Friday, December 18, 2009

The Long Original Song Short List

At this time of the year I usually compile a series of links to allow all you readers out there to listen to all (or most) of the eligible songs for the Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards. Other places feature some songs, the ones most likely to be in the hunt for nominations, but I sought out the original songs from titles such as 56 Drops of Blood (exactly), but nobody ever seemed to give me credit so I won't do it again. It's too much work for, literally, no return.

At 63 contenders, this year's list is four longer than 2007 and fourteen longer than 2008. This year has quite a few musicals with original songs, which immediately puts them at the top of the queue. I think we can instantly drop Hannah Montana: The Movie from the running though, especially since "The Climb" wasn't deemed eligible and, thus, isn't on the longlist alongside "Back to Tennessee", "Hoedown Throwdown" and others. I've never mentioned it on here, but I have a bit of soft spot for "The Climb" and quietly wanted it to be nominated. Oh well. "Throwdown" would be the closest thing this category is getting to a "hit" being nominated, which is sad and frightening.

Rob Marshall's Broadway adaptation Nine has two contenders; "Take it All" and "Cinema Italiano". I'd wager that both will be nominated, but sadly if only one makes it will probably be "Cinema Italiano". I like that song, performed by Kate Hudson, but "Take It All" is a stunner and Marion Cotillard performs her arse off (that is a good thing) during it. I haven't seen the movie, but the audio of it leaked a while back and gosh I hope Cotillard gets up on that Oscar stage to perform it. That would go a long way to making up for the travesty that is La vie en rose, yes?

Crazy Heart, a film starring Jeff Bridges as a country musician, has two contenders from a much larger list of original songs from within the film. "The Weary Kind" is an obvious contender, but after the snubbing of Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" who really knows? At least "The Weary Kind" is featured within the film and not merely as a credit closer.

"Down in New Orleans" is apparently the big gun from Disney's traditionally-animated The Princess and the Frog, but with three other songs on the list of eligible tracks, I wouldn't be surprised to see another make it. I haven't seen it yet (out on 1 January) and haven't heard any of the songs.

Some other interesting inclusions was a song called "AyAyAyAy" from Chilean domestic sociopath film The Maid (a movie I feel I underestimated when I saw it at MIFF in August). I don't remember the song, but it's cool that it's in there. "Petey's Song" from Fantastic Mr Fox was a hoot and I'm glad Jarvis Cocker make the list. "Dove of Peace" from Bruno is another one that has me smiling even if I know it hasn't a chance in hell of being nominated. Can you imagine having the likes of Bono and Elton John on stage performing it alongside Bruno himself? I like Lykke Li's "Possibility" from New Moon too (fact: the soundtrack is actually very good!), but the prospect of anything Twilight-related being Oscar-nominating makes me feel unwell. The prospect of Karen O, however, being an Oscar nominee (for "All is Love" from Where the Wild Things Are) is delicious. I don't remember either of the songs from Dr Parnassus either, is that bad? "Trust Me" from The Informant! was funny and "Stu's Song" from The Hangover? It will fall to the wayside ala "Dracula's Lament" from last year's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Such is life.

Lastly, I'd like to pat myself on the back for correctly querying whether Mary J Blige's "I Can See in Color" was even in Precious long enough to qualify. The track didn't show up on the AMPAS press release so I imagine it did not and was ineligible. Here's hoping the likes of Paul McCartney and U2 don't get nominated just for existing like they did at the Golden Globes!

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