Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Two Ryans. The Sixty-Three Songs.

I'm sure someone else has already noticed and publicized this (I'm weeks behind on my web reading... so far behind I have almost no idea what's going on. Where am I?) but I can't get over the fact that there's two Ryan Binghams in the Oscar race this year.

There's "Ryan Bingham", the latest vessel for George Clooneyism in Up in the Air and Ryan Bingham the songwriter/performer who wrote the lovely theme song for Clooney's big Oscar competition "Bad Blake", the latest incarnation of Jeff Bridges. How weird is that?

And which films will find Oscar favor this year in the Original Song category? The category is tinier then usual with stricter rules in place (one of them is that a film can't have more than two song nominated anymore) so all 63 of these songs will have a mighty struggle making it to the short(est) list. I swiped this complete list of eligible candidates from IndieWire, a site that does a very fine job of sharing every press release on god's green earth. How do they do it? A staff of more than one helps, I'm sure. I've highlighted my favorites.

"All Is Love" from “Where the Wild Things Are”
“Almost Over You” from “My One and Only”
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“AyAyAyAy” from “The Maid”
“Back to Tennessee” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Being Bad” from “Duplicity”

Now, I have heard this Hannah Montana song. I blame that
on my friend Susan who has 73 tween nieces.

“Blanco” from “Fast & Furious”
“Brothers in Arms” from “Brothers at War”
“Butterfly Fly Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Cinema Italiano” from “Nine”
“Colorblind” from “Invictus”
“Depression Era” from “That Evening Sun”
“Don’t Walk Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Dove of Peace” from “Bruno”
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Fly Farm Blues” from “It Might Get Loud”
“Forget Me” from “I Love You, Beth Cooper”
“God Bless Us Everyone” from “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”
“Here” from “Shrink”
“Hideaway” from “Where the Wild Things Are”
“Hoedown Throwdown” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“I Bring What I Love” from “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love”
“I See You” from “Avatar”
“(I Want to) Come Home” from “Everybody’s Fine”
“If You’re Wondering” from “The Lightkeepers”
“Impossible Fantasy” from “Adventures of Power”
“Innocent Child” from “Skin”
“Invictus 9,000 Days” from “Invictus”
“Legendary” from “Tyson”
“Let Freedom Reign” from “Skin”
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36”
“Ma Belle Evangeline” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“My One and Only” from “My One and Only”
“Na Na” from “Couples Retreat”
“Never Knew I Needed” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“New Divide” from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
“New Jersey Nights” from “Adventures of Power”
“New York Is Where I Live” from “Did You Hear about the Morgans?”
“No Time for Love” from “Simon & Malou”
“One Day” from “Post Grad”
“Only You” from “The Young Victoria”

“Other Father Song” from “Coraline”
“Petey’s Song” from “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” from “Ponyo”
"Possibility” from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”
“Raining Sunshine” from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“Running Out of Empty (Make Ourselves at Home)” from “Lymelife”
“Smoke without Fire” from “An Education”
“Somebody Else” from “Crazy Heart”
“Stu’s Song” from “The Hangover”
“Take It All” from “Nine”
“Through the Trees” from “Jennifer’s Body”
“Trust Me” from “The Informant!”
“Un Bouquet des Violettes” from “New York, I Love You”
“We Are the Children of the World” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“We Love Violence” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart”

Ryan Bingham. Beautiful song.

“When You Find Me” from “Adam”
“Winter” from “Brothers”
“The Word Is Love” from “Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!”
“You Got Me Wrapped around Your Little Finger” from “An Education”
“You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“You’ve Been a Friend to Me” from “Old Dogs”

Yes, all three of my favorites were highlighted. In truth the other sixty might be even better but I either a) don't remember them from the movie (The Maid had a song? I just saw that, I loved it and I don't remember that) or b) have never heard them or noticed them. I wish I could see a clip reel on how all of them are used in their movies. But I guess that's for AMPAS eyes only.


Sebastian said...

Peculiar that nearly every song from The Hannah Montana Movie is eligible except its biggest hit and most likely contender, "The Climb."

But yeah, if Bruce couldn't get in last year, I wouldn't put a whole lot of money on Miley.

LOL at Stu's Song from The Hangover being eligible, though. That's just awesome.

