Not so swell – The Swell Season review

The Swell Season – Directed by Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis. Rated M. Originally published August 2, 2011. By Simon Miraudo.

The Swell Season arrives on DVD in Australia June 27, 2012.

The Swell Season follows Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová – the talented musicians who starred in the indie hit Once, began dating on the film’s press circuit, and then won an Oscar for Best Original Song – as they tour the world under the moniker of, you guessed it, The Swell Season. Whereas Once ended with our two star-crossed lovers parting ways despite truly being in love with one another, this new documentary plays much like an extended alternate ending – although if you’re hoping this is the ending where Hansard and Irglová end up together for good, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed once more.

The 41-year-old Guy and the 23-year-old Girl (to compare them again to their ‘unnamed’ characters from Once)called it quits after enduring the strain of their endless concerts and sudden stardom. That directors Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins and Carlo Mirabella-Davis were on hand to capture their dissolution was both lucky, and, in a more human sense, rather unfortunate (especially for those of us who care so deeply for this relationship as it was depicted in the previous semi-autobiographical film). Ultimately, The Swell Season plays like an even-more-earnest sequel to Once – complete with plenty of new concert footage – which will surely be music to the ears of diehard fans. To everyone else, not so much.


Check out Simon’s other reviews here.

The Swell Season arrives on DVD in Australia June 27, 2012.

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