Update: The executive committee of the music branch weighs in: “Falling Slowly” is, as ever, a legitimate nominee. The official statement from chairman Charles Bernstein:
“The Academy’s music branch executive committee has met and endorsed the validity of ‘Falling Slowly’ as a nominated achievement. The committee relied on written assurances and detailed chronologies provided by songwriter of ‘Falling Slowly’, the writer-director of Once and Fox Searchlight.”
“The genesis of the picture was unusually protracted, but director John Carney and songwriter Glen Hansard were working closely together in 2002 when the project that became Once was discussed. ‘Falling Slowly’ began to be composed, but the actual script and financing for the picture was delayed for several years, during which time Mr. Hansard and his collaborator Marketa Irglova played the song in some venues that were deemed inconsequential enough to not change the song’s eligibility.”
And there goes your Oscar, Disney. Eat it.
After the inexplicable exclusion of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, the last-second ineligibility of Jonny Greenwood’s score from There Will Be Blood and the snubbing of Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild songs in favor of three tracks from Enchanted, does it really surprise you to learn that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might be on the verge of fucking up yet again?
When The New York Times‘ David Carr reported on Saturday that “Falling Slowly”, the lovely Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova ballad from Once, was in danger of being ruled ineligible post-nomination, I immediately suspected shenanigans and a quick denial from the AMPAS. As Kris Tapley points out at Red Carpet District, this matter was dealt with months ago; though “Falling Slowly” was included on an LP released prior to Once‘s theatrical debut, that isn’t a violation of the Academy’s rules in and of itself. So what’s the snag? Apparently, the veracity of Hansard’s claim that he wrote “Falling Slowly” specifically for the film has come into question.
And just who would gain from nagging the Academy about what seems to be a baseless accusation? There are only two other films up for the award. Shouldn’t be hard to figure out.
The AMPAS awfully tardy decision on this matter is due today, so I’ll update once we know whether the only deserving nominee in this category will actually have a shot at winning. Given the AMPAS’ track record this year, I’m not too upbeat on this one.