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February 20, 2011

Notes From BIFF 2011: For Once In My Life. ~ René Cousineau

Shot of For Once In My Life from the BIFF program

I had already been crying all day.

First, I cried while watching The Last Lions, a film that I predicted I wouldn’t even like. Then, while watching Bag It! the images of dying sea turtles sent me right back into a tear-filled tizzy. I took a break and had lunch with my boyfriend, and cried again while explaining the plot of The Last Lions—just as I had done the night before while describing the final scene of The Last Circus.

And then I went to see For Once In My Life, and while this is the film that got my waterworks going at full blast, it was really refreshing because they were (mostly) tears of joy. For Once In My Life follows the Spirit of Goodwill band in Miami led by Javier Pena (who was there in person after the show!). The band, which is awesome by the way, is composed of several employees of South Florida Goodwill Industries. They all have their own unique disabilities, and their own unique stories about living with such things as autism, blindness, down syndrome etc. These stories are all incredible, and the people are too. And the band is too!

The film culminates in the Spirit of Goodwill Band playing to a giant crowd at the U.S. Mayor’s Convention. I’ll just say that my own crowd, the one sitting in the First United Methodist Church last night, gave an applause just as uproarious as the one in the film. For Once In My Life has this wonderful, infectious energy. It was a fantastic movie to watch with a group of others.

I felt really good when I walked out of there.

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.

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