The Swell Season


The Swell Season

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 32


Audience Score

User Ratings: 620
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Movie Info

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 enduring connection. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Swell Season

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (7)

  • The Swell Season wins the documentary prize for beating viewers over the head with gentleness, with the duo accentuated in rich, photographic chiaroscuro.

    Jan 13, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A poignant documentary that tracks the fast rise and slow fall of the Hansard-Irglova fairy tale, through both tunes and tears.

    Jan 12, 2012 | Rating: 3/4
  • For Once lovers who needed a "what happened next?" epilogue, this one moves even as it chastises.

    Dec 2, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • An emotional erosion captured by the trio in decidedly unromantic black-and-white.

    Dec 1, 2011 | Full Review…

    William Goss
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Nov 25, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A documentary that is every bit as intimate and disarming as the movie that made them famous...

    Nov 23, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Swell Season

  • Feb 06, 2014
    "The Swell Season" is a documentary that follows Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in the wake of the success with the movie 'Once,' as they undergo the ordeals of going on tour in America via bus. That having been said, things start off well enough with some fun as they go for a little frolicsome skinnydipping. Away from the music, the documentary seeks to fill in their respective backstories. But as far as Irglova goes, the interest is only in how old she is. However, Hansard's father lost his chance to go to America for a boxing tournament due to teenage pregnancy, turning to alcohol as a result.(How's that for a guilt trip?) For Hansard, it is music and nothing else, as he goes from touring with a band to getting phone calls from Bono to having his car towed away on a not-so-special episode of 'Parenthood.' In general, "The Swell Season" is interested in fame, and how it simultaneously opens some doors while closing others, its ambiguous tone emphasized by its black and white cinematography.(But how could you tell things would have not turned out the same?) And as incisive as the documentary can be, it also does the same thing as the fans who show up to get autographs, emphasizing the Oscars over the music which is more important. That having been said, the little knit cap for the statuette is really cute.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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