As you may have heard there are 49 eligible songs in play for Oscar nominations in the Academy's most dubious award: Best Original Song. You may have heard that... but have you heard them? Now in theory the Best Original Song category can give the audience really wonderful entertainment breaks from all of the canned banter, orchestra drowned speeches and annual "we have no time management skills!" confessionals (some people refer to those as 'film montages'). But it's only a theory as sometimes we have to worry about the Academy's taste level in this category.
I thought I'd share some audio with y'all re: this category. If you're not interested and you'd rather just sleep, here's a minute of Clint Eastwood singing "Gran Torino" to use as lullaby.
If all it takes to win an Oscar is some raspy whispering @ the piano, can I have one? I can play.
If Clint makes the cut you might hear his songsmithing onstage before he picks up his fifth Oscar.
Someone you won't be hearing is Jennifer Hudson. Her Sex & The City number "All Dressed In Love" didn't make the eligibility cut, despite already being on those pricey For Your Consideration ads. But then, JHud probably didn't need that extra pressure of performing at the Oscars anyway. Our heart still goes out to her. In much happier news, we all dodged a bullet: the absolutely horrific Elton John "Drover's Theme" from Australia isn't eligible. Whew. That doesn't mean you won't see über famous rock stars on the stage. It could get very star studded with Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Norah Jones, Bruce Springsteen and other household names within the range of possibility.
Here's a musical sample I prepared for you of eligible songs that might get nominated (you can purchase them all on iTunes). If you'd like to follow along as you listen you're hearing promotional bits from:
- Mariah Carey "Right to Dream"
- Regina Spektor's "The Call" from the second Narnia movie
- Bruce Springsteen "The Wrestler"
- Deanne Storey singing Jon Brion's "Little Person" from Synecdoche New York
- will.i.am doing "The Travelling Song" from Madagascar 2
- Beyoncé "Once in a Lifetime"
- "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" from Hamlet 2 (hee)
- "Dracula's Lament" from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (hee hee)
- Miley Cyrus and John Travolta singing "I Thought I Lost You" from Bolt
- Jack White & Alicia Keys "Another Way to Die" the new Bond song (please note: Oscar doesn't like James Bond)
- Peter Gabriel's WALL•E contribution "Down to Earth"
- Robyn Hitchcock "Up To Our Nex" from Rachel Getting Married
- Norah Jones "The Story" from her film debut My Blueberry Nights
- Danny Elfman "Little Things" from Wanted
- Chaka Khan "Too Much Juice"
- Emmylou Harris spends Nights "In Rodanthe"
- Etta James "It Ain't Right" from Dark Streets (that's also where the Chaka Khan song is from).
Yes that's right. There's a thin possibility that both Etta James and the woman playing her in Cadillac Records (that'd be Beyoncé if you're just waking up from the Clint nap) will be taking the stage at the Kodak to perform.
Before I let you go I want to subject you to little snippets from the High School Musical 3 numbers they're pushing. 11 "songs" are eligible but they're only pushing 4 and due to Academy rules only 2 can be nominated. Let's pray it's 0. I mean, wouldn't nominating those tinny ditties be rather like having nominated the Thundercats or Jem theme songs for EMMY's? 'Jem, Jem, truly outrageous. Truly truly outrageous.' That's what the songs sound like: Saturday morning jingles.
With musical-theater loving Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) directing and Hugh Jackman hosting this year's Academy Awards the show might get really musical. We can at least assume that the nominated songs will be showcased. I never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever want to see another Oscar night where they hire a celebrity to do a medley of virtually all of the numbers (that Beyoncé year *shudder*) It's so disrespectful to the original performers plus: it's monotonous! But then again...I suppose if they nominate songs that aren't performed by the actual musicians they could always have Hugh Jackman high-kicking whilst belting out the songs.
Can you imagine him shimmying and shaking to "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire? I know I can...
If you're still reading I'm your biggest fan. For a full list of the 49 songs the Oscar's music branch can vote on and many other bits of awards info, you can head over to my impossibly busy Oscar prediction pages. Five songs or less (you never know) will be announced as actual nominees on January 22nd, 2009.