Categories One-by-One: Original Song

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Original Song

Postby MaxWilder » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:09 am

I'll never forget the Best Original Song debacle two years ago. Lady Gaga performs "Til It Happens to You" and everyone watching is transfixed. It's a powerful moment. Of course she'll win. Then the presenters come out and the Oscar goes to that Sam Smith abortion from Spectre. (He then has the balls to claims he's the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.) If that can happen, clearly the broader context/moment has no influence on voting.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Original Song

Postby dws1982 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:07 am

Since songwriter names don't appear on the ballot, I think it's giving voters too much credit to speculate that voters will vote one way or the other because of who wrote the song. Unless the song (or the nominee) infiltrates the public consciousness the a major degree, I don't think the voting in this category comes down to much more than gut-level personal preference.

I know you hated The Greatest Showman, BJ, and I have no real desire to see it myself, but this movie has some of the strongest box-office legs since Titanic (albeit on a smaller scale). You never really know how things are going to go in this category, but this is the movie of the moment in a way that none of the other nominees in this category are. Right now I would predict it, but I also suspect this could be a tipping point category for the Oscar pools.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Original Song

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:37 am

Personal opinion wise, I think Remember Me is the most forgettable song that could possibly win (titularly ironic, huh?). However, it's also the most driven song in the film and is part of a film that is guaranteed to win Best Animated Feature. Whether that means fewer people will watch that film or if more people will have watched the film overall, who knows.

To me, This Is Me is an incredibly catchy tune. It's an immensely empowering song and I liked the movie far more than anyone here probably.

That said, it all depends on how hefty the #MeToo voting movement will be this year. I could see a demographic in the Academy going all-in putting down only women winners in each category and going with Diane Warren who is, as you said, a 9-time nominee without a win. Or Blige who is an acting nominee and the first such acting nominee to earn an Original Song nomination in the same year.
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Categories One-by-One: Original Song

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:55 am

This may well be the most thoroughly up-in-the-air category of them all this year -- I could see this prize going in just about any direction.

Oddly, the songwriter with the strongest overdue narrative -- 9-time nominee Diane Warren, who seemed to just narrowly lose out her last time around -- is probably the least likely to cop the prize. "Stand Up For Something" has much in common with past winner "Glory" -- it's another end credits ballad from a civil rights drama featuring rap sections by Common. But there are key differences, too. However hobbled Selma was, it was still a Best Picture nominee, and this category became a place to make sure it went home with a prize; Marshall is a much more insignificant player. And "Glory" was far more of an emotional knockout; I can't imagine the Oscar night performance of "Stand Up for Something" will leave the audience in tears the way the earlier number did.

After that, I'm honestly not sure what order I'd even rank the remaining nominees in terms of likelihood of winning. "Mighty River" could be somewhat limited by the fact that it's an end credits number, and certainly not the catchiest of these nominees, but perhaps that could be offset by the opportunity to reward Mary J. Blige, who is not only the kind of famous pop star this category has often honored, but also a certain-to-lose acting nominee who some may want to reward elsewhere. And with four nominations, Mudbound is a solid enough overall contender that voters may want to find some place to honor it.

"Mystery of Love" is obviously attached to the most well-liked film overall, and is quite memorably used within the body of the film as essentially the protagonists' love song. It's a quiet number, but for me it's the most musically distinctive of any of these nominees, and a perfect emotional counterpoint to the montage of the last days of Oliver and Elio's relationship. I also think Sufjan Stevens's other song -- "Visions of Gideon" -- merited a nomination, and helps make that last close-up of Chalamet that much more affecting, so it's possible that collective one-two punch might help the songwriter prevail here.

"This Is Me" has become the self-empowerment anthem of what has become a surprisingly (and to me, unfathomably) successful hit film. It benefits from a big central production number within the movie, a genuinely knockout vocal performance from Keala Settle, and the heat of last year's winners in this category, Pasek and Paul. On the con side, there could be resistance to making the still very young songwriters back-to-back winners, the film is truly terrible, and some might be bothered by the fact that the song would be much more at home on American Idol than in a nineteenth century-set circus musical. But the Golden Globe would suggest it's a very strong candidate.

"Remember Me" would be a second win for Kristen and Bobby Lopez as well. It's probably the most instantly hummable of the nominees -- is it possible to leave Coco without having that earworm stuck in your head? And it also gets by far the most replay during the film, appearing over and over again in different forms, with its last incarnation providing a total tear-jerker moment. And of course it's worth noting just how much of a force animated features have been in this category, representing a full third of the winners over the last three decades.

I'm not really sure which way I'd bet just yet; I'm inclined to think one of the previously Oscared Broadway teams has a very good shot at adding another prize to their mantles, but I would be thrilled to see Stevens prevail.

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