It's two days in a row focused on movies starring two non-actors. Unlike the "film" showcased in yesterday's post, Once manages to not be a abject failure on every level.
Of all the movies I've ever recommended to anyone, Once is undoubtedly the most difficult for me to articulate why it needs to be seen. The plot is not a particularly uncommon storyline. To call the writing minimal is a vast understatement, and the documentary-style shooting employed in the film has at this point become an independent film archetype, if not a crutch in many cases.
But critical analysis and dissection don't do justice to the overall soul of the opening credits.
I remember sitting in the theater watching and almost literally rolling my eyes at the cute "formation" of the title graphic. But then the song got going, initially far off in the distance, echoing through a bizarrely desolate Grafton Street. The eye-rolling stopped pretty quickly.
Throughout the remaining 80 minutes, scene after scene continues to achieve a tonal balance. But the initial open still packs that punch, when you find yourself witnessing something that will turn out to be far different, and infinitely better, than you thought going in.