'Once' Getting the Once Over

"FALLING Slowly," the Oscar nominated song by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the hugely successful Irish film Once, may be ruled ineligible for the nomination. According to Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor and Publisher journal, the song appeared on two albums before the movie came out, which is strongly disapproved of by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.But the question is, was the song written for the movie first and then ended up on CDs as the film made its slow way to release? Mitchell acknowledged that Hansard was definitely asked to write original songs for the movie, but whether "Falling Slowly" was one of them is not yet known for sure. The song appears on two 2007 CDs by Hansard, the star of the film.The first recording is by his band the Frames, and the other is on the duet album he made with his co-star in the film, Marketa Iglova, titled The Swell Season. The song is up against three songs from Disney's musical Enchanted in addition to "Raise It Up" from August Rush, which stars Irish actor Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and was directed by Kirsten Sheridan.The relevant language from the Academy rules states, "An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film." It is still unclear exactly how "Falling Slowly" may have run afoul of those rules, but the music branch of the Academy will be looking into the matter with a decision expected to follow soon after."The song was written for the film," John Carney, the Irish director of Once, told The Irish Times. "Glen gave me the song for the film in 2004, but we did not shoot the film until January 2006."Meanwhile, Hansard has told the press he doesn't want to get excited about the Oscars. "I'm not supposed to care, but I do," said the singer. "I'm surprised with myself," he said. "At the end of the day, it's just a bunch of people in another country deciding whether your film is worthy or not. It's something that's arguable, whether it's worth taking to heart or not. But it's such a lovely thing when you get it."Hansard has already earned two Grammy nominations this year, and though he has spent his career in the music industry as the lead singer of the Frames, he said it's an Oscar win that would be more meaningful. "When I say to my mother that we played to 1,000 people in New York, she doesn't think they're, like, the public," Hansard added. "She gauges success on a different level. But when I told her we got the Oscar nomination, she flipped."

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