Once (2007, John Carney)

Katy and I liked this one, a musical almost-romance drama about a struggling musician in Ireland.
We even bought the soundtrack.
On vinyl.

Not much to this one, plot-wise. Street musician (but with job, family, home) performs in the evenings, gets attention of young married immigrant mom with an ear for harmonies who practices piano in a shop. They encourage and inspire each other, he decides to pursue his dreams and record a demo, gets together some other guys and they hit the studio. Engineer is impressed by their sound, hangs out and helps all weekend. Guy goes his own way, girl reunites with her husband, and guy gets her a piano as a parting gift.

A not-quite-love-story… don’t think the two leads so much as kiss (maybe once), but they have more mutual respect than in most true-love movies. “Guy” (no character names) is Glen Hansard of The Frames and “Girl” is 18-year-old Czech musical collaborator Markéta Irglová. Nobody else I’ve heard of, writer/director included (turns out he’s a member of The Frames). Beautiful movie, plays each song all the way through, lingers long enough on each scene, each moment, well acted and written, with more restraint and emotion than one could rightfully expect from an indie musical.