Did You Hear about the Oscar Eligibility Issues With ‘Falling Slowly’ from ‘Once’?

UPDATE: The song is officially in contention, get the details here.

There is an online surge of complaints surrounding rumors that the song “Falling Slowly” from Once, which was recently nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, may be deemed ineligible as there is question whether the song was actually written for the film. Apparently the specific rule being evaluated reads, “An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film.”

Well, this is the reason I didn’t include it on my list of Top Ten Movie Scores/Soundtracks. I noted:

If you are wondering why the soundtrack for Once (Buy it Here) is not on this list it is quite simple… The majority of the songs I actually like on that soundtrack were already available on “The Swell Season” (Buy it Here). The only song that was not that I truly love is “If You Want Me” by Marketa Irglova, which I actually like more than “Falling Slowly”. So, I did not forget about it, I just didn’t really think it counted.

On top of that I interviewed director John Carney and Once stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and had the following conversation:

How much of your personal lives seeped into the lyrics and found its way into the script? Because Glen, I read you found it different to write for a character rather than when you are writing for yourself.

Glen Hansard (GH): Yeah, I did, but I had a bunch of songs written before the film. John basically picked a bunch of songs I had written and then a few other songs he asked me to write for the movie. Once John had decided he liked my music and he liked my songs then it was easy for me to draw from the same area that I had always drawn on. So it was personal.

I noticed there are about four songs that are on the “Swell Season” CD that are also on the soundtrack. How many songs were written prior to the film and then how many were written for the film?

GH: John asked me to come up with ideas for the film and I just gave him all the songs I had lying around and apparently that was “Swell Season” and he liked a few of those songs and built scenes around a few of them. Then he would say, “I need a song for the scene were Mara walks down the street,” which Mara wrote for him. I need a couple songs for the studio scenes, I need a song called “Once”, so we basically came up with five or six songs for the characters in the film.

So, you see, I think the Academy, as much as we love to hate ‘em, may be in the right here.

For my full interview with Carney, Hansard and Irglová click here.

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