“From its first screenings here at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, the micro-budget Irish film Once, rejected by many a festival en route to Park City, has generated word-of-mouth bordering on euphoria,” Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips writes in today’s (Sunday) edition.
“It’s a marvelous film, described by writer-director John Carney as “a musical, maybe.” It may well be the best music film of any stripe since Stop Making Sense a generation ago, and yes, that includes Chicago and Dreamgirls.
“Shot in under three weeks for less than $150,000, funded entirely by the Irish national film board, Carney’s so-called ‘video album’ has made the stars and the director the toast of Park City. ‘Thank God, really. Sundance has been amazing for us,’ Carney says.
“A rough cut” of Once played at two festivals last year, one in Galway, Ireland, the other in the Czech Republic. And yet Carney tells Phillips that “Toronto turned it down, Edinburgh turned it down, Telluride turned it down.” Shoutout to Tom Luddy: You saw Once and you deep-sixed it? Dude, what’s up with that?