Cheering for the Little Guy
If you haven't had a chance to see the movie Once, I would do so this week. The incredibly annoying hypebole of the NY Times ads aside ("Once in a lifetime movie..."), this is a full-hearted moviemaking effort worth supporting,
it makes a great bookend to The Commitments. Not only is it a treat to see how Glen Hansard has matured musically, both movies provide a vastly different backdrop in Dublin. The 1991 Dublin depicted in the Roddy Doyle adaptation has neighborhoods with children playing around burned-out cars. Buskers alternate between picking up their "dole check" and auditioning for a longshot place in a band. The 2007 Dublin shown in Once frames the hardscrabble busker searching for a reason to stay in an ultra-gentrified Dublin. The "Miraculous American" who promises to pull the feckless Irish youth into stardom is replaced by the Eastern European immigrant who prods Irish diasporic dreams.
The movie can stand on its own incredible sweetness, but it is worth a look for so many reasons.