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Original Song Eligibility List = Lots of Opportunities For Oscar Night Celebrity Live-Singing!

Now that Skyfall has been declared eligible can Adele finally break the unofficial NO NOMS FOR BOND thing that's been going on forever?As you may have heard, 75 songs have qualified for consideration for Oscar's Best Original Song Category...and not just from animated films. I love this category in my more imaginary moments neither because of what's been nominated over the years (ewww) nor any belief that songwriting is a particularly valid "filmmaking achievement". I only love it for its potential to provide my favorite night of the year with some entertaining interludes -- I love acceptance speeches but you gotta break the night up for variety's sake. Sadly, Oscar has been mucking with this category for so long that it almost never reaches its potential of providing 5 awesome short breaks from people standing at podiums, preferrably while also letting various celebrities sing live to us. In the year of Les Miz it will be a great shame if there isn't live singing on Hollywood's High Holy Night.

But I keep the dream alive and pray that one day some Academy executive will realize that the only thing the category is good for is putting celebrities on stage in a different context than acceptance speeches or merely to introduce yet another mind-numbing montage of something that has nothing to do with the films we happen to be celebrating this annum. So with that in mind, I'm placing in ALL CAPS the performer of the song if it's somebody who it would immediately enrage if they chose not to invite them to sing it to us so that they could shove all the songs into one medley for, like, Miley Cyrus to sing or something (remember how obsessed the Oscars were with having Miley Cyrus present there for awhile?! Yeah, that was... well, let's not dwell.)


bold text indicates official music video or the scene from the film embedded




  • "For You" from "Act of Valor" - KEITH URBAN (critics choice nominee)

Imagine all the reaction shots from Nicole Kidman!

  • "Metaphorical Blanket" from "Any Day Now" - RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
  • "Let It Rain" from "Being Flynn" - BADLY DRAWN BOY
  • "Learn Me Right" from "Brave"
  • "Touch the Sky" from "Brave"
  • "Airport" from "Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best"
  • "Come on Girl" from "Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best"
  • "Someday" from "Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best"
  • "Protect the King" from "Brooklyn Castle"
  • "California Solo" from "California Solo"
  • "Casa De Mi Padre" from "Casa De Mi Padre" -CHRISTINA AGUILERA
  • "Del Cielo" from "Casa De Mi Padre"
  • "Yo No Se" from "Casa De Mi Padre"
  • "No Other Plans" from "Celeste and Jesse Forever"
  • "Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice" -SCARLETT JOHANSSON & JOSHUA BELL
  • "By the Light of the Moon" from "Crossroad"
  • "The Sambola! International Dance Craze" from "Damsels in Distress"

Oooh, they could have Greta Gerwig introduce it & do it!
Prep us for her Frances Ha! Oscar run next year?

  • "When You Comin' Home" from "Darling Companion"
  • "Death by China" from "Death by China"
  • "Delhi Safari" from "Delhi Safari"
  • "Ancora Qui" from "Django Unchained"
  • "Freedom" from "Django Unchained"
  • "100 Black Coffins" from "Django Unchained"
  • "Who Did That to You?" from "Django Unchained" -JOHN LEGEND
  • "How Bad Can I Be?" from "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"

  • "Let It Grow" from "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"
  • "Thneedville" from "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"
  • "Ain't No Train" from "Downtown Express"
  • "You Don't Have to Be a Star" from "Fame High"
  • "Jose's Martyrdom" from "For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada"
  • "Strange Love" from "Frankenweenie" -KAREN O

  • "Voodoo" from "Halloween Party"
  • "Luna Nascosta" from "Hidden Moon"
  • "Song of the Lonely Mountain" from "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
  • "Abraham's Daughter" from "The Hunger Games" -ARCADE FIRE
  • "Master of the Seas" from "Ice Age Continental Drift"
  • "We Are" from "Ice Age Continental Drift"
  • "Looking for a Sign" from "Jeff, Who Lives at Home"
  • "From Here to the Moon and Back" from "Joyful Noise" -DOLLY PARTON

  • "He's Everything" from "Joyful Noise"
  • "I'm Yours" from "Joyful Noise"
  • "Wide Awake" from "Katy Perry: Part of Me" -KATY PERRY

  • "Cosmonaut" from "Lawless" -EMMYLOU HARRIS
  • "Beaten Up and Broken Down" from "Least among Saints"
  • "Suddenly" from "Les Misérables" - HUGH JACKMAN
  • "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi"
  • "When I Grow Up" from "Losing Control"
  • "Love Always Comes as a Surprise" from "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
  • "Ladies of Tampa" from "Magic Mike" - MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND HIS ASSLESS PANTS
  • "The Baddest Man Alive" from "The Man with the Iron Fists"
  • "This Gift" from "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" -GLEN HANSARD & MARKETA IRGLOVA

The Odd Life of Timothy Green was atrocious but how sweet would it be to have the Once duo back on the Oscar stage? 

