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Director: John Carney
Starring: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
Why: Has there been any movie musical or movie this century that completely won you over by the power of the songs themselves? (Please don't say "Frozen." Please.) John Carney found two non-traditional actors for his romance set in the streets of Dublin, which he wrote around the duo's compositions. Hansard and Irglova make up what they lack in traditional acting skills with genuine chemistry and a slew of original songs that charmed not only moviegoers, but the Academy ("Falling Slowly" won the Best Original Song Oscar in 2008). The film's story and music is so transcendent that it was fashioned into a Broadway musical that won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2012.
- Gregory Ellwood