Movie Review-The Swell Season

Plot-This is the real life sequel to the film Once. This documentary follows singer-songwriters Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová through a period of extraordinary intensity and pressure following their 2007 Oscar win for Best Song (Falling Slowly). And focuses on the experiences during a grueling two-year world tour.

Review-Is anyone truly ready for fame? Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard were not prepared for what happened to them after the film and oscar. Where Once was the story about two lonely people with bruised emotions and battered souls who meet on the streets of Dublin and developed a partnership, that struck a chord with reviewers and fans. Where Glen has her on 18 years, they soon discover they are falling in love with each other. This documentary is the perfect companion piece to Once. Where Once, was all heartfelt and emotional, and you fell in love and felt their passion. This documentary is heart felt in a totally different way, almost a very depressed way. Marketa is young and naive and finds herself unprepared for the life of a rock musician on the road. The attention and devotion of fans scares her, almost to the point you think she needs some serious therapy. She questions whether she deserves the attention and struggles to find a way to accommodate fans and try to completely understand what is happening to her. Glen is the complete opposite with his band The Frames, he is used to this road life and accustomed to shaking hands and posing for pictures and signing autographs. He fails to understand her struggles and the first glimpse of troubles in their world is revealed. At the same time, we learn something of Glen’s home life. His mother Catherine appeared in the film Once,and is extremely proud of her son’s success and Oscar. She sees this victory truly thru his eyes as his best moment ever. His father James is introduced later, and provides a look into Glen that we’ve yet to see. Almost as a pity jealousy, James is a ex boxer who was a nobody, who is drinking himself to death. James sees his son’s success as a sort of redemption for his own failures in life . Glen struggles with this a lot in this doc. He tells his son that he will not burden him with the troubles he keeps inside him. It seems that the more successful The Swell Season becomes, the more difficult the success is for Glen to deal with. His mother chastises him for his indifference to his fame and his reluctance to regard the Oscar as a meaningful achievement. All the while we watch as Glen and Marketa fall out of love.

This is depressing and heartbreaking to watch. You get the feeling that both Once and the Oscar it brought were more of a cancer to this duo than anything else. This film is about the ones we love and how they view us once things come together in life for us. And in the same breath, also how we deal with things that happen for us. I loved Once, and I loved this film as well. This was a very well told and emotional ride, and I think that 2012 may see them get another oscar. Then, they can make a third film.

9 out of 10