Falling Slowly in Love with the Oscars

February 27th, 2008

As I sit here in class…being a responsible student who is paying attention, of course…I started thinking about the ever entertaining, and political, Academy Awards that took place Sunday night. I love Hollywood award shows, I think they’re fantastic. Not only do I get to see some incredible fashion on the red carpet, loved Katherine Heigl’s dress by the way, but I alsoget a chance to see how movies are honored. And, of course, I get to watch more movie montages than even YouTube can offer (you know it’s bad when Jon Stewart introduces one that focuses on the use of binoculars in movies, and even worse, a one on bees, yes, those little bugs that sting…).

Even with all its flaws, the Oscars have always fascinated me. There is an air of old Hollywood glamor surrounding it that other events cannot seem to emulate. It is not just the idea that Tinseltown dresses their absolute best and is on their best behavior, there is a certain magic that is connected to the Academy Awards. Even if they are “political,” these awards are held in all regard above others, with the others serving as previews of what might possibly happen at the biggest award show of the year. Critics look to the other award shows, like the Golden Globes, to indicate what will happen at the Oscars. Every other show is just a small step along the way to the biggest night in Hollywood, and that’s what I love about the Academy Awards. I love the idea that, for a night, Hollywood stops and holds its breath as those envelopes are opened. It’s a night that brings the entire movie making business together, regardless of animosities and such; a night that allows Hollywood to really feel the excitement of the big screen.

One of my absolute favorite parts of the Oscars has got to be when they cover the music in the movies. I love seeing the nominated songs being performed live onstage. This year was no exception; with three songs from Enchanted, one of my favorites from August Rush, and the last from a small Irish Indie flick called Once. Before the night started, I had never heard of this film or the featured song, but once I heard the song, Falling Slowly, being performed, I instantly fell in love with it.

Falling Slowly, performed by the movie’s stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, caught my attention with its quirky and folksy melody and lyrics. I loved the movie Juno and this song kind of reminded of the music from that. The song instantly relaxes the mind, and soul, and within seconds I found myself swaying in time with it. It is one of those songs that has so many flaws that, in the end, it turns out to be perfect and nothing else should be done to it. No other tweeks should be made and no other artists could make it sound so gorgeous. I loved how Hansard and Irglova performed their song in a way that did not detract from the song. The songs for Enchanted and August Rush both had some type of choreography added in and felt like big musical numbers. I felt that this approach took some of the beauty away from these songs; they felt commercialized to me, almost like they had gone too far. I love that Hansard and Irglova just got up onstage and performed their song. It was just them, a grand piano (played by Irglova), a well loved acoustic guitar (played by Hansard) and the Oscar set. Their song didn’t need some big dance sequence, it spoke well enough for itself. In one word, Falling Slowly is just beautiful. No other way to describe it. Beautiful. And you know what made it even more beautiful? The fact that this little Indie song, not some big Disney number, took home the Oscar for Best Original Song. 🙂

Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova