The Swell Season
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In 2008, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová captivated audiences and earned two Academy Awards for their musical collaboration in the film Once. As their fictional romance blurred with reality, they fell in love, recorded an album, and embarked on a world tour. Fueled by two years of exhilaration, performance, and psychological turmoil, The Swell Season is much more than a music documentary. It is a volatile and intimate portrait of a romance that fractures in the face of life on the road and personal tragedy. As Glen and Markéta's relationship unhinges, ultimately music prevails as their… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Swell Season wins the documentary prize for beating viewers over the head with gentleness, with the duo accentuated in rich, photographic chiaroscuro."
‑ Guy Dixon, Globe and Mail
"An emotional erosion captured by the trio in decidedly unromantic black-and-white."
‑ William Goss,
"While the film may be monochrome, every colour of emotion is represented here, from elation in the creative process to anxiousness and disillusionment."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"A sadly and tenderly honest portrait of a storybook romance lost."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"A poignant documentary that tracks the fast rise and slow fall of the Hansard-Irglova fairy tale, through both tunes and tears."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Overall the film seems like a collection of bits and pieces, and it's hard to see how it could have much resonance for non-fans."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"The intimacy that results is candid and simple as the movie that, for good and ill, put them both center-stage in the first place."
‑ Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The connection between Hansard and Irglová is the heart of The Swell Season, and it's one that could use more backstory."
‑ Alison Willmore, Movieline
"For Once lovers who needed a "what happened next?" epilogue, this one moves even as it chastises."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"A documentary that is every bit as intimate and disarming as the movie that made them famous..."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A modest, mostly engaging behind-the-scenes documentary that nevertheless winds up feeling somehow incomplete."
‑ Ethan Alter, Television Without Pity
"A documentary about the emotional upheavals of the Oscar-winning stars of Once during their world tour."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for The Swell Season on Rotten Tomatoes

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Once (2007)