The Swell Season (2011)
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Critic Reviews for The Swell Season
The Swell Season wins the documentary prize for beating viewers over the head with gentleness, with the duo accentuated in rich, photographic chiaroscuro.
A poignant documentary that tracks the fast rise and slow fall of the Hansard-Irglova fairy tale, through both tunes and tears.
For Once lovers who needed a "what happened next?" epilogue, this one moves even as it chastises.
An emotional erosion captured by the trio in decidedly unromantic black-and-white.
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.
Audience Reviews for The Swell Season
"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.
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