My predictions (assuming the extremely unlikely event that we get five nominees):

All Is Love from Where the Wild Things Are

Cinema Italiano from Nine

I See You from Avatar

Down in New Orleans from The Princess and the Frog

I Want to Come Home from Everybody's Fine

Alternates: "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart, and "Winter" from Brothers (since it's U2, and they REALLY should have won for "The Hands That Built America." Man, 2002 was probably the best year that category ever had).

Kurtis O said...

OMG, my eyes went straight to "Colorblind" from Invictus. The scene in which that song is used has gotta be one of the most shockingly tasteless movie moments of the year. Completely uncalled for and totally patronizing. Yuck.

adam k. said...

I'd actually really like "I See You" to be nominated. The music video is really growing on me. And I like those big schmaltzy blockbuster themes when they're good and they have serious singing.

As silly as this category is, I still want there to be 5 nominees. Otherwise, it's just too easy for the very best work to be shafted (see last year).

I guess I'd bet on "The Weary Kind", a Nine song and a Princess song. But I don't even know which ones.

Robert Hamer said...

Uh, I think you're forgetting about Lose Yourself, Sebastian, which surprises me because that's got to be one of the most memorable rap songs of the last ten years. And you think that should have LOST to a (relatively) mediocre U2 song? Must be a die-hard fan...

Ramification said...

Is the Mary J Blige song from Precious on this list, I can't seem to see it. Or does it not qualify ?

Mikkel said...

Looking through the list, I am not sure I have even heard/remember 5 songs. However, what struck me even more was the eligibility of a song from Simon & Malou - now this was a Danish movie (in Danish) that opened here less than 2 months ago, and completely sank upon release (I have not seen it, but reviews were not kind). Did they really play a qualifying run in LA? Really? And why?

That said the soundtrack - put together by former supermodel Cecilie Thomsen of Tomorrow Never Dies-fame - seems to be pretty good, although the eligible song (penned by Thomsen's former husband, Bryan Adams) is not.

As for the nominations, I'm not a big fan of U2's Winter, but I don't see how it can be left out. Same with I See You, especially if/when Avatar cathes off. Then songs from Nine and The Princess and the Frog and possibly The Weary Kind as the fifth choice.

Kyle Pinion said...

"You got me wrapped around your little finger" for the win! That one stuck with me for a day or two after seeing "An Education"...gorgeous song.

Rob said...

"Through the Trees" is actually pretty brilliant/hilarious parody of self-important indie-rock...

Amir said...

is 'help yourself', sad brad smith's song for 'up in the air' not eligible?

that and the 'weary kind' are my favorites of the ones i heard this year. and i like 'smoke without fire' too.

Catherine said...

When are the SAG nominations being announced? Soon/now, right?

Amir said...

this is irrelevant but, I'm SOOO happy for diane kruger in inglourious basterds getting nominated for SAG.
i know meliane was great but im happy somebody noticed how good she was too!

Katey said...

Agreeing with Kyle... "You've Got Me Wrapped Around Your Finger" is a lovely song and used well in the movie. I'd love to see it get in, but I think we all know it's "The Weary Kind" or bust this year... it's like 2009's "Falling Slowly."

Kirby Holt said...

"The Climb" wasn't written specifically for the "Hannah Montana" movie, thus why it was just disqualified (after being nominated!) for the Grammy. It was replaced with "All is Love" from "Where the Wild Things Are".

This may be why "I Can See in Color" ("Precious") and "Help Yourself" ("Up in the Air") aren't on the list but I'm not sure.

The music branch loves them some Randy Newman, so his "Princess and the Frog" songs have that going for it.

The strongest is "Almost There", the heroine's "I want" song a la "Part of Your World". It will also benefit from having a very strong visual representation in the movie.

If two make it, "Down in New Orleans" will be the other I think. "Ma Belle Evangeline" is the closest thing to a love song in the movie, but its offbeat in that it is sung by the Cajun firefly.

Least likely is "Never Knew I Needed", the end credit pop ballad not written by Newman but by Ne-Yo.

Another odd one is "Dove of Peace" from "Bruno" ... will Bono, Elton, Sting and Snoop show up to perform it if its nominated?

Oh, and Nathaniel, just go to the Academy's website and sign up for email press releases if you want to get them.

- kch

Unknown said...

