Categories One-by-One: Song

For the films of 2011
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Sonic Youth
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:45 pm

"Man or Muppet" is a legitimately amusing sequence in an otherwise shrug-worthy film, although you have to be familiar with the actor who makes a surprise cameo for it to work. Isolated from its proper context the song isn't very funny (Flight of the Conchords are no This Lonely Island), but maybe enough members will have seen the movie and vote for the sequence rather than the song. Kander and Ebb couldn't win, so I don't see Mendes benefitting from the nostalgia factor.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:53 am

This is the second time in three years they've put up a slate so pathetic the songs won't even be sung on air.


Actually, the other year they didn't perform the original song nominees was the year of "The Weary Kind" won and personally, I would've LOVED to see that performed rather than the bullshit number of So You Think You Can Dance contestants performing the original score nominees with much of the choreography making zero sense.

For this year, I'm predicting "Man or Muppet".

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:08 am

Haven't seen any of the films (and I am not particularly eager to do so), but I just heard the songs via YouTube and Real in Rio is actually a pretty good song, one that I would have in my iPod. Maybe the category is getting more and more absurd, but Real in Rio is a very pleasant nominee... Hope Mendes gets the award.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby HollywoodZ » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:50 pm

I've seen both nominees and I can tell you how they're used. Real in Rio is a bookend song that doesn't have too much in the way of lyrics whereas Man or Muppet is something that takes place at the end of the second act of the film and is both tongue in cheek and heartfelt. It's a song that Muppet fans came out singing more than Life's a Happy Song, so I think The Muppets has this one locked in. What the Academy seems to be inclined towards (when there's no "important" films in the running) are songs that are performed within the film and have a tied-in context (i.e. - It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp, Falling Slowly, The Weary Kind). I don't think the passiveness of Rio will win out here, even with Sergio Mendes among the nominees.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby Greg » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:04 pm

One good thing you can say about this category is that you can become an expert on all the nominees in less than 10 minutes.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:47 pm

They either need to revert to the old rules that allows any song written for and sung in a movie to be eligible and eliminate the nonsense that says in order to be nominated it must recive X percent of the vote. Either that or elminate the category altogether as it just keeps gettign worse.

I wonder how many voters are leaving the cateogyr blank?

If I had to pick one it would be the Mendes for nostalgia's sake..

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby dws1982 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:31 pm

I suspect The Muppets will win this...a toss-off of a movie like Rio as an Oscar-winner for Best Song seems like it would prompt a movement to rescind the category altogether. (Now I did think Rio was a fairly enjoyable timewaster.) I think the days for this category have to be numbered though...you hate to see a really great achievement overlooked, but so often--especially recently--it's just such a hot mess.

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Categories One-by-One: Song

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:16 pm

The nominees:

Man or Muppet (The Muppets)
Real in Rio (Rio)

Far more interesting than these two sorry-ass nominees is the over-riding question: is this branch committing slow suicide? This is the second time in three years they've put up a slate so pathetic the songs won't even be sung on air. It's not as if there wasn't anything else to choose from -- Lay Your Head Down from Albert Nobbs is a perfectly pleasing ballad, and the Mary J. Blige number from The Help is no worse than much of what's been nominated in the past decade. Even had the nominators been set on only nominating songs from their films proper, it's puzzling why they passed on Alan Menken's Captain America number, after swooning for his Enchanted efforts. Granted, best song has been an unwieldy category ever since the musical declined as an industry staple after the 50s, but recent years seem to have gone off-track in a different way: the branch now appears to be begging the Board of Governors to eliminate the category.

Of course, there's been some history of out-of-touchness in the branch. The 60s/70s saw a near-existential battle between Tin Pan Alley and the post-Elvis pop charts. None of the Beatles' tunes were ever nominated, not even ballads like And I Love Her or You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, which voters would likely have embraced had they bothered to listen to them. "Fight the Top 40" reached something of a peak in 1967, when perfectly middle-of-the-road pop hits like Dionne Warwick's Valley of the Dolls, Petula Clark's This is My Song, The Supremes' The Happening, and the frickin' top-selling record of the year, Lulu's To Sir, With Love, were all left off, and Talk to the Animals was somehow adjudged the year's best movie song.

But at least there you could sense some agenda at work; same ten years later, when all the Saturday Night Fever songs were overlooked -- these tunes represented new societal forces that were being resisted by those with a stake in the old regime. Today, it's hard to know why the branch is behaving so oddly. It seems pure obstinacy.

Anyway...to these nominees. You can bet I haven't seen either film, but it's easy enough to play both on YouTube, and come to the conclusion that...it doesn't matter worth a damn which one wins. Neither is an offensive tune, but neither is particularly memorable, either (Man or Muppet starts out intriguingly, but goes nowhere).

So, in terms of rooting: I gather fans of HBO's Flight of the Conchords will be cheering on the Muppet song. For an old-timer like me, though, I'm more inclined to say I hope to see Sergio Mendes up there. (Mendes who, to bring this full circle, had the top 40 hit of the least offensive song on that 1967 list, The Look of Love)

Who will win? I haven't one bloody idea.


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