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Original Song Power: Simple Song #3, Writing's On the Wall, Etc...

This year's Original Song category is in great early health for a change. Ricki and the Flash's "Cold One," Pitch Perfect 2's "Flashlight" and I'll See You in My Dreams's title tracks are all well showcased in their films, and "Simple Song #3" from Youth, which the entire movie builds to, is an absolute slam dunk. (In all four movies the song in question was "written" by an in-movie character and is played in full). I was delighted to learn that the latter is eligible after seeing the film at TIFF as it's so good that I had assumed it was a famous composition repurposed.

And with Lady Gaga already making nice with the Oscar folks with that Sound of Music medley at the last High Holy Night, and possibly revitalizing her popularity with AHS: Hotel, we could see her back again to perform "Until It Happens To You" from the documentary The Hunting Ground. (And those are just the songs that are high profile or that we already like! The category routinely holds surprises both in the eligibility list and the actual quality of low profile contenders.) 

Skyfall mania aside, as we've documented many times before, James Bond songs are rarely nominated for Oscars. I'm hoping this new one, embedded below from Sam Smith, grows on me. I don't dislike it as many internet types already do but then I'm wildly averse to snap judgments on music singles. Hearing them repeatedly has changed how people feel about them thousands of times in the past. And as any movie buff knows, hearing Bond songs while watching those stylish 007 opening credits always helps cement the song's degree of success (or lack thereof).

So we'll see. And hear.  But... have you first impressions?

(A sampler platter of Original Movie Songs from 2015 thus far)



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Reader Comments (28)

Sam Smith is a major "NO" whether he's speaking or singing or silent.

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Nathaniel, I've heard the song from "Lava" is not eligible. Is this true? And if so why not? Regardless of its merits, isn't it EXACTLY the kind of thing this category should be rewarding i.e. using a song within a film to tell and enhance the story? Or are shorts simply not eligible in other categories?

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJase

This category could potentially be filled with multiple chart topping songs because the original song never usually nominates successful songs but there are so many this year I see a couple of them being nominated. My favourite is "Love Me Like You Do" which I hope gets in. Cold One is sure to get in which will be fun especially to have Meryl possibly perform at the Oscars which is something we missed 25 years ago when Reba performed "I'm Checkin' Out". I will always love this category no matter how much the haters see this as being a useless category I as a music fan will always love the category especially in competitive years like last year and years when songs from films actually become chart hits separate from the films.

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

The Academy would probably get Melissa Etheridge or Annie Lennox to sing Cold One if the song gets nominated, but as of right now I'm having fun imagining Meryl rocking it at Oscar night! :)

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

Has there ever been a post about favourite Bond themes on The Film Experience?

If not it would be interesting. Maybe everyone could name their Top Ten Bond themes and a Top Ten list could be compiled. They're my favourite part of the films. When Nathaniel's less busy of course! Suffice to say, Writing's On The Wall wouldn't be my list.

As for the category, I've no thoughts at the moment but wouldn't mind Gaga having an Oscar, just because Bad Romance is one of the best songs of the last 10 years.

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

The song from YOUTH is original??? I researched it but thought it was something old. LOOOOOVED it! OMG Oscar night needs it!

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph W

"Feels like summer" from Shaun the sheep movie should be in the race, it's a truly amazing and catchy song

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

How about a first nomination for The Fast and the Furious franchise with "See You Again"?

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYonatan

...leading to the In Memoriam?

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYonatan

I do love both the Eminem songs from the Southpaw soundtrack but neither of them are on the same scale of Lose Yourself which just had this driving force behind it.

I've already mentioned Writing's on the Wall but i totally agree with you about the song's merit possibly improving when matched with the opening sequence. But as of now, it sounds like something that should be played over the end credits or in the background of some scene.

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

Am I the only one who loves "Who Can You Trust," the theme song from Spy? I would assume it's eligible, but it may be too spot on as a parody of the Bond themes for its own good.

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Yay for Youth! Love that soundtrack and 'Simple Song' builds to a grand finale.

