Once - 2006, an Irish film about a busker who meets a girl. Made on a shoestring budget, it's a fantastic love story with great music. This is the opening scene.

Once - 2006, an Irish film about a busker who meets a girl. Made on a shoestring budget, it's a fantastic love story with great music. This is the opening scene.

Also won an Oscar for Best song

Congratulations on finding someone to marry you.

Edit: Wow, thanks for the gold. I always told my mom that being a Jerk would pay off one day.

Fun fact, the lead was written for Cillian Murphy but he dropped out, at which point Glen Hansard was asked to fill in as the lead. Hansard had only been brought aboard originally to write the music.

"Falling Slowly"

Yep, for So many great songs really, with my favorite being "When your mind's made up" Goosebumps every time.

Hansard's non-actory performance and how genuinely he sings the music is exactly why the film works. It's why Sing Street and Begin Again, while both good films, just miss the magic this one creates.

The writer/director of this also made Sing Street, which is fantastic.

It was also my first dance at my wedding.

Such a delicious insult nestled in a doughy layer of compliment. It's like eating a succulent Chinese steamed bun.

actual opening scene

I accidentally the title.

So great how the studio engineer starts out by rolling his eyes at having to spend all weekend with "these fookin' nobs" and by the end of the take, he's all smiles. What a warmhearted film this is. :)

Glen Hansard is also in The Commitments another great Irish movie

If you find the time to see this on broadway, or anywhere else for that matter, do so. It won't disappoint.

The scene in the recording studio when the engineer is dismissive but by the end realizes Hansard is legit as fuck and just says into the mic, "OK." It gives me strong chills every time and I've seen this movie a lot of times. One of my favorite scenes in any movie ever and it wouldn't have been anything near as powerful if it weren't the musician himself playing it.

And Begin Again! This guy is a very talented writer/director

For anyone who likes the music, the two leads have a band called The Swell Season. Most of the songs of the movie are from their 1st self title album.


Fun fact. I watched this musical at a premier in London beside graham Norton who cried his eyes out.

EDIT: Just got this sent to me :|

Cillian would have acted the part better for sure, but the movie feels so real with Glen that I'm glad it ended up that way

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (who play "Guy" and "Girl" in the film) also recorded an album prior to the release of the film as The Swell Season. That record has Falling Slowly on it as well as several other songs featured in the film and a few that aren't.

Isn't this the one where you can go on stage and hang out with them before the show starts? Or am I talking nonsense?

edit: please read the 20 other replies confirming this before you also confirm this

Story time: I got to see the Swell Season (Hansard & Irglova) play at ACL a few years ago. I was also able to get tickets to separate show they were doing at the Paramount Theater while they were still in Austin (big fan of their music). Anyway, I'm sitting in the front row of the balcony. They've just finished up, then Marketa comes out solo and sits at the piano to start the encore. After the applause died down, I shouted "I love you, Marketa" clearly so it was easily heard by her. Being slightly shy and timid, she was taken aback, but responded "Oh,... I love you too!".

TLDR - Marketa said she loves me. I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.

insult nestled in a doughy layer of compliment. It's like eating a succulent Chinese steamed bun.

A succulent Chinese meal, you say?

yes! I saw it in Philadelphia and indeed, if you get there early enough they let you on stage to the "bar" set where you can buy drinks and mill around. Then the cast comes out and starts playing some songs, about 3, to give the impression of a lively Irish pub. During the third song the ushers start to get you off the stage and back to your seats, and the house lights dim and the show begins seamlessly as they're finishing the last song of the "set". It was amazingly immersive.

I love this movie so much. The actual story is so realistic, it's like you're reading someone's diary rather than watching a movie. Yes, the ending is bittersweet, but this isn't a romantic comedy. It's life.

I have a question. I know this song intimately. All the words, I can sing along, know the tune. I have been listening to it for years.

I swear it was on an album I had. But I cannot find the song on the album. What's happened. Am I dead?

Answered my own question. Damian rice covered it

I agree it feels more genuine. The age gap was a little strange on first viewing but considering Hansard and Irglova dated irl after the movie it made it irrelevant.

Yeah, i think that is the opening scene, but i can't find it online. Plus making mistakes on reddit gets you attention, so i'm gonna lie with it.

Doesn't the sequence where the guy steals his case (with the money in it) come first? What's that called? It's sort of like a cold open on a TV show, but I'm not sure what it's called in a movie.

Someone here mentioned Sing Street a bit back and I gambled on it. It was a really, really good movie. 100% recommend

my wife made me watch that when we first met, and i made her watch punch drunk love. then on our third date we got engaged. good movie.

To be honest I didn't even notice the age gap, Irgolva looked way older than she was

When Your Minds Made Up

The scene where they record "" is my absolute favourite.

