Thursday 23 May 2019

Oscar song gets 'Once' over as its eligibility is questioned

Shane Hickey

ADMINISTRATORS at the Academy Awards are to meet today in a probe to decide whether a song from the Irish film 'Once', which has been nominated for an Oscar, is eligible to win the award.

Question marks have arisen over 'Falling Slowly', which is up for the best original song award.

The questions are over whether it was written specifically for the film, as the strict rules demand.

The song was originally recorded by Frames frontman Glen Hansard and his co-star Marketa Irglova, and appeared on an album recorded by the pair entitled 'The Swell Season'. It was then re-recorded for the 2006 Frames album 'The Cost'.

However, the rules for eligibility to the Oscars dictate that "an original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film".

The rules state: "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."


Today, officials from the music branch of the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which runs the Oscars, will meet to look into the matter and it is expected that their decision will follow shortly afterwards.

The director of the film, John Carney, said that he had not got any calls from the Academy directly.

"We're all discussing that [the eligibility of the song] at the moment to get clear, exactly, and figure this out," he said.

'Falling Slowly' is up against three songs from the film 'Enchanted' and one from 'August Rush'.

While the song did feature on two albums before it was released as part of 'Once', it is likely that officials from the Academy will focus on whether the song was specifically written for the film.

Last November, Hansard gave an interview to a US film website saying that he had written the song for Carney.

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