I remember in 2006 working in a video store when Once arrived a few days before it’s street date. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch it as people told me it was a musical. I don’t have an issue with Musicals (frankly I love most of them) but I like things like Little Shop of Horrors, Anything Goes and Dr Horrible things that are fringy and weird. At the end of the day I have a hard time calling this a musical.
Once is about an unnamed street musician who meets an unnamed flower seller one night. Together they become friends over their mutual love of music and start writing and playing songs together. The reason I refuse to call this a musical is because the songs are all natural in the movie. No one breaks into song, the only music comes from these two performers singing
Furthermore the songs don’t drive the plot forward lyrically, they’re simply performances about the characters lives.
The film was shot on a literal microbudget (only about $160,000 in the US) but contains some of the most beautiful songs ever written. The song Falling Slowly received a well deserved Oscar victory as well as a Grammy nomination.
If you just like good music then you should track down this movie because theres’ not much to discuss to the plot. It’s a beautiful love album how music connects people.