Some big-name rock stars were expected to receive music-related Academy Award nominations on January 22, including Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, the man behind the astonishing score for Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, and Eddie Vedder, who composed original songs for the Sean Penn-helmed flick Into the Wild. However, both came up empty: As noted in this article, Greenwood's work was ruled ineligible because of a technicality, while Vedder simply got the Heisman instead of an Oscar nod.
Fortunately, the Frames' Glen Hansard, who's at the center of the gorgeous musical romance titled Once, proved more fortunate. "Falling Slowly," which he wrote with his Once, co-star, Markéta Irglová, is one of five tunes in the running for a Best Song trophy -- a prospect he considered in a wide-ranging and fascinating Westword Q&A initially published in November.
Here's how Hansard responded when he was asked if a nomination would shock him:
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Oh Jesus! In terms of how shocked I’d be, I’d be very, very, very fucking shocked. (Laughs.) But to be honest with you, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but any award ceremony, you have to be a little dubious about. You have to be, you have to be. This isn’t a sport. Moviemaking isn’t a sport. It’s not like the best team wins. Art is a very, very subjective thing. You can’t say that Fitzcarraldo as a movie is better than The Seventh Seal. You just can’t. And yet, awards and competition in the cinema is something people accept. People accept the idea of the chart, too, and just because one record sells more than another, it doesn’t make it better. So I have to say I’m not entirely convinced about the idea. I mean, the only reason I’d want to be nominated for something like that would be for my mother.
How much would it mean to her? Hansard elaborated with delight:
My mother would fucking love that! I’d get her over and she’d spend loads of money on an outfit and she’d sit there and she’d really, really love it. But for me personally, and I don’t mean this in any kind of throwaway way, but the success of the film so far has been way beyond my dreams. And I’m absolutely fucking floored that this film has done so well, especially in America. So for me, Oscar nomination, no Oscar nomination: It doesn’t really matter. It would be a gas to play on the Oscars. It’d be fucking great fun to play that song on the Oscars, because my mother would think I was the fucking shit!
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Of course, there's a very good chance this heartwarming scene won't happen. Given the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America, the annual Oscar telecast, slated for February 24, may be picketed if it goes on at all -- and it's hard to imagine a hardscrabble type like Hansard crossing the line clad in a tuxedo. So come on, Hollywood big shots, and solve this dispute. Otherwise, you'll break an Irish mother's heart on what should be the proudest moment of her life. -- Michael Roberts