The random endorsement: the movie "Once"


Well, well, I’ve just been giving permission to expand my “Random Endorsement” column beyond the world of tech. That’s fantastic news for everyone, because, if you couldn’t already tell, I was running out of tech-related things to endorse.

Today I endorse the movie “Once,” easily the best movie I’ve seen all year, and that includes “American Gangster.” (Here’s a fun game: every time Denzel Washington throws a cup or knocks a cup off a table, take a shot of your liquor of choice. All Denzel does these days to show he’s angry is knock over cups.) Please note that I haven’t seen “There Will Be Blood” or “No Country For Old Men” yet. My opinion may change when I see those.

Spoilers!!! (Not too many, though.)

Set in present-day Dublin, the movie tells the story of a street performer, “Guy” since we never learn his name, and a Czech girl, “Girl.” They meet when Guy is playing one of his own songs at night (as opposed to a cover). Girl likes the song and comes back the next day, thus beginning their friendship.

Naturally, Guy thinks Girl likes him, but he finds out that no, he’s just a douche who completely misread the situation. The plot isn’t the most complex I’ve ever experienced—that honor belongs to “Dude, Where’s My Car?”—but it’s so easy to believe you’re sitting there like, “yeah, I could see this happening to me, like, later today.”

So the movie is kind of a love story. Sue me.

It’s also a bit of a musical. But not musical in the “all singing-all dancing” sense, but in that the movie is centered around music: a Guy and his guitar and a Girl and her piano. Look, I understand that sounds incredibly lame, but it’s really not. The soundtrack is top notch if you’re into bands like Elliot Smith and that whole indie scene. I’d say Beirut, but that guy/band/whatever is more weird and not as singer-songwriter-ish.

What else can I say about the movie? I liked it, loved, it has a fine soundtrack and I’ve since downloaded Guy’s band’s back catalog.

The DVD comes out next week, but something tells me if you put “once” into a certain pirate-themed BitTorrent search engine you’ll find a rip.

Once [Fox Searchlight]