Sunday, February 25, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Original Song

The competition: “Mystery of Love” – Call Me By Your Name (Sufjan Stevens), “Remember Me” – Coco (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez), “This Is Me” – The Greatest Showman (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), “Stand Up for Something” – Marshall (Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn), “Mighty River” – Mudbound (Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson)

Previous winners: City of Stars (La La Land), Writing’s on the Wall (Spectre), Glory (Selma), Let It Go (Frozen), Skyfall (Skyfall), Man or Muppet (The Muppets), We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Two songwriting duos are recent winners in this category. Pasek and Paul won for “City of Stars” last year and were up for another song from the film. Anderson-Lopez and Lopez won in 2013 for “Let It Go.” Lynn won in 2014 for “Glory” and Warren has been nominated eight times before. Blige is also nominated for starring in her film this year. While there was a five-year stretch where the Golden Globe winner didn’t even go on to be nominated for an Oscar, the last three years have seen the same song take both home. “This Is Me” won the Golden Globe and “Remember Me” won for the Critics’ Choice Award, which has been about as predictive as the Globes since its inception in 1998.

Who should win: I’ve tried to pay attention this year to how the songs, all of which are great and would be worthy winners, are used in each film. The nominated songs from “Marshall” and “Mudbound” both relate strongly to the themes in their films as they play over the end credits, punctuating the power of what’s been presented. “Call Me By Your Name” features its tune playing while its two protagonists experience euphoria far from their normal lives and assists some incredible visuals. The song in “Coco” plays a vital part in its storyline, and its words are poignant even if its melody isn’t as superb. And even though it’s not my favorite song from the movie, the nominated song from “The Greatest Showman” gets my vote for how it helps to define the individuality of circus performers and their underappreciated value in society, not to mention that it’s memorable and catchy.

Who will win: It’s natural that the two songs which are relevant to their film’s plots and are sung by characters would be the frontrunners. It’s really a battle of the two recent songwriting duos. “Coco” gets a slight bump from its animated feature nomination, which it’s guaranteed to win, while this is the only bid for “The Greatest Showman,” which has its song playing everywhere. After hearing “Remember Me” and seeing how it’s used in the film, I can understand its case but it's no “Let It Go.” I do think that This Is Me will be the one to triumph and give “The Greatest Showman” an Oscar win.

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