But can we get a Lady Gaga/Meryl duo of Bad Romance at the Oscars, please?

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPat

I do not want to listen to Sam Smith. He's a wanker and a twat.

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

"Writing's On The Wall" is a bit of a dud. Not Bond enough to forgive its melodrama, but not good enough of a song in general to elevate it.

So "Flashlight" was written for PITCH PERFECT 2?!? Oh gosh, I only watched that movie two weeks ago and was so taken aback by all this stuff about the characters writing "Flashlight" and me being all "but it's a Jessie J song. does Jessie J not exist in the universe of Pitch Perfect?" Which would be nice since I don't like Jessie J, but there you go.

I'm still a huge fan of "In April" from SONG ONE and if the film is eligible (sometimes these super small movies can just fail to be submitted or maybe there's a VOD eligibility issue) I would keep it in mind. It plays essential to the film and is performed on stage much like the film SONG ONE was compared a lot to, BEGIN AGAIN. It is coincidentally also writen by Jenny Lewis who wrote "Cold One" so that'd be a novelty if both songs were nominated.

Also, as seen by Karen O singing the song from HER, i imagine they'd just get Jenny Lewis to sing "Cold One". "In April" is sung by a man though so maybe they would get Johnny Flynn? Aaanyway.

Does anyone know how the Gaga song is incorporated into THE HUNTING GROUND?

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Glenn - I'm not 100% on Flashlight being original but I know Cold one and simple song are

September 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Is there ANYONE who likes Sam Smith and/or his Bond song? I bet his mom hates it/him too.

September 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

"Flashlight" is a Pitch Perfect 2 original, according to this TIME article:

Had no clue about the song from <I>Youth - I'm falling behind!

Lastly, I think "Til It Happens to You" will win; it's been my top pick for a while, actually. Diane Warren will finally get that Oscar and take Lady Gaga along for the ride.

September 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonovan W.

I too am interested if "See You Again" from Furious 7 gets a nom. Hugely popular song that capped off a big emotional moment in a film.

September 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Zitzelman

@ RobMiles:

September 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I just saw The Hunting Ground - the Lady Gaga song just plays over the credits. It fits the tone of the film well, though.

September 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Bond fans delight in hating every song that's released, as far back as I have been documenting Bond (which admittedly is only the past dozen years--the first "universal hate" song I recall was Die Another Day). In fact, of the past 5 Bond songs, only Skyfall got immediate praise from the hardcore Bond fans. Maybe Oscar listens to fandom, which would be really weird.

In general, I don't like the snap judgement thing any more than you do, Nathaniel. "You Know My Name" (Casino Royale) never grew on me, but I embrace the unusual. I quite like "Die Another Day" and "Another Way to Die" (Quantum of Solace), both of which got piled on viciously by the Bond fans.

I'll admit I've only heard the Sam Smith song once, but it's utterly hookless. I can't get my hands around it, y'know? It dribbles away.

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Yassss to Shawn the sheep getting a song nomination for Feels like summer

That 50shades mess will be nominated no doubt

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCuddles Kovinsky

Yes to Shaun the Sheep & Fast 7 being nominated here :)

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Is there any way to get to hear these WITHOUT having to sign up witih Spotify???

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

Ugh, Sam Smith... I was hoping he'd make an awesome song and I'd forgive him. But no. Still wishing Lana Del Rey did the theme.

September 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I know it has virtually ZERO chance, but I would love to see a nomination for "No Puedo Parar" from Mexican erotic thriller "Las Ocultas Primaveras" ("The Obscure Spring").

September 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

After being relatively underwhelmed by Sam Smith's Bond theme (seriously, anyone who argues that it's better than Skyfall or You Know My Name is stretching), I've basically invested myself emotionally in "Feels Like Summer" from SHAUN THE SHEEP's chances for a Best Original Song nomination.

October 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBlueFox94

"One Kind of Love" will not be eligible, it is the second track of the end credits of "Love & Mercy". Only the first music cue in the end credits are eligible.

December 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

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