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How Often Do You Find the Right Person? 

Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Once

Director: John Carney

Starring: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh, Gerard Hendrick

Two unnamed young musicians are not exactly ‘living the dream’ in Dublin. The guy is stuck working for his dad but makes a bit of tip money playing his own songs for the unappreciative passers-by. The girl, Czech and depended on by her sister and mother, is a passionate pianist. A chance meeting between the guy and girl leads to a new beginning for both in life and love…

Screened at the Sundance film festival in 2007, this unexpectedly fantastic musical took the critics by storm. So much so that the film was even awarded an Oscar for Best Original song; not bad for a movie that only took 17 days to shoot! It also trumps other big blockbuster contemporary musicals by being made on a smaller budget and still capturing the essence of what a true musical should contain without falling into the trap of being too cheesy and light-hearted.

But then again that’s probably just what should be expected from a country that gave us great actors such as Cillian Murphy (originally approached for the lead role and star of 28 Days Later). The Irish film was based on a time a few decades ago when the country was poorer and more working class. Carney explores new limits by keeping a quality of naturalism to the film, giving it a documentary style effect which is a refreshing take on the genre. The two lead roles are also played by professional musicians rather than the typical professional actors-turned-singers. Glen Hansard is lead singer of the well-known Irish band The Frames and Markéta Irglová is a Czech singer/songwriter. The chemistry between the two protagonists on screen is compelling to watch, both with their own melancholy backgrounds portrayed beautifully on screen.

This is one of those films where if you didn’t catch it first time round you will definitely need to rethink. It may be a bit different from your usual choice but that’s what gives the film its edge and its chance to shock and surprise you.

Samilia Ekeocha

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)