Also, this was both of their first and only acting roles, and was shot on next to no budget in just 17days.

And Hansard gabbed on til the orchestra played him out. The cut poor Marketa off but let her come out quickly after the commercial break. Classy move for sure.

Are you waiting to receive my limp penis?

Yea that one or two second clip where he kind of sits forward and adjusts some levels. You can see he's changing his mind in that moment

but this isn't a romantic comedy. It's life.

That's a pretty happy ending by Irish standards to be honest.

Link to scene: "When Your Mind's Made Up"

You know what's really creepy? Glen knew Marketa since she was a little girl because he used to play music with her dad.

edit: I'm still a huge fan of Glen Hansard's music.

Piggy backing off top comment for a spoiler I always loved, read on at your own peril.

At one point he asks her if she loves her husband, she answers the question in a different language, so he doesn't understand, but she says, "I love you."

That scene fucking murders me.

The moment when the engineer starts to get into it and starts to actually care, and mix, is what gets me every time. I love that specific part.

And also when Glen Hansard starts to belt it out. YESSSSS. The build up of the song and expression on his face revealing the raw emotion. So good.

yep. we were married after a month and just hit four years.


Couldn't find a great quality copy of the scene, but the track is "When Your Mind's Made Up" and IMO it is the absolute best moment in the movie.


A beautiful rendition of this song:

That's my favorite part too!!

Sing Street is super corny but totally charming. They nailed it.

I didn't realize there was an age gap until this thread. I looked it up and was surprised to see Irglova is younger than me.

Funny, I don't remember this

In Hansard's defence, he only spoke for thirty seconds. The orchestra was cued the moment he went off mic.


Here's The Swell Season doing an amazing cover of Two Headed Boy by Neutral Milk Hotel:

Cillian Murphy was a rock musician before becoming an actor. He sang and played guitar in a band after college and was offered a record contract. He did fear he wouldn't be able to sing the songs well enough though.

my cold one. I'm massively homophobic.

In Pulp Fiction, during the "Syringe full of adrenaline" scene, one of the cast was wearing a t-shirt for Glen Hansard's band, The Frames.

20 or so years later, the Oscar was presented to Glen by John Travolta.

Yeah, think I may just re-download & listen again 😊I think it's a stage show now. Bringing it to a whole new bunch of people :-)

I enjoy the movie versions sooooo much more than the recorded versions. They should've just released the movie versions as the sound track.

Agreed! Best song in the movie! That 5/4 timing - especially when the drums kick in. Your miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind... your miiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiaaaagh!!

actually I just looked it up and I guess it is Once https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_(musical)

What a scene!

"Did you write that"?


But the look in his eyes (as he answers) and the raw emotion after singing that song.

Fuck it. Gonna watch it this weekend again.

My heart hurts so much when I watch this movie.

Not his, he's a pretty well known actor, he was in The Commitments.

Love the music, but the plot was way too similar to Once.

The opening scene

The trailer

I feel like I'm the only one who thought that Begin Again was super corny.

I know there's a show on broadway with a fully stocked bar on stage that you can purchase your drinks from and hang around on stage, but I don't believe it was Once. I could be mistaken though.

Funny enough, he can be seen at the end of the Commitments busking on Grafton Street in Dublin, where he is at the beginning of Once

I adore that movie. So funny! It definitely shows the grittier side of Dublin/Ireland. The music is to die for. I have both soundtrack CDs, and they still get a lot of play in my house.

I'm talking about Begin Again, not Sing Street.

Yeah although them dating in real life is kind of creepy now that I think about it, that was a huge age difference

Falling Slowly is a great song, but this was my favorite of the movie and hooked me right from the start. It is RAW and sent shivers down my spine.

The Frames (Glen's band) also released their own version on their album that came out about a year later.

I love going to Frames concerts because of this. He genuinely looks he loves singing and enjoys being there with the audience. It gives you soo much energy.

I discovered Frames by accident at one central European festival, and was blown away by them. He was soo great and nice. He and the band took care to actually talk to us a lot, he translated all the songs names.

no. you're not.

And a few of them appear in different form on The Cost by The Frames, Hansard's band.

Best scene in the film. Kudos to the "street musicians" he picks up to record with, they lay down a 5/4 beat tighter than I've ever heard since

There's an argument for it being nominated for Best Original Song, but let's pump the breaks on Best Picture.

Direct relations to Once are The Commitments (Hansard is in it) and Sing Street (John Carney directed it). Both are on Netflix in the US, if that's where you are.

The other Barrytown films, The Snapper and The Van are both very good. Not as good as The Commitments, IMO, and The Van in particular is nowhere near as good as the book but still worth the watch. If you can find Roddy Doyle's "Family", it's a very stark mini series made in the 90s. Difficult but incredible.