  • "Still Alive" from "Paul Williams Still Alive" -PAUL WILLIAMS (that'd make a great Oscar moment since he was once a regular)
  • "Dotted Line" from "People Like Us" -LIZ PHAIR
  • "Snake Eyes" from "Promised Land"
  • "Razors.Out" from "The Raid: Redemption"
  • "I'm Not Leaving" from "Re:Generation"
  • "Still Dream" from "Rise of the Guardians" - RENEE FLEMING
  • "Undercover Love" from "Rock of Ages"

  • "Big Machine" from "Safety Not Guaranteed"

Mark Duplass at the Oscars? That'd be unexpected. But Ryan Miller sings it on the soundtrack.

  • "I Be Here" from "Saint Dracula"
  • "I Have Secrets" from "Saint Dracula"
  • "Skyfall" from "Skyfall" -ADELE

They've ignored Bond films for ANYTHING for almost my entire lifetime. If Adele gives the series a nom here we'll surely get to see her perform AND Bond will get his first nom in 30 years

  • "Breath of Life" from "Snow White and the Huntsman" -FLORENCE & THE MACHINE

  • "Gone" from "Snow White and the Huntsman"
  • "One Wing" from "Sparkle" 

  • "Not Running Anymore" from "Stand Up Guys"
  • "Feel Love" from "Struck by Lightning"
  • "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted"
  • "Never Had" from "10 Years"
  • "Dull Tool" from "This Is 40" - FIONA APPLE
  • "She Won't Let Go" from "Until They Are Home"
  • "Kiss Me Goodbye" from "Virginia"
  • "Anything Made of Paper" from "West of Memphis"
  • "Hashishet Albi" from "Where Do We Go Now?"
  • "When Can I See You Again?" from "Wreck-It Ralph"


One of the frustrating things about this category is that even if you have a good song and good singer -- take Fiona Apple and "Dull Tool" -- it is sometimes used so extraneoussly to the movie that it would be super weird to vote for it. Apple's song is just tossed off wrecklessly as background music in a stupid bike/car scene in This is 40 if I remember correctly. I much prefer end credit songs that play in full to half-assed uses of songs you barely notice within a movie. However, if you build a whole scene around a song and the song is good, you really deserve to be a part of the discussion of Oscar + Song. So FYC: Dolly Parton's gorgeous lullaby "From Here to the Moon and Back" from the otherwise supernoisy and obnoxious Joyful Noise

Which songs are you rooting for? Or perhaps you'd like the category demolished for good?

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Reader Comments (31)

It sucks that "Who Were We" from "Holy Motors" didn't make it in. Here's an instance of a song actually used in the context of the film and developing its theme. Besides, Kylie Minogue at the Oscars would be great especially if they get Denis Lavant to perform that interpretive sex scene/dance in his motion capture get-up.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Raul -- yeah. i'm just going to assume Holy MOtors didn't even submit it or something. because that is a damn shame.

December 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm thinking Arcade Fire sneaks in.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Please please please let LADIES OF TAMPA be nominated!! How Awesome would a live performance of that be?? HA

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

An Adele vs Florence showdown would just make my day.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthais

I'm not an avid Taylor Swift fan, but Safe & Sound seems like a good song that compliments The Hunger Games. It's not on the list. Not eligible?

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Booo! No Kylie?!

It is clear that Skyfall will break that Bond drought you mention. Actually it might get more than one nom if you count the technical categories and Bardem keeps appearing on almost every single list...

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I want Karen O to be nominated as an apology for disqualifying her for Original Score for Where the Wild Things Are after the ballots had been mailed in. The Music Branch has had a bad habit of disqualifying songs and scores after the members already voted. That was just the most egregious example. The day before the nominations came out they announced the disqualification.

Oh yeah. It's also a really fun song and Karen O knows how to put on a show.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

PJ, only the first song in the closing credits is eligible. Safe and Sound was the second song in The Hunger Games' credits. They tested it first a few weeks before but obviously felt Abraham's Daughter left a stronger impact.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Rober G, thanks. I think this is the same reason why Madonna's Masterpiece was not eligible last year as it was not the first song in closing credits. Guess Nathaniel will have to change the chart and drop Safe and Sound form "Other Possibilities" now.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

peggy -- i will be SO surprised if Skyfall gets an acting nom. I can't think of a weirder thing that could happen in oscar/franchise history

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

This year not only you have impressive tunes from movies like Paul Williams: Still Alive, Lawless, Safety Not Guaranteed but also you got Karen O, Arcade Fire, Katy Perry, Adele, Florence + Machine, The Black Keys, Beck, Mumford & Sons, Fiona Apple, Christina Aguilera... artists who not just are popular but also have songs that are amazing and essential with their respective films (even the Perry's song).

