Of course, 2012 will probably lay claim to being the year that official broke the category. With its two nominees, none of which were particularly any good (each nominated film, The Muppets and Rio had better, worthier songs in their repertoire), everybody can tell the category is in serious need of help. There could have been a perfectly respectable roster of nominated songs this year what with tunes from The Help, Captain America, Take Shelter, Footloose, W./E. and the aforementioned nominated flicks, but because of the baffling shortlist we got on nomination morning it looks as if the category may not even exist come next year's ceremony.
And that, dear readers, would be a shame.
It would be a shame because every now and then songs do come along that feel so organic to the movie-making process that they warrant the Oscar attention. While it's true that the musical genre isn't the reigning champ in this category that it once was, music and original songs eventually become an altogether different part of the filmmaking process that the category's place still felt necessary (or, at least, as necessary as it always had - we won't go into the many other aspects of filmmaking that probably deserve a category more). Can you imagine a world in which Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia", Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and (despite my ambivalence to the film) The Swell Season's "Falling Slowly" didn't exist and weren't subsequently feted by the Academy? Music has always been so much a part of cinema that, even if some years are weaker than others, original songs do play a vital part from time to time in the way we view films. Yes, the branch throws up some questionable selections ("If I Fall" from 127 Hours?), but so does every category. In the grand scheme of things, the winner of this category ends up a worthier selection than many others.
I only bring this up because I wonder whether the category will live on long enough to honour the original songs of 2012. It's already been confirmed that Les Miserables will have an original song, and Dolly Party has provided several for the Joyful Noise soundtrack, not to mention all the others that will pop up along the way (Rock of Ages, Dorothy of Oz, Brave and many more will surely throw up viable options). One I am already in love with is "La Casa de mi Padre", from the upcoming Will Ferrell/Diego Luna/Gael Garcia Bernal comedy Casa de mi Padre. I wasn't even aware the film existed until I heard the song, performed by Christina Aguilera, and was instantly in heaven. It's a big, operatic Spanish language tune that one Twitter friend described as "free of flaws". Amen! I've basically had it on repeat since I heard it and it has certainly stemmed the increasing anticipation for Madonna's new record, out in two weeks. Written by Andrew Steele and Patrick Perez, it's the sort of track that the Academy may have spotted some genuine craft in and saw fit to nominate. You know it would make for a showstopping moment on the telecast, but performances are even more of a dying breed than nominations for this category so it seems foolhardy to hope for it.
I hope the Academy sort themselves out in regards to this category and maybe the music industry could do their bit by making so much great music that they're forced to pay attention.
To end on a chuckle, I love the Wikipedia entry for this song. Clearly written by an uber-fan, it is positively dripping with praise!
Christina Aguilera got in touch with her Latin roots on 2000’s Spanish language album Mi Reflejo, and now the chanteuse, who is of Ecuadorian heritage, is singing en espanol once more. Her new song, “La Casa” (aka “The Home”), comes from the soundtrack for the upcoming Will Ferrell movie Casa de Mi Padre, and the bilingual singer practically drowns us the melodrama yet still manages to maintain control over her incredible vocals.So much Passion! Raw Emotion! Roaring Horns! So much melodrama she SHE PRACTICALLY DROWNS, you guys! That's a lot of melodrama.
The song has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The song includes roaring horns and Aguilera emoting her trademark soul throughout the track. It is a sexy, yet melancholy Mariachi infused number. Full of passion, raw emotion, and Aguilera’s incomparable, undeniably flawless voice.