Once is a 2007 Irish musical film written and directed by John Carney. Set in Dublin, Ireland, the naturalistic drama stars musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Collaborators prior to making the film performing under the stage moniker The Swell Season, Hansard and Irglová composed and performed all of the original songs in the film.
Shot for only €112,000, the film was successful, earning substantial per-screen box office averages in the United States. It received enthusiastic reviews and awards such as the 2007 Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film. Hansard and Irglová's song "Falling Slowly" won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song and the soundtrack as a whole also received a Grammy Award nomination.
Once spent years in development with the Irish Film Board. It was during a period where the film board had no chief executive (for about 6 months) that the film was given the go-ahead by a lower level executive on the provision that the producers could make it on a budget of approximately €112,000 and not the initial higher budget.
A thirty-something Dublin busker ("Guy", played by Glen Hansard) sings and plays guitar on Grafton Street, a Dublin shopping district. He struggles with the trials of performing on the street. Lured by his music, an unnamed young Czech immigrant flower seller ("Girl", played by Markéta Irglová) talks to him about his songs. Delighted to learn that he also repairs Hoovers (a brand name that became synonymous with vacuum cleaners in the United Kingdom and Ireland), she insists that he fix her broken vacuum cleaner.