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)