Once's 'Falling Slowly' Approved as Oscar Nominee
The one-and-only Oscar nomination for the great indie musical Once from 2007 was in the Original Song category for the song "Falling Slowly" (listen to it in this video). A couple of weeks back, after the nominations had been announced, the NY Times ran an article stating that the song "may be ruled ineligible" due to "problems with eligibility requirements." That claim was an absolute travesty, considering "Falling Slowly" deserves the Oscar win more than anything else. Thankfully the NY Times has received an update, and executive committee for the music branch of the Academy has ruled that "the song was eligible and would be on ballots that shipped tomorrow morning." Cheers to that!
Although initially I was not a big fan of Once or any of the songs from it (I saw it in my local indie theater over the summer), I have since changed my mind. Partially due to the fact that our other writer Ken Evans is a HUGE fan of Once, ranking it #10 in his 14 Best of 2007. But the primary reason why I now love the song is because it was used in the video 2007: A Year for Drama - one of the best montage videos I have ever seen. It was such a perfect score to use for the video and I've been watching it non-stop ever since.
Here is the official statement from the Academy regarding the inclusion of "Falling Slowly" as a nominee:
The Academy's music branch executive committee has met and endorsed the validity of "Falling Slowly" as a nominated achievement. The committee relied on written assurances and detailed chronologies provided by songwriter of "Falling Slowly," the writer-director of "Once" and Fox Searchlight.
The genesis of the picture was unusually protracted, but director John Carney and songwriter Glen Hansard were working closely together in 2002 when the project that became 'Once' was discussed. "Falling Slowly" began to be composed, but the actual script and financing for the picture was delayed for several years, during which time Mr. Hansard and his collaborator Marketa Irglova played the song in some venues that were deemed inconsequential enough to not change the song’s eligibility.
Apparently the original issue with the song was that it appeared on two albums before the movie actually came out. The question was whether it was written for the movie specifically, which is what determines if it can be nominated or not. The song was on two of Glen Hansard's albums, one for his band and the other for his duet album with Marketa Irglova, the other co-star in Once. It appears that after a thorough "investigation", the Academy has ruled the song eligible. Charles Bernstein, chairman of the music branch executive committee, stated about their decision:
"The first issue was satisfied by a sworn statements attesting to the fact that it was written for the film along with a chronology, and the second issue was settled by the fact that it had only been performed in Europe and the Czech Republic and not in a way that would have given it advantage or influence here."
I know I'm incredibly happy to hear that it's now eligible. I will be rooting for "Falling Slowly" come February 24th, which is quite extraordinary, considering how big of a fan I was of Enchanted, which has three separate nominations in the Original Song category. I'm sure all the Once fans out there are ecstatic, too. If this wins it will be a great day for true independent cinema, proving just how wonderful Once really is.