Monday, March 31, 2008

Once: Ordinary is never Ordinary.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 97%. Jen lent us the DVD. Nathan and Cassie said we had to watch. Brandon called it a 'sacred piece of filmmaking'. Tubeo drew parallels to the gospel. They were right. Once is simply a beautiful film. I've now watched that first duet 4 times.

Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice/
You've made it now.

Here is my thought: the synopsis on the DVD jacket describes the movie as 'chasing your dreams'. But I think that this description is wrong. I think the movie is about the fact that if we are willing, we might see possibilities amid the ordinariness of living.

Granted, not many people write music as extraordinary as they did. But many of us feel very ordinary and incapable. Just about everyone has been broken-hearted. Many of us recall a memorable week in which we were carried along by the possibility of love. Lots of artists record their songs hoping for others to recognize their creative skills. Many of us have 'Hoover-Guy' jobs. We stumble over our words. We say dumb things. And we all want more than we have right now.

This movie takes an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and lifts them up above the fray: Ordinary is never ordinary.

Take this sinking ship and point it home/
We've still got time.

A ordinary English Anglican once said:
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
PS Jen -- Movie is back to the store -- with no fine. :)


Anonymous said...

Ahhh...loved that movie. Jim saw it three times in the theater. Then bought the DVD and the CD soundtrack. (As usual, he goes a bit over the top.) You two should talk about it. Best from SF Bay Area... Liz

Peter said...

I really enjoyed the movie too. Right after I saw them perform the song at the Oscars, I put it on my Netflix queue.

byron smith said...

A ordinary English Anglican (who happened to be an Oxford don) once said...

byron smith said...

An ordinary English Anglican (who also happens to have sold well over 100 million books) once said...

Matty said...

From Rotten Tomatoes, "Rated: R"???
Does 'R' mean something different in the states?

Justin said...

Matty -- Good point.

I think it does mean something different in the States.

There is unnecessary swearing. But no sex or violence. Must be the swearing.

Nath & Cass said...

You finally made it all the way through! Worth it, eh?
You will always be more than just a "hoover-guy" to us...
n & c.

Eun said...

Hello Justin,
thanks for the Romans 6 talk and kudos for the pictures. It was a very timely discussion in my walk with Christ.

Paul Rees said...

Once you get passed the frequent use of the F bomb - I thought this was a very noble film about God's common grace in friendship and music and how desperately we are looking to get back into Eden.

Enjoyed the 'not a fan of Piper' blog too!

Looking forward to your visit in the summer and hope we get a chance to chew the fat together!

John P. said...


For whatever reason, my wife and I kept ignoring our friends who recommended this movie. Finally, we saw it on video a few months ago and I was embarrassed at myself for not listening to their advice.

The moment this couple won the Oscar, I felt like, for one brief moment, there was justice in the world.

I agree with your synopsis...I think the movie caught on because it was just so heartbreakingly human. And, sadly, we don't encounter that often enough.