25 February 2008

Falling slowly, sing your melody

The best part of the Oscars last night for me? "Falling Slowly" from Once winning the Best Song award. I saw this movie months ago, on a Summer Friday, when I was recently broken-hearted-- and those hours sitting in the darkened theater by myself made me have glimpses of a feeling I could scarcely identify: hope.Not hope that I would love again-- I'm dramatic, but not inclined to have that sort of epiphany from a film. More that beauty is possible in a world that often seems anything but. Or that real connection is possible. Or that fleeting encounters can be significant enough to be remembered for a lifetime.
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:
"If Once had been a big Hollywood film, it would have starred a frumped-up Mandy Moore opposite some clown like John Mayer, and the movie would have culminated in a crowd-pleasing, macchiato-flavored kiss after a chance (but how you’d been hoping for it!) encounter at the local Starbucks. Instead, John Carney delivered a microbudget indie musical that charmed its way into box-office semi-gold based on its sweet, subtle soundtrack; its unresolved but poetic ending; and the wry performances of its unknown leads, singer Glen Hansard (of the Frames) and Czech neophyte Marketa Irglova.
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."


Katelin said...

Loved her speech, so glad she got to come back out.

Chele said...

it was nice of Jon Stewart to let her say the thank you´s, I always feel this tad embarassement when they que music when people talk.
Falling slowly has been playing on my ipod for the past 3 months, I am so in love with hat song. I yet have to see the movie, but I cant wait.

Alya said...

I thought it was nice of Jon too! It was my favorite Oscar speech this year. It came from the heart, was delivered beautifully, and was full of meaning.

I'm so glad I found someone who agrees with me.

And completely true nymag's review. Had it been a Hollywood film, it would have been some cheesy romantic big-hype thing that in the end dissapoints its anticipators.