This is one of my favorite categories of them all. You might ask why, but only Best Original Song is the only category that has the capacity to make the snobs, conservatives and the elderly audiences cringe uncomfortably. Take 2002 and 2005 for instance. Usually people wait for commercials to head to the bathroom but when Eminem and Three-Six Mafia took the stage to receive their hardware, there was alot of movement in the crowd (and at home too, I’m sure). I think that this category is particularly important because a film can live or die due to the way it makes an audience feel. Other than imagery or dialog, the only other way to evoke strong emotions in an audience is through music. It is only when a song represents the soul of an entire film, can it be found within this category.

And the nominees are…

oscar-song01.jpgEnchanted

“Happy Working Song”
Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

“So Close”
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

“That’s How You Know”
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Three songs from Disney’s Enchanted are all nominated for Best Original Song. So what does this film have going for it? Winning an outrageous percentage of their nominations within this category, Disney is a big deal for the Academy. Since 1989’s The Little Mermaid, animated Disney films have won seven out of eleven possible times. This also might be a weakness, as it is usually animated films that have this rich winning history whereas live action Disney films have not raked in any nominations. What also might hold this film back is the fact that it is nominated for three times within the same category. Take 2006’s Dreamgirls, a film that boasted three nominations within this category, that could only muster two Oscars from categories other than this. A blessing and a curse, this highly capable film is like three puppies all fighting for the same steak dinner while a quicker neighborhood dog sneaks away with the prize.

oscar-song03.jpgOnce

“Falling Slowly”
Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

If there was one movie this year that its soundtrack alone could drive audiences to the theaters, it was Once. The film starred two musicians, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who show their talents off on the big screen in a big way. The nomination comes at no surprise for anyone who has seen the film, as the song provides the heart and soul of a fantastic film. In short, who knows if anyone would have even heard of Once if it weren’t for this song and the film’s amazing soundtrack. Normally, “Falling Slowly” would be a clear-cut winner. Due to some controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the nomination, this just might be enough negativity to taint the chances of this song being a winner. Let’s just hope that the Academy won’t hold a grudge against a film that deserves recognition.

oscar-song02.jpgAugust Rush

“Raise It Up”
Music and Lyric by Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack and Tevin Thomas

A film that turned out to be as cheesed up as its trailer, August Rush does bring us one reason to re-watch. The music of the film was mildly impressive, but is also the only thing that was remotely impressive. Can we call this a pity nomination? Maybe it was just that the academy couldn’t triple team Once, so they picked a song from “that other music filled movie.” I honestly can’t explain this one. The song is nice, but doesn’t represent the spirit of this award. In short, the movie was mediocre with the song, and still just mediocre without it.

Who’s going to win?
Once – “Falling Slowly”

Who should win?
Once – “Falling Slowly”

Who got overlooked?
The Simpsons Movie – Spider Pig


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