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Thursday
Jan242013

Which musical performances will we see at the Oscars?

Though the Academy has officially announced that Adele will be singing "Skyfall" (her first time performing it live) on Hollywood's High Holy Night, we still don't technically know if there will be Best Original Song performances as there often used to be on Oscar night. The Academy had previously announced a 50th anniversary celebration of the James Bond franchise and it's probable that Adele's soulful warbling will be folded into that, whether or not the whole category is represented. We also don't know if she'll be singing before or after her Oscar win*.

There's also been rumors that some permutation of the Les Misérables cast will be performing live but unless they're doing a choral version of "Suddenly", that doesn't necessarily equate to Best Original Song performances either since a cast performance sounds more like a "One Day More" type situation.

But, if you ask me, they'd be crazy not to just have five Original Song performances this year since that'd give you the opportunity to have four superstars on stage at various points: Scarlett Johansson ("Before My Time"), Adele ("Skyfall"), Norah Jones ("Everyone Needs a Best Friend") and Hugh Jackman ("Suddenly") plus a gorgeous little outreach for a little world music ("Pi's Lullaby") on the side.

I know that people think the Best Original Song category is silly but if you look back through the history of the Oscars it has often provided great water-cooler moments or at least tuneful bathroom breaks. 

*the night's biggest lock?

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Reader Comments (27)

I read somewhere she was singing Skyfall during the James Bond tribute.

And the Les Mis cast is singing one of the group songs (Do You Hear the People Sing most likely, since the article that mentions this piece of news says Anne Hathaway is singing too).

If Adele really is singing in the Bond tribute then I guess that means no original song performances again this year...

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Your darling hathaway is the night´s biggest lock, and will have her third chance in a row to act fake-surprised and display faux humility. But she wont have a third chance in a row to take time from the movies producers, stelal the mike (and their thunder) to thank more people she allegedly forgot the first time she was on that very stage half an hour before

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This year is screaming for live performances. And who knew the category would be so solid after being such a punching bag the last few years?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

This is another one of the Academy's boneheaded moves that only serves to undermine, ridicule and dishonor Oscar's legacy. Along with opening the pig trough for Best Picture and shoving honorary winners off the telecast, killing the song performances exemplifies how crass and cynical the Academy has become. Is this a celebration of the movies--or pandering to grab the most fiscally rewarding demographic. Assholes.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Well if Adele is singing "Skyfall" during the Bond tribute and "Suddenly" gets performed during some kind of Les Mis medley (maybe?) for its Best Picture video package (possibly?) then why not have "Before My Time" performed for the Documentary presentation, "Pi's Lullaby" for Life Of Pi's Best Picture video (or the Foreign presentation) and then have Seth MacFarlane and Norah Jones perform 'Everybody Needs A Best Friend" in the opening act. It's a way of getting all the songs performed without having to take a whole 10/20 minute chunk of the show to make way for them.

God I'd love to be an Oscar producer.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Jack

Amanda - why you mad tho? it ain't that serious

I'm so excited to see Adele perform! It's gonna be so good. I'm assuming it'll be before the win. I don't think winning an Oscar and then performing would bode well for someone's nerves.

Also, can we just talk about how bad "Suddenly" is? It was so awful and unnecessary. Clearly just put in the movie to try and win an Oscar.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Philip -- like everything Les Miz i don't get what's so "bad" about it according to everyone else. It's a perfectly pleasant pretty lullaby type thing and even if the song is no great shakes I actually think it's the very best spot in the narrative to insert a new song to cover something that's not really covered in the original source material so i think if they were going to make a cynical move to get an extra nomination they chose well ;)

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

This is a pretty good year for Best Song, all things considered (I want say my peace about the song from Les Mis), so I don't know why they wouldn't want them performed. I mean, they had them performed in 2010 when that Randy Newman song absolutely no one remembers won.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill h

"Suddenly" was ok, but not memorable. Songs I did love that were later added to the feature film production of the musical, "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good" from Sound of Music, "Maybe This Time" and "Mein Herr" from Cabaret. "Rent", "A Chorus Line", and "Chicago" all had additional songs added to their film adaptation, however I don't think any of them were THAT stellar. In the case of "A Chorus Line", the replacement of "The Music and The Mirror" was...unfortunate.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

"Learn Me Right" from "Brave" should have been in this lineup. "Before My Time" is good, and Scarlett has a fine voice, but I don't get "Pi's Lullaby" at all. "Suddenly" is a fitting new addition to the "Les Miz" canon. "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" is more clever than people give it credit for. If it's decided somehow that Seth MacFarlane must have an Oscar (re: that shameless Oscars poster), then I could see him winning. But I'd agree that no one's beating Adele in the end. I hope she gets her solo shot instead of being shoehorned with the Bond tribute. She might only get a minute or two there. It'll be really rude to have the "stars" perform the big numbers and not get the little-know singers to have their big show moment. Or worse, get Beyonce to sing all the "foreign" nominees (shameful to this day).

