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"Once" redefines the Musical

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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, directed by John Carney and starting Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard. This film is a unique and singular treat, and while my experienced was bolstered by extras such as the Q&A with the directors and stars and the live musical performances afterwards, I have no doubt that the movie itself will hold up when viewed on its own.

I admit that my interest in the movie came from no great love of film nor a knowledge or interest of this particular movie, but rather my knowledge of and respect for the film’s male lead, Mr. Glen Hansard. Mr. Hansard best known for his work with the band he fronts, The Frames, of which I am a longtime fan.

In this role, Mr. Hansard plays a character very similar to his own real life persona so its not entirely surprising that he is very convincing as the vacuum cleaner repairman who moonlights as a guitar-slinging busker in Dublin.

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With his big eyes and disintegrating guitar, Glen’s unnamed character is hugely endearing, and reminded me a great deal of Lost’s Charlie Pace- a little hapless, but well meaning and wholeheartedly devoted to music. When he is approached on the street by the unintentionally and thoroughly charming Girl, his life abruptly changes direction as the two of them enter into a passionate and productive musical relationship.

Spoilers after the jump, beware...