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The Swell Season
The pop/rock duo made their first recording, The Swell Season, in 2006. This was just after the release of the Frames' sixth CD, The Cost. Hansard and Irglová also appeared as working-class immigrants in the popular Irish movie, Once, which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. The following year, they won an Oscar, the Academy Award for Best Song for the movie's hit single, "Falling Slowly,". Hansard became the first Irish-born person to win in that category. Irglová became the first Czech woman to win an Oscar, and at age 19, she is the youngest person to win an Oscar in a musical category. The Swell Season became famous as a result. The soundtrack recording, Once: Music from the Motion Picture went gold in February 2008. They went on tour and performed to sold-out crowds in many countries.
During the tour, Hansard and Irglová began dating. Hansard said, "I had been falling in love with her for a long time, but I kept telling myself she's just a kid". Hansard and Irglová also recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" for the movie I'm Not There in 2007. In 2009, Hansard said that he and Irglova were no longer romantically linked, and that they are now "good friends."
Hansard and Irglová performed the song live on the Oscar broadcast at Los Angeles' Kodak Theater on February 24, 2008. When they went on stage to receive their awards, her acceptance speech was stopped by the orchestra's music cue to leave the stage. Host Jon Stewart asked her back to deliver her speech following the commercial break. Ceremony director Gil Cates said the early cue was an accident.
She said: “Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the 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. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.”