We didn't watch the Oscars because we hadn't seen any of the movies and didn't really care. (I know, we're supposed to care about the Coen Brothers and Diablo Cody, since they're all from Minnesota, and we will, as soon as we see their movies.) And then on Monday morning Doug was reading the paper and he said, "Hey, we did see an Oscar winner!"
It was "Once," a great little independent Irish film that we had rented from Netflix a few months ago. It's a charming movie about a busker on Grafton Street who also repairs vacuum cleaners, and his friendship with a young Czech woman with a busted Hoover. Do you think you could fix it? she asks, while he's standing there playing his battered old guitar, trying to make a few coins.
Oh, yeah, sure, he says. And in the next scene there she is, bumping the old vacuum down Grafton Street behind her like a dog on a leash.
Anyway, it's a modest, charming film, made for only $100,000. And one of its songs--"Falling Slowly"--was nominated for Best Song. And it won.
The actors/singers/songwriters, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, leaped onto the stage, beaming from ear to ear, and Glen hollered out a heart-felt "Tanks!" in his best Dublin accent, and then said thank you again, this time in Irish. Go raibh míle mile maith agat.
It was, I think, one of those classic Oscar moments. I saw it only on YouTube, but it was mentioned everywhere--in the New York Times and the Irish Times and the L.A. Times and all kinds of other papers as well. The ebullience and the sincerity and the thrill. "What are we doin' here? This is mad!" Glen Hansard said, looking out at the crowd with something like wonder.
The music cut them off just as Marketa was about to speak, but Jon Stewart brought her back out, alone, after the commercial break. "Enjoy your moment!" he told her.
"Fair play to those who dare to dream," she said, in Czech-accented Irish idiom.
Here they are, performing the song. I love the way they look at each other, with such happiness. What are we doin' here? And I love that he's playing that same ancient hole-y guitar he played in the movie.
And here they are, accepting the award. You just can't help but smile.
2 hours ago