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If you have to watch one Hulu movie in June 2024, stream this one

Glen Hansard in Once.
Summit Entertainment

When you think of movies on Hulu, it’s easy to get swept up in the big franchise flicks. After all, how often are films like The Batman going to cross over from Warner Bros. to a Disney-owned platform? And compared to the sparse selection of films on Disney+, Hulu has a refreshingly large and diverse lineup of flicks to choose from. But if you can watch only one Hulu movie in June, then the film you should stream is Once.

Once is a romantic drama and a musical written and directed by John Carney on a shoestring budget. However, the story of the film was so irresistible that Once was one of the top indie hits of 2007 and an Oscar winner for Best Original Song. Most importantly, it’s a love story that plays like a real story. And it doesn’t necessarily go to the places where most romances tread.

Keep reading if you need more reasons to watch Once on Hulu this month.

The leading performers are believably in love

Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard in Once.
Summit Entertainment

Neither Glen Hansard nor Markéta Irglová were strangers to each other before filming Once. In fact, they were already in a musical duo, the Swell Season, and in a relationship when they were respectively cast as Guy and Girl. That level of familiarity with each other went a long way toward making the on-screen bonds between them feel real.

Hansard and Irglová were cast primarily for their musical talent rather than their acting experience. This also worked out in the film’s favor, as they seem very natural while tentatively extending their hearts to one another.

Hansard and Irglová make beautiful music together

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in Once.
Summit Entertainment

Once isn’t the kind of musical where people break out into song and dance for no reason. Instead, it’s the story of two people whose shared language and passions are expressed through the music they create, both together and separately.

Hansard and Irglová were more than just the on-screen couple in the movie. They also co-wrote and performed all of the film’s original songs, including the Oscar-winning track Falling Slowly. Guy and Girl pour out their respective hearts into these songs, and the results are emotionally moving.

It’s filmed in a very unconventional way

Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard in Once.
Summit Entertainment

Once doesn’t have the shine or polish of a blockbuster film because its budget was anything but big. There wasn’t enough money to get the best equipment or to shoot with the necessary permits. So instead, Carney and his crew shot on the real streets of Dublin and in intimate locations with a minimal amount of equipment.

These weren’t ideal circumstances and the images aren’t always crystal clear. But the emotions are. Everything coming from Hansard and Irglová feels real and genuine, and the world around them is grounded in reality.

It has an ending that will stay with you

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in Once.
Summit Entertainment

Hollywood has us so well-conditioned to expect purely happy endings that it’s more of a shock when things don’t work out perfectly in the end. While the viewer comes to care for Guy and Girl during the events of Once, it’s hard to deny the power of the film’s ending even though it keeps them apart.

It was never a question of love. Guy and Girl’s hearts are meant for each other and they make beautiful music together. But we also understand why they make the choices that they do, and where the film leaves them. It could have been an unhappy ending, but instead it feels hopeful and fulfilled. Because once their lives have touched each other, neither Guy nor Girl are ever the same again. And that’s a profoundly beautiful and powerful way to end things.

Watch Once on Hulu.

Editors' Recommendations

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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