Monday, December 26, 2011

Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song

Oscar nominations are now less than a month away, it’s time to start looking at categories in detail to offer final predictions. Since the many of the categories will end up having finalists, it’s best to begin with those that have already been whittled down to those ultimately eligible. Therefore, categories may be presented in an unconventional order, but fear not, we’ll get to them all before Oscar nominations are announced on January 24th.

Last year’s nominees: Coming Home (Country Strong), I See the Light (Tangled), If I Rise (127 Hours), We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)

Likely contenders:
"Lay Your Head Down” (Albert Nobbs)
"Star Spangled Man” (Captain America: The First Avenger)
"Collision of Worlds” (Cars 2)
"Rainbird” (Dirty Girl)
"Where the River Goes” (Footloose)
"Hello Hello” (Gnomeo & Juliet)
"Bridge of Light” (Happy Feet Two)
"The Mighty Sven” (Happy Feet Two)
"The Living Proof” (The Help)
"Coeur Volant” (Hugo)
"The Keeper” (Machine Gun Preacher)
"Life's a Happy Song” (The Muppets)
"Man or Muppet” (The Muppets)
"Pictures in My Head” (The Muppets)
"Sparkling Day” (One Day)
"Hot Wings” (Rio)
"Shelter” (Take Shelter)
"Gathering Stories” (We Bought a Zoo)
"Think You Can Wait” (Win Win)
"The Backson Song” (Winnie the Pooh)
"So Long” (Winnie the Pooh)

The rundown: This category is comprised of 39 original songs selected by AMPAS. As I usually do, I’ve created a YouTube playlist featuring as many of them as I was able to find, which you’ll find embedded below. I’m missing only 6, and if you happen to find the missing ones, do let me know, but they’re obscure enough that they don’t stand much of a chance. An important statistic about this category is that, with the exception of “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” in 2009, the Golden Globe winner has gone on to not even be nominated for an Oscar since 2003. Similarly, the eventual Oscar winner wasn’t even nominated for a Golden Globe in each of those cases. The only Globe tune not eligible for Oscar is Madonna’s “Masterpiece” from “W.E.” Last year, this category only had four nominees, which could well happen again. I think that Sinead O’Connor’s “Lay Your Head Down” (Albert Nobbs) is the surest bet, and Mary J. Blige’s “The Living Proof” (The Help) is looking pretty good too. “The Muppets” is almost guaranteed to make an appearance, and I’ll hedge my bets on “Life’s a Happy Song,” though the other two could easily accompany it. While Golden Globe nominees “Hello, Hello” (Gnomeo and Juliet) and “The Keeper” (Machine Gun Preacher) may well get nominated, I’d keep an eye out for Pink’s surprisingly calm and melodic “Bridge of Light” (Happy Feet Two) or “Collision of Worlds” (Cars 2), as well as “Star Spangled Man” (Captain America: The First Avenger) or the lovely French “Coeur Volant” (Hugo). I can’t imagine that either of the songs from “Winnie the Pooh” would make it in, but that would be sort of fun. My personal plug is for “Think You Can Wait” (Win Win). Please offer your thoughts in the comments below!

Current predictions:
"Lay Your Head Down” (Albert Nobbs)
"Star Spangled Man” (Captain America: The First Avenger)
"Bridge of Light” (Happy Feet Two)
"The Living Proof” (The Help)
"Life's a Happy Song” (The Muppets)

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