This Sunday will see the 91st Academy Awards aka The Oscars, and Carlow has more Oscar connections than you might think. Let’s take a closer look at some of Carlow’s Oscar Contenders in the lead up to the big night…
So let’s start with the most obvious – Saoirse Ronan. Raised in Carlow, Ronan attended Ardattin National School and when she was just 13 years old she was nominated for her first Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress) for her role in ‘Atonement‘ in 2008.
Ronan has been nominated twice since – in 2016 for ‘Brooklyn‘ (Best Actress) and in 2018 for ‘Lady Bird‘ (Best Actress).
Next on our list is GB Shaw, the first person to win both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award (Bob Dylan is the only other person who has won both). Shaw wrote many plays over the course of his lifetime, and his play ‘Pygmalion‘ was adapted into a screenplay – twice!
The first was in 1938 when ‘Pygmalion’ was remade for the silver screen, and Shaw won an Oscar for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay‘.
Then in 1964 ‘Pygmalion’ was adapted again, this time retitled as ‘My Fair Lady‘. This film became an awards juggernaut – it was nominated for 12 Oscars and won 8, including ‘Best Picture‘. The film was nominated for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ but unfortunately didn’t win this time around!
GB Shaw’s mother, Lucinda Gurly, was from Carlow and Shaw donated various properties to Carlow for the benefit of Carlow people. The George Bernard Shaw Theatre in Carlow is named in his honour.
Granny O’ Grimm
Kathleen O’ Rourke from Ballyhide, Carlow, was the writer and voice of ‘Granny O’ Grimm‘, a short animated film about Granny O’Grimm, a seemingly sweet old lady who loses the plot as she tells her version of Sleeping Beauty to her terrified grandchild.
‘Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’ received an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Animated Short Film‘ at the 2008 Academy Awards.
Kathleen very kindly donated some items from her trip to the Oscars, and they are on display in the museum in our “Arts and Entertainment” display.