Jim Sheridan has several essential watches, My Left Foot, The Field, In the Name of the Father in particular. His daughter Kristen Sheridan made a really interesting flick with Cillian Murphy called Disco Pigs. Really unusual piece of work.

Neil Jordan - He's made some classics but to stick with ones actually set in Ireland, try Michael Collins, The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto.

More recently Lenny Abrahamson made Adam & Joe, Garage and What Richard Did, going on to be Oscar nominated for Room. His film Frank is also wonderful.

Gerard Barrett is another film maker to keep an eye on, Glassland is on Netflix US. Very low budget dramas.

John Boorman's The General. If you've seen Ordinary Decent Criminal with Kevin Spacey, it's based on the same guy but is actually watchable.

The brothers McDonagh... Calvary, The Guard, In Bruges...

Intermission and I Went Down, both from the late 90s/early 2000s, crime flicks with plenty of wit. Intermission is a sort of anthology, several intertwined stories.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some essentials but that's what came to mind... (I'll edit later to add some descriptions or links...)

Yes I completely agree. At the beginning when the engineer's on the phone doesn't he call them a 'bunch of elbows'?? Classic!

Yeah Jon Stewart is the man

It should have been nominated for Best Picture... or at least Best Song at the Oscars. "Drive It Like You Stole It" is an incredible tune.

I used one of the songs from the film in my own short film at university, with the permission of Glen Hansard's Manager. 

Because I had to get her to sign-off on that, I requested to meet him backstage at his next gig. She said yes so I ferried to  Ireland, watched the amazing gig and got to meet both Glen and Marketa back stage. A genuine, friendly man and great musician. I have a signed copy of the DVD in a frame.

Signed and framed

I used one of the songs from the film in my own short film at university, with the permission of Glen Hansard's Manager.

Because I had to get her to sign-off on that, I requested to meet him backstage at his next gig. She said yes so I ferried to Ireland, watched the amazing gig and got to meet both Glen and Marketa back stage. A genuine, friendly man and great musician. I have a signed copy of the DVD in a frame.


Glen Hansard is a national treasure.

See, that's kinda why I liked it. You go in thinking it's going to be a simple love story, but nope!

of course if you watch the movie ymmv.

I always tell people it's a musical for people who hate "Musicals"...and those that love them, too.

Saw the Broadway stage show on my birthday a few years back -- excellent. Amazing cast (saw it with the agent's wife on Narcos in the "Girl" role). They had to sing and play instruments throughout the show. The stage turned into the bar during intermission.

When I saw Once in Toronto they had the full serve bar on stage before the show and during intermission, and the actors were all on stage warming up and hanging out and chatting with people. Very cool. They made everyone get off stage before the show starts though.

That scene is brilliant. I've never seen anything capture that feeling of being in a band, stumbling at first to connect with the other players, and then that moment when it all clicks and everyone involved is just like "Fuck yeah!". It's not anything that anyone else sees or can sense but that connection between people playing music together is just incredible.

Yeah, it was on broadway.

I heard a rumour that he didnt want to play in a film with amateur actress. It was around czech republic for some time as Marketa Igrlova and Frames are popular around here, so people were like noo bad Cillian murphy. But amazing choice choosing them, great chemistry.

She was the original "Girl" for the orginal Broadway run.

I just like how [spoilers] it's not just a bunch of people being dicks to each other. They don't get together but they don't ruin each other's lives. The dad supports his son's music. Not everything is perfect but it doesn't try to be Irish Moonlight or Rent where he diiiiiiessss for his aaaart.

She says it in Czech, her native language.

Which was in 1991 according to his acting credits. People know him for his music, not for his acting.


National Treasure 3: The Season of Swells

The Commitments

I sincerely doubt Cillian Murphy would have sung those long notes so well like Glen did. And Cillian is a great actor but I don't know if he can sing.

this scene

Actually the movie opens with , where Glen sings Say It To Me Now, which is IMHO much better and more emotional than Falling Slowly.

Ah, a Far East delicacy

I can't hear that song anymore without thinking of The Last Man on Earth.

She's Bronagh Gallagher, her and Glen were in The Commitments together, a truly perfect film.

I saw the Swell Season in concert years ago and it was absolutely, without a doubt, the best concert I have ever been to.


Not blocked in the US link:

The Commitments is one of the biggest movies in Ireland.

I'm actually glad you linked the trailer, I'd rather have that honestly.

Is this for real?

My friend I just saw it when it came to our city (Fort Wayne, IN) and they did indeed let people come on stage. Before they actually started the show the cast were there jamming and mingling with the audience.

Ahhh yes, I see that you know your pastries well.