Fantastic songs listed below:

"You've Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger" (An Education)

"Trust Me" (Marvin Hamlisch)

"The Weary Kind" (Crazy Heart)

"Depression Era" (That Evening Sun) - too bad it'll be overshadowed by the weary kind

I like the Where the Wild Things Are score more than that particular long, "All is Love."

Guilty Pleasure:
"Great Day" by Paul McCartney - really hate his recent stuff, but I dig this little ditty

If any of these make it, I'll be happy. I can't take another year of a Springsteen snub. For what? An absent Peter Gabriel and digitized A.R. Rahman yelling nonsense as dancers, draped in pastel fabric, prance behind him.

Bill_the_Bear said...

I agree with "You've Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger;" I've been humming it ever since seeing the movie.

However, I can't for the life of me remember "Smoke Without Fire," also from "An Education."

Crisbrother said...

I'm happy that once again The Maid is being recognize.. well, take in consideration.. and for all of you who haven't heard its song, just click here

It's a live performance though.

Ryan T. said...

I'll be happy as long as both (or at least one) of these songs make it in. I can't STOP listening to them.

"You've Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger" (An Education)

"All is Love" (Where the Wild Things Are)


KCH -- it's not that i don't get the press releases. it's just that i am unable to regurgitate all of them so quickly. INDIEWIRE must have a staff of dozens.

Sebastian said...

@ Robert Hamer: It's not that I didn't like "Lose Yourself" or that I'm a huge U2 fan. It was simply the song I liked the best. "Lose Yourself' would have been my number two. But there were other outstanding songs that year, such as "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon from The Wild Thornberrys Movie, "Burn It Blue" from Frida (a song I really enjoyed, and an inspired choice by the Academy), and the original song from Chicago, "I Move On," which I liked way more than anybody else seemed to. I guess it's simply all subjective.

But I really liked a lot of the nominees of the first half of the century, like

"Into the West" (genuinely moving, if not a bit overwrought)

"Until..." (LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this song, and still sing it in the shower)

"There You'll Be" (schmaltzy blockbuster ballad done right)

"May It Be"

"Vanilla Sky" (so glad to see Paul McCartney getting some Oscar traction again this year with "I Want to Come Home")

"The Scarlet Tide" (totally should have won, in my opinion; and also a nomination I was calling at a time none of my other Oscarwatching friends thought it a possibility that a movie would get more than one song nomination after a decade of that not having happened)

"You Will Be My Ain True Love" (totally haunting)

"Belleville Rendezvous" (brilliant, brilliant bit of business)

"Travellin' Thru" (so surreal to hear it wind up getting covered on "American Idol," since I was of the mind that a lot of the general public no longer listened to Dolly Parton, saw independent movies, or watched the Oscars)

"Lose Yourself" (again, a masterpiece)

"The Hands That Built America" (another masterpiece, in my opinion)

"Father and Daughter" (genuinely touching and catchy)

"Al Otro Lado del Rio" (one of my favorite songs ever)

"Accidentally in Love" (such a great guilty pleasure, but why did it take six writers?)

"In the Deep"

Okay, so I listed practically every nominee from the first half of the decade, but the fact remains that the Oscars have introduced me to some absolutely kick-ass music.

D said...

I really dig both of those songs from "An Education" but they're also making me angry by triggering memories of how overlooked "Grace of My Heart" was, especially its soundtrack.

OtherRobert said...

I want the nation to suffer as I did all summer. Hoedown Throwdown must be nominated for Best Original Song. I believe it will be greatest wtf? reaction at the Oscars since the Triplets of Belleville gang actually played bicycles and vacuum cleaners for their song performance.

ajnrules said...

I'm kind of iffy at seeing Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea on the shortlist. I love Joe Hisaishi and I desperately hope to see him get a much-deserved Oscar nomination sometime...but I HATE what Disney did with the song.

Arkaan said...

Sebastian, pretty cool list. Agree on "Until" especially.

This year, my favourite movie song is "The Fabulist" from THE BROTHERS BLOOM. This should be a contender for ten oscars. Stupid race.

Evan said...

I'd just like to echo that the two from "An Education" are great. The song by Duffy is my favorite, but "You've Got Me Wrapped..." was wonderfully placed in the movie.

It reminded me a lot of Gwyneth Paltrow's song from Capote (or at least the Capote trailer).

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