Since today is Valentine’s Day, it seems right to focus on what is arguably the most romantic film of the past decade, Once. A stunning naturalistic musical, the film chronicles the relationship that develops between a struggling Dublin street busker/vacuum cleaner repairman (Glen Hansard) and a poor Czech immigrant/single mother (Markéta Irglová). Drawn together by their shared love of music, they begin writing and recording songs together─impacting each others’ lives in profound ways in the process. Early on in the film comes a scene that foreshadows the love the nameless characters would experience (both on screen and in real-life, as Hansard and Irglová dated for a while after the movie’s success). “Falling Slowly” is a powerful song that became so beloved by audiences that it won the Best Original Song Oscar at the 2007 Academy Awards:
After the movie became an art house hit, Once was reborn as a successful Broadway musical, and while the show may have closed on the Great White Way, it still is impacting audiences across the globe in regional productions. Here’s a performance of “Falling Slowly” from original Broadway cast members Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti.
The song has transcended its motion picture roots to become a cultural touchstone, and to think, it all began in a Dublin music shop in a low budget film over a decade ago. Here’s hoping that the song continues to enchant audiences for ages to come. It is a true contemporary classic.