Irish & Czech) the message they convey is pure magic. No hot and heavy gratuitous sex, just heart-swelling love and mutual appreciation. Great movie, beautiful music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A different movie than the usual lot out today, which is quite refreshing. I loved the music, especially the song "If You Want Me" played during the music shop scene. I would like to buy the soundtrack. The story is simple, romantic and a little sad. I think it struck me because it seemed so plausible. I reccommend this movie but those who choose to watch it should know that some parts seem slow but again I found this slowness refreshing. Hope this review was helpful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is one that may surprise some. It is made to look like it was a cheap movie but that is the feel the director wanted. And the actors are the real singers for the movie and are real singers in real life. It is an amazing story between two people. And filmmakers and movie watchers alike will love. I enjoyed it thoroughly and hope you will too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This simply bittersweet film has an amazing soundtrack. By the end, I was sobbing. A great movie overall, deserving of much praise.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sweetie and I just loved it. We have the cd's and are learning all the songs. He is learning to play the songs on his Martin guitar and they sound wonderful....Give us more movies like this...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every cretaive musician should own this movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SugarMama More than 1 year ago
Absolutely love this movie! It captures the whole Dublin busker experience with a remarkable bittersweet love story thrown in. Great date movie if your significant other is into music.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't get it. My girlfriend and I love music. And we're romantics. Supposedly. Yet we found this movie overhyped and languid in a way that doesn't call to mind anything remotely poetic. Terribly boring and with a musical accompaniment that was an astounding combination of the worst and most uninspiring parts of mid-90's yuppie folk I'd ever heard. The scene in the music shop was smile inducing, if not totally implausible and mildly corny. The withered ginger fellow needs to get a job and Tivo.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just saw this movie on the plane and thought it was great! A real story about people and emotions. The music is truly touching and made me want to go out and buy the CD right away!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plot and story line are a little lacking but the music is great. It has the feel of a low budget film and the actors are hard to understand (with their speech) at times. However, the songs, lyrics, and art of the music, which is the basis of the whole film, is what keeps you watching.
Scat30 More than 1 year ago
This movie is very different and inspirational. Once you listen to the music you will be hooked to the soundtrack. This movie is very fun to watch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't realize this movie is rated R when I purchased it. The rating is due to the language; mostly use of the F word. The acting is mediocre, the script is too, and so is the story line. The music, however, is quite special. I heard a song in a store one day, and I wanted to know what the song was. I found the song in this movie! The music is what this movie is all about.
h2olga More than 1 year ago
My husband loved this movie. Very emotional and moving. The music is absolutely oustanding, guiding the direction of the movie. Opens up your heart and mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not so good, bottom line, boring!