Previously ranked and written at No. 43Ah, Once. What a simple, lovely, aurally pleasing work of art. And to think it came out of 2007, loaded with quality flicks left and right - and yet it came out victorious as the best movie of the year mostly for its subtlety. All right, the soundtrack probably had a lot to do with it as well, but then I'm a sucker for a good soundtrack. Thanks to the chemistry and song-writing skills of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the movie was a new kind of musical - one for the folk-rock sub-generation. Though most know the movie merely by the song "Falling Slowly," - which is of course one of the hallmarks of the film - it's the rest of the soundtrack that had me hooked (namely "If You Want Me" and "The Hill," to name a couple). For those of you who have seen the movie (I'm assuming most everyone has at least heard part or all of the soundtrack), the scattered scenes of wry poignance are a special additive to the already great unlikely love story between a street performer/vacuum repairman and a flower street peddler. First of all, there's the couple scenes with Hansard's character and his dad (particularly the one toward the end), and then there are the talking scenes, which, considering neither of the stars are actors, are simple brilliance (case in point, the "can I drive it?" scene with the motorcycle).
Standout Performance: I'm going to cheat on this one and simply say the soundtrack. It was the best album of the year and one of the best musical soundtracks in several years.