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The Pluck of the Irish

"Once" **** (out of four): Small gem of a film about a struggling guitarist who finds love on the streets of Dublin is the most impressive reinvention of the musical genre since "Moulin Rouge".

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The word “real” is rarely used to describe the musical genre. Typically, a musical is all about heightened emotions - how else could you explain bursting into song at the drop of a hat. "Once" - a small gem of a film about a struggling guitarist who finds love on the streets of Dublin - is a sneak attack: a movie musical disguised as a low budget indie. The guy and girl in the story (named, simply, Guy and Girl) work on the streets - he's a guitarist and she sells flowers. Their relationship leads them to a piano shop where the owner let's her play during lunch. As Guy (Glen Hansard of the band “The Frames”) teaches her one of his songs, to which she adds a piano line and harmony, the film is transformed as their emotions soar on his bittersweet lyrics. From then on every note brings us closer to these characters.

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