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Monday, February 25, 2008

Once Again

Wow! As I drank my first cup of coffee and ate a bowl of cereal I started my day by watching selected portions of last night’s Oscars (thank you once again to the fine folks at TiVo as I was suffering for Jesus at a Foo Fighters show last night—more to come on that). My wife was very excited to sit with me and take in what she had already viewed through my eyes. I knew it was going to be good when she said, “I cannot wait to show you this.”

Tahni and I both fell in love with the film, “Once” and have both been anxiously awaiting the results of the nominations since, “Falling Slowly” was announced as a nominee for, “Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song).” [sidenote: this movie should have been nominated in multiple categories but that’s another story for another day].

They said it couldn't be done. I mean, after all, over the years the Academy has absolutely loved Disney (as we all do) and “Once” was up for an award in a category with 3 songs from “Enchanted” (all amazing songs by the way).

Oh, but they did it!

When Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova stepped up to receive the award I cried. Their faces were glowing. Beaming. Hansard’s speech was an inspiration and a model of grace and humility.

All artists should watch his speech and take note. (especially all Christian artists who don’t know how to receive praise but rather point one finger in the air and say “it’s all Jesus—not me” but that’s another story for another day). He could have said anything in that cool Irish brogue and I would have loved it but this dude is cool and I want to have lunch with him. Seriously.

Hansard said, “ . . . we shot on Handycams. It took us three weeks to make. We made it for a hundred grand . . . this is amazing. Make art. Make art. Thanks” No, thank YOU Mr. Hansard.

When Marketa Irglova stepped up to the microphone, the music started and cut her off. I literally jumped out of my chair and shouted, “no!” My wife said . . . “just wait.”

Then, in an unprecedented move, John Stewart brought her back after the commercial to give her the platform she deserved to give her acceptance speech. Thank you, John Stewart for the classy move that made the day of independent musicians all across this world.

I love this 19-year-old Czech girl. She is charming and talented and a breath of fresh air. Having spent a few weeks in the Czech Republic and having an affinity for the country makes it that much more special for me.

She quietly and unpretentiously—with not one ounce of the affectation we have become accustomed to— stepped up to the mic for her second shot at a speech and said,

The fact that we're standing here tonight, the fact that we're able to hold this, it's just proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible . . . and, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream, and don't give up. This song was written from the perspective of hope, and hope, at the end of the day, connects us all, no matter how different we are.

Bravo. Well done.

See this movie. Buy the soundtrack. But, do yourself a favor and watch the movie before you listen to the soundtrack. I took this advice and it worked well for me.

(photo by Getty Images)