Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: Falling Slowly
I received the DVD of the movie Once as a Christmas gift last year from a dear friend, who knew I had tried to see it in the theatres when it came out but never could manage the time - the recommendations came to me from too many directions to ignore...
My daughter and I watched it together soon afterwards (my second viewing, her first) and there is a scene in which the male character begins playing this song and encourages the female character to chime in on piano and vocal accompaniments - Sarah looked at me and said, "yeah, sure... what are the chances of that happening?".
I dreamily gazed back at her and proudly said, "in my world, that happens all the time"... and I experienced a rush of memories of songswaps and house concerts and campfires in which I was privy to people who had never before met sharing songs and intuitively adding instrumentation and voices, with angelic results - I cannot verbalize enough how truly blessed I am to run in circles of magic and harmony...
The nomination of "Falling Slowly" for the best original song Oscar was questioned because of the different versions previously released on The Cost and The Swell Season. The AMPAS music committee determined that, in the course of the film's protracted production, the composers had "played the song in some venues that were deemed inconsequential enough to not change the song’s eligibility". "Falling Slowly" won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The soundtrack was nominated for two 2008 Grammy Awards, under Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and, for "Falling Slowly", Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. It won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and it was ranked at number two on the Entertainment Weekly 25 New Classic Soundtrack Albums list (1983–2008).
Glen and Marketa's 2007 Academy Award acceptance speeches:
Glen Hansard: "Thanks! This is amazing. What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two Handycams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It's been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who've helped us, they know who they are, we don't need to say them. This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks."
Marketa Irglova: "Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don't give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you."