My son Michael turned me on to a movie I'd never heard of called Once. We watched it today. It's a modest little independent film about an Irish street musician. He's heartbroken over a lost love and wants to break into the recording industry. Along the way he meets a young, equally heartbroken and talented Czech woman, and together they succeed in making some demo records. It's very touching, and romantic, and thought-provoking. A good date movie.
Earlier this year, the movie won an Oscar for Best Original Song ("Falling Slowly"). It was either nominated for or won a surprising number of other awards. The music is quite moving, and if like me you're a guitar player, or you like acoustic music with good close harmonies, you'll really enjoy the many songs in the film. They're all sad, but well done. The thing I liked most was that most of the music, as far as I could tell, is performed live in the movie. You don't see that very often, if ever.
The movie illustrates that every one of us is broken and empty. We are looking for the Eden we've lost, but can't find it. Through music, writing, art, work, and other things, we express our longing. We look for new lovers, new jobs, interesting places to visit, and so forth. Friends come along, and that helps. Perhaps we find that one soul mate we've always desired - that helps even more. But like Koheleth in Ecclesiastes, we find the longing persists. Not until Christ returns to restore the brokenness and re-open the gates to Eden will we find the one true thing our hearts desire.
I won't spoil the ending for you, but there is a note of redemption, which made me think of what Jesus did for us by giving up that which was most precious to him so that we could be put back together again.