Oscar Nominations Best Original Song The Saga at Once

David Dutten is sheriff of Ogden Marsh, a picture-perfect American. But one night, one of them comes to a school baseball game with a loaded shotgun, ready to kill. Another man burns down his own house, after locking his wife and young son in a closet inside. Something is infecting the citizens of Ogden Marsh — with insanity. In an effort to keep the madness contained, the government uses deadly force to close off all access and won’t let anyone in or out — even those uninfected. The few still sane find themselves trapped: Forced to band together, an ordinary night becomes a horrifying struggle for survival as they do their best to get out of town alive.

Anyone who has grown up in Ireland within the last ten years will be aware of The Frames. Love them or hate them, there has been no escaping their particular brand of music. 2007 saw frontman Glen Hansard take to the big screen performing as the unnamed busker/hoover repairman in John Carney’s ‘Once’. Credit where credit’s due, the film took audiences on a romantic, yet realistic, tour of modern Dublin, something few Irish films have successfully managed to do (remember Goldfish memory?). The accompanying soundtrack to the film, performed by Hansard and co-star Markéta Irglová, only served to heighten the Dublin experience as viewers watched on.

On the 22nd of January, it was announced that the song ‘Falling Slowly’ had been nominated for the Oscar: Best Original Song. One week later, the validity of the nomination was called into question when it was confirmed that the song first appeared on ‘The Swell Season’, a 2006 album recorded by the Hansard/Irglová and  re-recorded for the Frames album ‘The Cost’ (2006). Oscar rules state that “The work must be the result of a creative interaction between the filmmaker(s) and the composer(s) or songwriter(s) who have been engaged to work directly on the film.” This same rule saw ‘The Godfather’ soundtrack pulled from the list of 1972 Oscar nominees when it was discovered that the film’s love theme was used by its composer Nino Rota in another film, 1958’s ‘Fortunella’. Similarly this year, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s score to P.T Anderson’s ‘There will be Blood’ was deemed ineligible. 

Today, the Academy confirmed that ‘Falling Slowly’ is eligible for nomination. The decision was reached based on chronologies produced by its writer Hansard which show that both he and director Carney were working closely on the project back in 2002 with delays in production due to financing.

‘Once’ can be seen at the Screen Tuesday February 19th as part of the 2008 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.