I was truly touched by Jon Stewart's gesture of bringing Marketa Irglova back out so that she could have her share of the spotlight. Glen Hansard's speech was charming enough, but then Marketa-- who is only 19 years old and carried herself with a grace and maturity far beyond her years-- delivered this:
"The fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just proof that 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. This song was written from the perspective of hope, and hope, at the end of the day, connects us all, no matter how different we are."
How lovely. How profound. The little one can shine against the big, bad blockbuster. You only had to see the radiant Marion Cotillard to see that.
I also have to share this piece from nymag.com, back in January:
Irglova's in particular is the kind of role that rarely gets an Oscar nomination: natural, understated, and overshadowed by her tall, sensitive Irish co-star. But it wasn't easy. The inchoate, undefined connection between the two made Once a thing of frustrating beauty, and Irglova — maybe because of her lack of experience on the big screen — took a character that might have been a total cipher and made her feel completely real. When was the last time Keira Knightley had to convince as a love interest in the shackles of an unflattering haircut and a body-thwarting wardrobe so out of date that even calling it vintage would be a stretch? And can Keira sing? Or play piano? Anyone who can do both onscreen without setting off our cheese alarms deserves the Academy’s respect."