Lynn Lee revisits the 2007 Sundance hit Once as the current festival wraps up.
I was at Sundance in 2007—the only time I’ve ever been. It was one of the highlights of my life as a moviegoer, albeit more for the experience than the actual movies. While I enjoyed most of the films I saw there, few really stuck with me beyond the festival, with the exception of the lovely character study Starting Out in the Evening (which really should have gotten Frank Langella an Oscar nomination).
Somehow, I missed the true breakout success of Sundance that year—the low-budget Irish musical Once, which won the festival’s World Cinema Audience Award. It went on to become a critical darling, a sleeper indie hit, and even an Oscar winner for Best Original Song. How could I have bypassed being one of the first in the U.S. to see it? Well, somehow I did, even though I became a fan when it arrived in theaters later that year.