Street Music
Review by Ross Anthony

Perhaps appropriately, I sit here in my home studio to write this review. A 6-track mixer to the right of my computer, two feet away my trusty Ibanez guitar leans up against my 88-key Casio. All that along with assorted mics and patch cords jam into a bedroom with me and this laptop.

Once is a film that very aptly celebrates the beauty of the singer-songwriter in all its grassroots glory. This is not a glitzy musical, this is not Riverdance, this is not even a rags to riches drama. Once starts in the street with an emotional street-musician and his well-worn six-string guitar. It takes its time with each of his songs -- slow, long shots of one singer and his strumming. The simplicity rings with power and impact. He stumbles into a piano-loving girl with a good voice and a quirky manner. Their complex lives begin to intertwine at the edges -- and their music expresses that seedling bonding. Itīs a ride down the ever rushing river of music that musicians share whenever they play together -- just for the shear joy of it. And thatīs what "Once" does best -- explores the point of writing and playing music in the very first place. That originally quite personal journey created by the songwriter, then joined by those with an instrument and common beat, then enjoyed by anyone within earshot.

Take a spontaneous jam session at the local pub -- no stage, no mics, people and beer bottles everywhere quietly engaged in the strumming and harmonies -- take that thought and walk it down the streets of Ireland. And for that, this film is quite beautiful. Itīs a world I know, love, and have always found difficult to communicate to the non-musician. Once communicates it perfectly. That said, as a complete film on its own -- Once could be more fulfilling. And while the songs (think Cat Stevens updated) are sweet -- one or two of them gets a bit overplayed for my tastes.

This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.

-- Book Contest --

  • Once. Copyright © 2007.
  • Starring Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova, Bill Hodnett.
  • Directed by John Carney.
  • Screenplay by John Carney.
  • Produced by Martina Niland, a Fox Searchlight release.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 13-Jun-2007 13:26:42 PDT