Oscar 2012 Predictions: Best Original Song

While my feelings on the Best Original Song nominees (and my disappointment in the lack of songs nominated) are pretty clear, the two songs that have been nominated do tap into those universal feelings of figuring out who you truly are and where you truly belong. And come Sunday, February 26th, one of these songs will be an Academy Award winner.

As we get closer to the big day, we here at FSR wanted to take a moment to give the nominees a final look and make our predictions on what should happen along with what we think will happen.

Read on for the nominations and my predicted winner in red

“Real in Rio” from Rio, Music by Sergio Mendes & Carlinhos Brown; Lyrics by Siedah Garrett 

Why It Was Nominated:

While this nomination seems slightly random for a film (let alone it’s music) that did not get too much recognition when it came out last year, the fact that the Academy felt it was worthy of a nomination means there was something there worth noting. The song does tap into the Brazilian vibe of Rio and does so in a fun and catchy way that fits a film about a bird named Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and his adventure back to Rio de Janeiro after accidentally ending up in Moose Lake, Minnesota. “Real In Rio” is light and enjoyable while still utilizing bright instrumentation and lyrics you can sing along to.

Why It Might Win:

The Academy has never shied away from songs from animated films (awarding “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 the Oscar last year) and lyricist Garrett has been recognized by the Academy once before for “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls. “Real In Rio” succeeds in lacing strong vocals from its leads in with the catchy chorus and the authentic Brazilian styled instrumentation. The song also stays true to the fact that the leads in Rio are birds (with their chirping opening the track) while also highlighting the musical talent of those voicing the characters with verses from Eisenberg, Anne HathawayJamie Foxx, George Lopez, and will.i.am all featured on the track.

Why It Might Not Win:

While “Real In Rio” is a decent song, it seems more catchy than innovative. Pitted against “Man or Muppet,” it is simply the weaker choice between the two.

Previous Nominations: Mendes & Brown: 0; Garrett: 1

Previous Wins: 0

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Music and Lyrics by Bret McKenzie

Why It Was Nominated:

Music has always been an important part of the world of the Muppets and their return to the big screen not only brought us back Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of their motley crew, but it also gave us new songs that stayed in tune with The Muppets while bringing a fresh sound to their return. McKenzie is best known for his work on Flight of the Conchords (and has the Grammy wins to prove it) and his experience creating songs that are fun and catchy while still being meaningful made him the perfect fit here.

Why It Might Win:

“Man or Muppet” is not just a song; it tells a lyrical story that gets to the heart of The Muppets while still keeping those tongue-in-cheek moments that have kept the Muppets entertaining for both children and adults over the years. The song has the epic grander that fit the climactic scene it was featured in and had audiences singing (and questioning) whether they were a man or a muppet as they left the theater. If you were to ask people to name one of the songs that stood out to them from the films released last year, “Man or Muppet” would probably top many people’s lists and if the Academy is looking to reflect film in 2011, they would be remiss to vote over this choice.

Why It Might Not Win:

The demand for Muppets at the Oscars this year (between the Twitter campaign to have them fill in as host to the backlash at not having them perform) may have left the Academy members with a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to all things Muppet. While McKenzie has never been nominated before, Garrett has and with the Academy’s history of awarding those they are already comfortable with, McKenzie’s slightly quirky style and first time nomination may end up working against him here.

Previous Nominations: 0

Previous Wins: 0

Complete Academy Awards Coverage


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