This is the first time Soundtrack has been devoted to an actual soundtrack rather than my fantasy soundtrack. That's because Once is a brilliant film with music to match.
Once is about a a musician who becomes friends with another musician and it's a case of will they-won't they. But Music and Lyrics, it ain't.
It's so spare and without clutter with a simple story. Normally I would want more obvious conflict but the more subtle conflicts and dilemmas is intriguing enough to hold my attention. It's an arthouse musical basically or a visual album with a three act structure.
Glen Hansard of The Frames plays the guy and Markéta Irglová the girl. Although I knew I would love the film from hearing the buzz about it from Sundance, where it won World Cinema Audience Award, it was those two performing Falling Slowly on The Culture Show that got me hooked.
I had given a friend some CDs as she was woefully ignorant of new music. She offered to give me copies from her extensive Irish music collection but I declined. I've got U2 and Simple Kid. Who else is there? I then sheepishly asked for her Frames albums once I heard the Once soundtrack.
I found the original Falling Slowly and the original When Your Mind's Made Up on their sixth studio album The Cost.
Hansard has worked with Markéta Irglová before for last year's The Swell Season, a project for a Czech film. Four of those songs are also on the Once soundtrack. Although I like all the versions, it's the raw simplicity and the strings on The Swell Season that elevate it above the others.
Incidentally the director, John Carney, is an ex-bass player with The Frames and Glen bought him his first movie camera while he was still with the band. Although he intended using Glen's music, his first choice for the lead was Cillian Murphy who dropped out which made the producer drop out as well requiring a much lower budget.
This turned out to be one of the greatest rejections in movie history as Carney went with musicians who can act instead. The film has made many times its budget back in American box office alone. One small strike against the star system.
When Your Mind's Made Up
Once - official site
The Frames - wikipedia
The Frames - official site