Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hope trumps experience!

Hope just beat out experience. And no, I'm not talking about Obama and Clinton. I'm talking about the Academy Award win for the song "Falling Slowly" by two people who came from nowhere to overtake the wonderful composer and lyricist who were represented by three of the five nominated songs.

In any other year, the first, second, and third place finishers in that category would clearly have been Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. I felt strongly that Schwartz had been robbed at the Tony awards when the brilliant and quirky songs from Avenue Q beat out his music and lyrics for Wicked, and Menken stole my heart with his lovely songs for numerous Disney musicals. But even with three nominations, this is not the year for the tried and true. This is the year of the upstart.

Once is a remarkably moving little film, heavy with music composed and performed by the two stars of the film, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. It was shot on a budget of $100,000, which makes it not low-budget but micro-budget. It's about two people who find hope and love through their shared passion for music. In the film, the two never consummate their attraction. In real life, however, the lead actors fell in love and wrote their own love story off screen, falling in love during the course of the shoot.

Tonight, Hansard and Irglová, performed their song at the Oscars, and stole not just our hearts, but the Oscar right out from under the other deserving nominees. How could they not, with lyrics like these?
Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now
Their acceptance speech time ran out after only Glen had a chance to speak. After the commercial break, host Jon Stewart invited Markéta on to say her piece, and she delivered perhaps the most eloquent speech of the evening:
… no matter how far out your dreams are, its possible. … 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.
Hansard and Irglová's win was a triumph for all those who dare to dream, who say Yes, we can. Let's hope that trend continues. I know my own hope has been dampened by experience for too long. It's time to let some of that light shine through us all again.

Pursue your own dreams. Never give up. Never stop hoping. Go out and make yourself a miracle. Yes, you can.


Blogger Dawn Meredith said...

Great song, great performance by them. The theme last night seemed to be hope.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon Stewart inviting her to come back out and speak was probably the best moment of the night.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. Great post. I am new to this blog and have really enjoyed the two things I have read thus far.

8:22 PM  

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