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Entries in Best Original Song (10)

Monday
May282018

Today in Showbiz History: Edith Massey, Notting Hill, Prince of Persia

by Nathaniel R

Happy birthday to any May 28th-ers out there. If it's not your birthday which of these events and people will you channel or celebrate today?

1431 Joan of Arc accused of donning male clothing again (GASP) therefore "relapsing into heresy". The heretic/saint has been portrayed in movies, tv, and stage, a bajillion times since. Condola Rashad is currently Tony nominated for playing her in "Saint Joan"

1888 Athlete Jim Thorpe born in Oklahoma. Became an Olympic gold medalist and actor and even got his own biopic.

1902 The Virginian by Owen Wister is published. The book becomes hugely influential in shaping the Western genre. It's later adapted into two silent films, four regular features, and a long running TV series.

1918 CENTENNIAL! Edith Massey is born in NYC.

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Thursday
Apr192018

April Foolish Predictions: What film scores will be loved in 2018?

by Nathaniel R

Mary Poppins (1964) was nominated for 13 Oscars winning 5. Will Mary Poppins Returns (2018) also win Oscar hearts?

Since scores are often one of the very last components to fall into place in post-production, determining which scores might stand out at year's end is like throwing darts blindfolded. Each year some composers are replaced between our first round of predictions and the time their films arrive. Plus some 2018 movies haven't even hired a composer yet. Presumably they're waiting for Alexandre Desplat's schedule to open up. Only half joking! The perpetually in demand French composer and double Oscar winner generally scores anywhere from 5 to 10 (gulp) movies a year and he only has three films currently scheduled for release in 2018 (Isle of Dogs, Operation Finale, and Kursk... though we suspect The Sisters Brothers will hit this year as well, making it 4). Other Oscar favorites who have suspiciously empty schedules this year include Hans Zimmer and Thomas Newman.

From the year's releases that we've already seen we're curious about how A Quiet Place and Black Panther might hold up in the sound categories, too, since both films are blockbusters and A Quiet Place, especially, relies heavily on its aural elements for its success.

In related news: Best Original Song is next to impossible to predict this early as details are always scarce until late in the year but if you have any premonitions do let us know!  Here is our guesswork on the sound categories for the next Oscar race and the April Foolish Predictions thus far.

Wednesday
Mar072018

Soundtracking: The Oscar Performances

by Chris Feil

Isn’t it lovely that full performances of the Original Song nominees are here to stay? Well, hopefully here to stay. We’re not far enough removed from the Oscar telecast cruelly jettisoning less known tracks from the evening’s performances to breathe easy when we get to delight in each of the nominees. Off years or no, past omissions have been a decidedly bad look.

And the performances largely kept their spectacle simple and straightforward, providing some nice grand emotion in an otherwise mostly even keel evening. In one of the few upset's of the night Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez got their second Oscar for Coco's "Remember Me" (my favorite of the nominees). Coco’s triumph was so richly deserved particularly for how inextricable it is from the film’s narrative, criteria that the songwriting branch has famously demanded of late. But the telecast allowed for some reassessment of the nominated lineup...

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Wednesday
Feb282018

Soundtracking: The Best Oscar Winning Original Songs

by Chris Feil

While Soundtracking aims to look at the depth and relationship between movies and their music, one of this series’ minor ambitions is to defend the purpose of Oscar’s much maligned Original Song category. Complain about some of the weak nominees in recent years and you are (alone yet) not alone. But this category has a rich history of classics and film-defining tracks, some of which you may not know have their origins in the cinema. Case in point: holiday staple of hot takes "Baby It's Cold Outside" won the Oscar in 1949 for Neptune's Daughter.

While this year’s nominees run from the unfortunate to the immaculate, I’d also offer that Oscar’s Original Song is currently in an upswing in quality. It has also faced some underwhelming periods (take a look at the 50s) and may never return to its 70s-80s level of radio rotation, but Original Songs remain as essential as the films themselves. So to showcase the category, I’ve ranked the best of the Original Song winners! If your favorite didn’t make the list, consider that a reminder of how much you actually cherish the category...

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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.

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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.

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