Czech Republic celebrates an Academy Award. Beer flows for Once

I was getting teary-eyed last night when Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard received an Academy Award for their song “Falling Slowly,” which they performed in the indie hit “Once.”

Irglova is a 19-year old Czech girl from Valasske Mezirici in Moravia. Needless to say, that town is about ready to call today a national holiday, because the odds of someone from there–and someone so young–receiving an Oscar are slim to none.

I really liked the film, which is set in Dublin and featured a story of him (a struggling guitar player) and her (a struggling immigrant and a piano player). It just happens that they fall in love, which is exactly what happened to Glen and Marketa in real life.

It looks like they are having the time of their lives in LA, as reported by the NY Times today. I couldn’t be happier for them. (Toasting with a glass of Pilsner Urquell, of course)

Best destination flicks this year

I rarely see movies, so when I do make the trek to the theatre or the video store, I try to make sure it’s a good one; For me, good means well-written, well-acted and somehow intellectually stimulating. I love seeing good films about other places in the world — they don’t need to be travel-related, per se, but I love destination films. So I’m pretty chuffed that someone has come out with a list of the Top 10 travel-inspiring flicks this year. Here’s what made the list:

  • Once, set in Ireland
  • Lust, Caution, set in Shanghai and Hong Kong
  • Enchanted, set in Manhattan
  • Atonement, set in Britain during WWII
  • The Darjeeling Limited, set in India
  • Into the Wild, set throughout the continental USA and in Alaska (I’ve seen this one, by the way, and I loved it)
  • The Assassination of Jesse James, set in the midwest, but actually filmed in the beautiful Canadian foothills (where I live) (Incidentally, this film stars not only Brad Pitt but also an old-school trunk from my house that one of the producers picked up at our garage sale! I haven’t seen the movie, but humor me — does the trunk steal the show or what? Ok, I digress.)
  • Ratatouille, set in Paris
  • Elizabeth, The Golden Age, set in historic England
  • The Bourne Ultimatum, set in several different countries.

Like I said, I’ve only seen one of these, so I can’t really comment, but maybe you can?