And I'm afraid no one of them would be nominated... but I swear if something from The Lorax is nominated I will wear my yellow jumpsuit and I will come after every single member of the music branch...

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChecko

Whatever, I'm totally biased when it comes to Fiona, sorry. I would vote for her without giving any of the other nominees a chance just so she can repeat her "This world is bullshit" speech at the Oscars.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCristhian


But i would also love it if Norah Jones' Everybody Needs A Best Friend from Ted gets a nom. It was so unexpected to have such a sweet little song inspired by Ted of all things. I really liked how they used the song over the opening credit montage. I think that was a pretty great example of a song serving a purpose in a film rather than just being thrown away in some inconsequential scene or deep in the end credits.

and i had no idea that Ladies of Tampa from Magic Mike was eligible. Hell to the yeah. Maybe they can have all the actors perform a new routine while Matthew does the song onstage?

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

With so many good options this year, am I fooling myself to think that the academy will make some fun choices? I would love to see Dolly, Adele, John Legend and Keith Urban on the show. And the songs from Ted and Wreck-It-Ralph are some of the few I actually remembered from this year and felt complimented their films.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Dolly Parton should have won twice already! 1980 & 2005.

I hope Skyfall is nominated in both supporting categories. My favorite Bond, and the best Dench performance since Notes on a Scandal.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Dolly Parton, for the win!!! Let's try and erase that embarrassment that was 2005.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCengiz

Nathaniel, you should go all caps for MUMFORD AND SONS too. And I believe it's Adele's main competition, that LEARN ME RIGHT song from BRAVE.

But yeah wouldn't it be cool to have people like Hugh Jackman, Fiona Apple, Florence Welch, Adele, Arcade Fire, Katy Perry and Mumford and Sons sing live? Open with Skyfall and finish it off with Breath of Life, people! That's how you keep a broadcast like this lively.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I hate this category. Fiona Apple getting nominated and winning the night they finally give something to her ex (Original Screenplay is PTA's to lose) — that's just good real life tension and excellent live TV.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

An Adele vs. Florence showdown would be the best! Not only are they two of my favorite artists, but they also, in my opinion, delivered the two best songs for movies this year. If I got to see them perform on the Oscars, I would be indescribably happy. Gah, just thinking about it is making me crazy excited! Have to calm down so I don't jinx it.

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeelay!

/3rtful -- i would not be totally shocked to see THE MASTER snubbed in every category. I think it's on the line in all of its potential races. ;)

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Paul's overdue for a consolation prize. The Master rejection is why we can't have nice things.

I know that most see Amy Adams' performance and character as inconsequential but how come she can't just cakewalk to Supporting Actress from a 4th nomination? Especially in light of the Hathaway / Field show? The fact this isn't an easy road to Supporting Actress for either of these eventual nominees and that Helen Hunt could actually win as the spoiler is insane to me.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Look, "Casa de mi Padre" is a fantastic song and, just like "Skyfall", it's used as an opening credits theme to set the tone of the film. I'd say it has a far likelier chance than any of the closing credits songs like Florence.

Also: the HOBBIT song is by Neil Finn so that's pretty great.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I just know that Florence will be snubbed and that makes me so indescribably sad.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpockets full of stones

SAG nominees leaked!

Nicole Kidman seems to have got in for The Paperboy.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervv


wow you were right!

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I think Adele/Mumford & Sons/Florence and the Machine/Dolly Parton/Fiona Apple would be the awesomest Oscar Best Song performance lineup ever.

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAle-Alejandro

I'm so rooting for "Abraham's Daughter" by Arcade Fire, I love that song.
Also it will be good if Keith Urban get a nomination, but just because that means Nicole going to the Oscars haha (if she she didn't get nominated)

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIsabel Archer

What in the world was "Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best"?? How did it get three songs into the eligibility list??

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

This category has been beat up more than a ten-dollar whore. Just recently they decided to skip the award. Back in 1971, they had some half-assed rule that you couldn't sing on the Oscars if you hadn't been in a movie. So the Carpenters couldn't sing their eventual award winner For All We Know, so Petula Clark sang it (nice job BTW), apologizing to Karen beforehand. Why did Gloria Loring sing Helen Reddy's song from Pete's Dragon? And why, oh why, would they have Aretha Franklin sing the theme from The Towering Inferno! NOT a good fit. LOL

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

/3rtful - there is no chance Hathaway is losing. I don't know why people are doubting this.

December 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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