A new almost-musical from Ireland, "Once" neatly transcends even the hoariest of cliches about the sublime communicative powers of pop music. This is a treat and a surprise, as films this slight and unassuming often seem more apt to curl up into themselves than approach any sort of expansiveness. And make no mistake, "Once" is slight. A tentative love story between two musicians framed through the lens of an erstwhile folk musical, "Once" is a tiny movie in the best sense: full of minuscule gestures and glances laden with meaning, and carrying the sense of something intricately labored over so as to provide the impression of simplicity and ease.
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