Monday, February 25, 2008

Falling Slowly

Awards shows don't make me cry. Lots of things make me cry. But not superficial celebrities.

Last night, watching the Oscars, I cried.

The sheer joy and awe at performing his song at the Oscars that shone out of Glen Hansard's face moved me to tears. And the giddy yet shy smile on Marketa Irglova's face while she was playing piano and singing fairly shouted, Can you believe this?! We're really here. Doing this! Wow!, while at the same time it conveyed her obviously sweet and earnest disposition.

The song was amazing. So perfectly said and beautiful. So hopeful. So right. Sung so passionately. And played on that obviously much-loved guitar that Hansard plays. Oh! It just all made me so happy. It was just so right. My joy at their winning Best Song made me clap and do a little dance where I sat. I mean really! I can't imagine better people winning. It's such a redeeming moment for genuine artists, a group of like-minded friends could create a work of art, a movie, and put it out there and have it lead to genuine recognition for their efforts.

As a writer and as the wife of a talented and hard-working musician, the friend of many other working artists in various genres, it gave me great hope that real art created by real, thinking, feeling individuals (as opposed to song-writing hacks hired by studios and labels to throw some words and notes on a page and hand them to some hand-picked pop-tart and mashed together with ProTools and pitch correction software) is still being recognized at that level.

Yay for the little man and woman!

I also loved both of their speeches and I swear...Jon Stewart will now and forever have a special place in my heart for bringing Marketa Irglova back on stage to give her acceptance speech after being cut off by the producers. And I daresay, hers was one of the finest, most inspiring speeches I've ever heard given on an awards broadcast. In fact, I was so moved by it that I want to share it with you in case you did not see it yourself:

Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just to prove 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. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along the way. Thank you

Irglova also wins double-Dawn points by using one of my all time favorite Irish expressions, fair play, which basically means congratulations.

And just because his speech was pretty special too, here's what Hansard had to say in his speech:

Thanks! This is amazing. What are we doing here? This is mad. We made this film two years ago. We shot on two Handicams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand. We never thought we would come into a room like this and be in front of you people. It's been an amazing thing. Thanks for taking this film seriously, all of you. It means a lot to us. Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all the people who've helped us, they know who they are, we don't need to say them. This is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks.

Of course, it's all just made better for me by the fact that Hansard is Irish, Once was shot in Dublin, and I'm a sucker for Irishmen.


Wendy said...

I loved their win as well, and got all verklempt when Jon Stewart acted like such a mensch and brought Marketa Irglova back out to have her moment in the sun.

Suz said...

I loved Marion Cotillard! I was rooting for her, although I saw all of the movies from which actresses were nominated, because she was simply amazing as Edith Piaf. I thought she was so authentic on Oscar night.

I, too, loved Jon Stewart for bringing Irglova back out. Just before that, I was ranting and raving to D: "OH, of COURSE, the woman doesn't get to talk! Dammit!" I found it very refreshing to be wrong!