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Entries in Best Original Song (6)

Wednesday
Sep132017

Soundtracking: "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut"

Chris Feil's soundtrack series doesn't "Blame Canada" this week while he is at TIFF...

When Book of Mormon opened on Broadway, it was met with a fairly shocked response that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were able to create such an old-fashioned musical within their own foul-mouthed lexicon. It was as if people had quickly forgotten that they had already created a catchy and sweet musical on screen with South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. And this was a few years before musicals would be cool at the movies again and a bit of a “gotcha” joke on their fanbase expecting simple crudeness, so maybe it’s easy to forget just how gutsy the South Park movie was.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug162017

Soundtracking: "Evita"

It's Madonna's birthday!! Chris Feil looks back at one of her biggest soundtracks...

By the mid-90s, musicals were all but dead, even though Disney created their own resurgence in animated form. Madonna’s career however was always heading toward reviving it: she constantly reinvented the game for the music video and her Breathless Mahoney songstress was Dick Tracy’s genre flirtation device. With her divisive performance in Evita, she brought the cinematic musical back into the popular culture and delivered a hit soundtrack in the process.

And I should qualify that for emphasis: a hit soundtrack to a quasi-opera about propaganda and Argentine political figures when the popular music landscape highlighted Alanis, Tupac, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Madonna did that in arguably the least accommodating musical or cinematic climate, and perhaps only Madonna could have done it. Like it or not, much of the film’s success (even musically) is thanks to her star power, no matter how indelible Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s score remains.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul052017

Soundtracking: "A Mighty Wind"

HEY WHA HAPPENED?! It's Chris Feil's weekly soundtrack series!

Christopher Guest’s A Mighty Wind begins with the death of a music producer, so it makes sense that the film ruminates on a supposedly dead musical genre. Folk music is a fit for Guest’s idiosyncratic eye, with the nuances in musicality or artistic personalities making easy fodder for his world of self-serious oddballs. Wind explores the breadth of the folk genre in three distinct groups: the narrative-based acoustics of The Folksmen, the chearfully disposed harmonies of The New Main Street Singers, and the placid romanticism of duo Mitch and Mickey. Though the film plays these characters with typical Guest behavioral farce, it does take their music seriously...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec132016

91 Tunes Eligible for Oscar's "Best Original Song" Category

Oscar's music branch has sorted through all the tuneful submissions and made two gigantic lists. They've deemed 145 original film scores eligible for "Best Original Score" and 91 songs eligible in Oscar's most divisive category "Best Original Song". As long as I've been alive people have objected to this category even existing (when far more prevalents crafts like "casting" and "stunts" don't have Oscar categories) but without it we wouldn't get all those memorable musical performances on the show. Please note the word "memorable" comes with no connotations as to quality. You can be memorable for all sorts of reasons from brilliance to embarrassing yourself!

This year has the usual array of films you've never heard of, plentiful documentary and cartoon theme songs, songs from movies you saw but didn't realize they had a song (Sully anyone?!), and a whole lot of Sia from multiple movies though her best shots are probably the theme song from The Eagle Huntress or Zootopia's "Try Everything" (people think of it as a Shakira song but Sia wrote it so she'd get the nomination). Since single movies are only allowed two nominees in this category (the rule was changed after the 2007 Oscar race with 3 nominations from Enchanted), you'll find that most movies don't submit more than that, now. Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping only went with one, Sing Street narrowed their plentiful options down to two and La La Land submitted three. Sadly Hail Caesar either didn't submit or they deemed "No Dames" ineligible, we're guessing the former.  The 91 songs are listed after the jump with their videos so you can hear them where we could find them... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov182016

La La Land's Soundtrack and "City of Stars"

Chris here. Rejoice musical lovers - we can finally hear a full number from La La Land! The complete soundtrack drops December 9 when the film opens in limited release, so those clammoring to hear the full version of Emma Stone's potential Oscar moment "Audition" will still have to wait. We've heard a glimpse of "City of Stars" in the film's first teaser many months ago, but here is Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in full glory:

This year's Best Song race is potentially one of the most heated in many years with La La Land's tunes likely going head-to-head against Lin-Manuel Miranda's chance at EGOTing for Moana. It could make for one of the starriest lineups in some time with pop stars like Sia, Alicia Keys, and Justin Timberlake as possible performers/nominees. Let's just hope the ceremony doesn't shove off their lesser known nominees again this year!

What original songs are you rooting for?

Wednesday
May182016

Henry & Eleanor, Frank & Bram, and The Breakfast Club

On this day in movie related history... 

1152 King Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their romance is later fictionalized in the ever popular play/movie The Lion in Winter which we've written about several times

1897 Frank Capra is born in Italy. He'll immigrate to the US at five years old and become one of the most famous film directors of all time.  Across the ocean in London a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel "Dracula, or, The Un-dead" is staged. Frank Capra never makes a movie influenced by Dracula but everyone else does.

Meredith Wilson writing music1902 There's trouble right here in River City Mason City when Meredith Wilson is born. He'll later write The Music Man but not before accruing Oscar nominations for film scoring (The Little Foxes, The Great Dictator)

1912 The first Indian film Shree Pundalik is released in Mumbai. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of movies will follow in its wake from the ever prolific Indian film industry, better known as "Bollywood". Over in the US, Richard Brooks is born and will go on to become a famous screenwriter and director. Four must-sees from his filmography: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), In Cold Blood (1967), and Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)

1931 Robert Morse is born, becomes darling cross media actor winning 2 Tonys and 1 Emmy.

...Unfortunately Emmy, given the opportunity to reward him with a career capping statue, robs him blind decades later for his unforgettable farewell on Mad Men

1970 Tina Fey is born so that we might have 30 Rock and Mean Girls.

1985 Simple Minds hits #1 with Don't You Forget About Me" the theme song from teen classic The Breakfast Club. Oscar forgets about it in the Best Original Song category. Do you think it deserved to knock one of these songs out? Let's readjudicate the race in the comments.

Oh come on you know you want to!

Illustration to the right by Johanna The Mad

2003 Musical sensation Les Misérables closes on Broadway after 16 years and 6,680 performances. Becomes super-divisive big-grossing Oscar-winning movie 9 years later. Is nominated for Best Original Song