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamson

If Adele does a Bond theme medley I will probably have a heart attack. Maybe she can duet with Shirley Bassey! Uh! Uh! Make it happen, Nat!

My favorite song from this year's movies was probably the Mumford & Sons song "Enemy" at the end of Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, and I don't even like M&S; I was surprised that it didn't get any mentions nomination-wise. But then I remembered nobody saw WH. (Also there was probably some obscure rule that disqualified it, knowing the music branch.)

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

Well, the Music Branch said that "Learn Me Right" was eligible, and all that song is is "Not With Haste" nix Birdy, so if they weren't so picky there, I don't see why the latter song wasn't eligible either. I don't have the longlist on hand, but it's pretty easy to find to see if "Enemy" was eligible or not. I've never heard of the song before, and I'm a Mumfords fanboy. Off to Youtube as we speak.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

This year is really the first "normal" best song lineup I've seen in years (It's Hard Out There For a Pimp, anyone?), so I really hope they do something to celebrate that. Make the original singer sing it, no Beyonce again please. She get to perform only if she got nominated.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Yeah, I think the Academy did a fine job this year maybe with the exception of the Supporting Actor Category.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRic H

Is Adele for "Skyfall" really an Oscar lock? I finally heard it when I saw Skyfall last week and I thought it was just so much meh. It certainly doesn't deserve to be placed alongside "Live and Let Die," "Nobody Does It Better," "Goldfinger," or "A View to a Kill" in the Bond song canon.

Having just heard all the other nominees—I had to remind myself which one was "Suddenly," so I guess that tells you something—I'll take "Before My Time" or "Everyone Needs a Best Friend" before "Skyfall." But what do I know. I thought the Neil Young Philadelphia song was better than the Bruce Springsteen Philadelphia song.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.P.

If Adele wins then she is halfway done towards her EGOT. A television special for the Emmy and her inevitably writing songs for a broadway musical in 2023 for the Tony and we are done,

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

here was the ORIGINAL SONG ELIGIBILITY LIST for those of you who are debating it.

http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2012/12/11/original-song-eligibility-list-lots-of-opportunities-for-osc.html

75 songs were deemed eligible.

January 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Unless by "good" we mean "sung by famous people", I'm not sure I think this year's Song lineup is very "good." Aside from Skyfall, which is far from Adele's best, they range from utterly forgettable to a whispery mess.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

My dream would be a gurgling, cacophonous transition from "Skyfall" to signal the surprise appearance of Madonna athletically performing Die Another Day. Still the best Bond song.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

Completely agree with Evan. A very weak year for Original Song.

FYI--for Les Miz folks, Jeff Goldsmith (The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast--you can get thru iTunes) hosted a screening followed by a Q&A with the "screenwriter" William Nicholson. VERRRY interesting tales re the production of this film. Some stuff about "Suddenly"--which was really just a plot device. I just listened to it last night which has made me reconsider my feelings towards Les Miz the movie vs. Les Miz the stage musical.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

God. I love Adele. I love the film. I hate this song. So not worthy.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Scarlett's appearing on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof right now. Though Chastain has announced in advance she'll be missing performances of The Heiress for awards events, I am doubtful Johannson, whose name is lead on the marquee and the only reason people are seeing her poorly reviewed play, will miss out, as she isn't even a credited nominee on the song. Pity too -- love her vocals on the track.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Steve do they do Sunday performances on Broadway?

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

^ ^ ^ Yeah, they do two of them.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLen

Why is everyone dogging on Skyfall? GREAT song and one of Bond's best. And this one probably fits the movie's theme better than most.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Thanks Len, in the west end in London they take Sunday off

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

Oh, "Skyfall" is SO mediocre. I like Adele an all, and I hate using the word "overrated" ... but she is. C'mon ... a likely Oscar winner already, and for this? She has a good voice, but I fail to see the brilliance here.

Also, there have been better Bond songs that have been completely ignored, likely because the Academy has been too middle-of-the-road. Garbage's "The World is Not Enough?" Awesome song.

Fiona Apple's "Dull Tool" would have been a worthy nominee this year, but the fact that it was attached to "This is 40" probably didn't help.

February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

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