The Swell Season
Following somewhat belatedly on the heels
of the Oscar-winning 2007 indie flick Once, The Swell Season
charts the subsequent journey of the film’s stars, Irish
singer-songwriter Glen Hansard and Czech singer and
who briefly became lovers in real life following the film’s completion.
Part road movie, part musical, part love
story, The Swell Season is an emotionally engaging portrayal of
two talented musicians at the height of their powers. The artful black
and white cinematography neatly compliments on-screen action which veers
from warm and fuzzy one minute to outright pathos the next, and the
cleverly layered background into Hansard and Irglová’s lives, careers
and families, as well as into their burgeoning relationship and its
subsequent dissolution, provides many moments of rare poignancy.
Oh yes, and then there are the songs. In
addition to snippets of backstage noodling (and occasional canoodling)
we are treated to plenty of footage of the duet rehearsing and
performing some of their most well-known numbers including, of course,
the sublime ‘Falling Slowly,’ which won the 2007 Academy Award for Best
The local release is without any bonus
features (the Region 1 version came with numerous deleted scenes and
unaired song performances) but the documentary itself is so intimate and
heartfelt that it more than speaks for itself, and fans of the Once
won’t to miss this understated and resonant follow up.