Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The world fell in love with Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová when their songwriting collaboration in the film Once culminated in a jubilant Oscar win. But behind the scenes, where Glen and Markéta’s on-screen romance became reality, a grueling two-year world tour threatened to fracture their fated bond. This music-filled documentary is an intimate look at the exhilaration and turmoil created by both love and fame. The Swell Season patiently observes the small gestures, the stolen moments of quiet backstage intimacy, the raw post show folk ballads sung in dark, smoky dressing rooms. Glen and Markéta wake up in strange towns, wander through cities posing for snapshots. We watch as they navigate this strange new realm of public exposure with only each other to depend on. (Seventh Art Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Feb 13, 2012
    What emerges is a poignant commentary on the uneasy commingling of love and fame.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Feb 13, 2012
    The Swell Season emerges as an incisive cut at fame's effect on the real-life music and romance of Hansard and Irglova. It's an accomplished piece of filmmaking from the trio, who are making their feature-length documentary debut.
  3. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Feb 13, 2012
    It's an eloquent summation of the complexities and strength of their bond, and a poetic cap to the pair's fictional and real ups and downs over two films.
  4. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Feb 13, 2012
    Does right by both fans and subjects.
  5. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 13, 2012
    The movie looks beautiful, its sublime b&w cinematography signaling a fading dream. And there are touching moments here that you rarely see in docs about professional musicians or celebrities in general.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 13, 2012
    As shown in this disarming and intimate documentary named after their band, the oddness of actually being sought-after was something neither was prepared for.
  7. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Feb 13, 2012
    Swell never really gathers momentum, remaining a collection of moments, some more privileged than others.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 28, 2013
    Raw love, affection, and romance is thriving in "The Swell Season." While familiarity with the content helps the film progress, it is hard not to appreciate the lyrics and melody that is introduced with each song. Expand