Have you ever seen a movie with never having seen the trailer or preview for it? It is increasingly rare to make it to the movie theatre to see a movie without already being inundated by commercials for it, especially with sites like You Tube and Quick Time.

However I was lucky enough this afternoon to enjoy a brilliant movie called Once with never having seen the preview for it. What a difference it makes.

You are probably reading this saying, Once? What the hell movie is that? Well you haven’t heard of it because it is not one of those big Hollywood types, instead it is an irish musical that is by far one of my favorite movies I’ve seen this year.

I went to go to see it this afternoon at the local Art House theatre ($6.00!) after reading the unanimous praise it had been receiving. 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, Entertainment Weekly gave it an A and countless others. Then if you take into account that this past weekend Once had a higher per screen average than Shrek 3, Pirates of the whatever, Ocean’s 13. Also please note that Once only cost $150,000 to make and it’s amazing. Evan Almighty cost $175 million and it sucks. You do the math.

So based on this information alone you don’t need me to tell you what a great movie Once is. It is an honest look at life. The script is nearly pitch perfect when you consider how wonderfully it captures human dialogue and emotion.

And for such a small movie you’d be surprised by how many surprises there are. I think this is because we are trained by Hollywood to have certain expectations about love stories and how formulatic they can be. This is why Once is so unique.

Also, you’ll notice that I called this movie a musical. Now immediately get movies let Chicago, Rent, Dreamgirls and the “I hate it already” Hairspray out of your head. The songs which were written and performed by the leads (Glen Hansard, Marketa Inglova) are woven perfectly into the story about two street performers who meet over a Hoover.

The movie is the kind that you leave with an extra bounce in your step. When I got home, I downloaded the soundtrack (only $8.99 on Itunes) and quickly played and re-played my favorite songs. One thing I notice though is that you have to see the actual movie to see how effortlessly beautiful Glen Hansard’s voice is. It is an amazing thing to watch. I’ve read that he is the lead singer of the Irish band The Frames. I’m going to look at their stuff next.

Once won’t be playing in small towns like Fredericton. You’ll have to wait for it to make it to your local video store, but I guarantee it is worth the wait. But if you live in a bigger city, make every effort you can to see it. No matter what you got going on in your life, all your worries and stress will disappear. Sit back and enjoy an amazing piece of movie history. (Take that Silver Surfer)

Here is a clip of Glen and Marketa performing my favorite song from the movie at The Sundance Film Festival. Enjoy.

Mike Morrison