Recommended by Graeme Humphries (Deputy Director – Administration and Marketing)

  • ONCE
  • Ireland: 2007
  • Certificate: 15 / 1 hour 26 minutes
  • Director: John Carney

‘Once’ is a convention-breaking modern-day musical set on the streets of Dublin and featuring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. It tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.

It is a heart-felt tribute to the power of music, friendship and hard work set in the streets and recording studios of Dublin. It is unashamedly romantic without glossing over the hardship and personal tragedies of its characters. The music is often vociferous and energetic and the dialogue is sometimes a flirty banter but the film remains honest and gritty.

The film was put together in just three weeks and for a tiny budget of about $150,000. It went on to make over $20 million worldwide and won an Oscar in 2008 for best original song.