If you didn't catch the Coen brothers Hail, Caesar! this weekend it might surprise you to hear that it could actually be categorized as a musical. No, not a full blown musical with a good portion of their narrative emerging from the songs but musically inclined. It's more like "a film with music" as Yentl once said to the ticketbuying public. There are three distinct musical numbers in the film, which is three more than 95% of films get. More...
Entries in Original Song (121)
Glenn here with a look at everybody’s favourite category – best original song! Okay, so, sure, even if this year’s roster for best original song doesn’t look like a vintage one for the category, there’s actually some fun to be had when you consider who will win.
- Will Diane Warren finally win an Oscar on her eighth nomination? And how strange will it be to see her win for a song from a documentary about sexual abuse alongside Lady Gaga rather than one of the chart-busting hit-singles that her first six nominations were for (lest we forget, Beyond the Lights’ “Grateful” didn’t chart because, well, Rita Ora).
- Will an opera tune win for the first time? No work of opera has ever been nominated if my research is correct, which is kinda neat even though I think the song is dirge (albeit appropriately so for the film).
- Will all the talk of diversity in cinema this year give us a winner that is either black (The Weeknd), transgender (Antony Hegarty), or gay (Sam Smith)?
- It’s been 18 years since the last occurrence of a movie winning both a Razzie and an Oscar. Plenty of films have been nominated for both of the awards, but neither has won an award from each since Wall Street in 1988. Could Fifty Shades of Grey break a very unique drought?
Now, naturally because we all love lists so I thought it would be fun to rank every winner of Oscar’s best original song category and see where this year’s contenders would fit in when they take home that golden statue. What could possible go wrong with a completely subjective ranking of over 80 songs?!? Oh dear. You’ve been warned, I guess. Two things to note: I have not included "The Last Time I Saw Paris" from Lady Be Good since even the writer of that 1941 song was angry it was given an award when it wasn't written for the movie (it was subsequently the impetus for the category's rule change). Secondly, I have tried to rank as close to original film versions as possible so some songs that were improved upon in later recordings (like Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa”) may not rank as high. And, yes, before you ask, I am the person that hates Mary Poppins and who has never seen much of the appeal of the overtly twee “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.
Go over the rainbow after the jump...
Here's two awards curiousity for your afternoon. Both involve guilds that differentiate their prizes not by genre but by budget (i.e. big, small, micro): Casting and Music Supervision.
The Guild of Music Supervisors has been giving out awards for six years now. The music supervisor's job entails finding pre existing music, getting rights to all the songs, overseeing all music related aspects of a production. This year their big winners were all films which various people have labelled "snubbed" over the past week: Straight Outta Compton, Carol, and Diary of a Teenage Girl. And Furious 7's "See You Again," which did not make Oscar's Original Song nominated shortlist, takes Original Song. (more about their awards here.)
The Casting Society's "Artios" awards do things a little differently. They divide their awards both by budget and by comedy/drama. Their big budget winners: The Big Short / Straight Outta Compton. Their indie winners: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Room. Their low budget winners: Dope and The Stanford Prison Experiment.
That last one is a really great call because the film hasn't been in the conversation at all which means they were clearly thinking about its actual merit as opposed to hearing its name constantly in the "awards" circus. I've said since I saw it that one day it might read as a who's who of male stars before they were big. (More about their awards here.)
Your Evening LOL
Elite Daily "A Letter From The Oscar Board On Why Carol Was Totally Snubbed"
This Had Oscar Buzz Joe Reid's hilarious tumblr of lost (on-paper) dreams
MNPP Pic of the Day Tom Hiddleston welcomes you to High-Rise... without pants
Coming Soon Steve Coogan and John C Reilly will headline the upcoming biopic Stan & Ollie about the movie comedy duo Laurel & Hardy - any guesses as to who pretends to be supporting for the Oscar campaign?
CHUD on the major changes from book to screen for The Revenant (obviously spoilers) including its completely different ending
Twitter Assassins Creed starring Michael Fassbender is a wrap. It's still nearly a year from theaters though (Dec 21st)
Variety Anne Hathaway to headline the sci-fi comedy The Shower which is being described as 'a cross between Attack the Block and Bridesmaids.' Hmmm
Variety apparently Connie Nielsen has replaced Nicole Kidman as the Queen of the Amazons for Wonder Woman. (Is this really Connie Nielsen in the photo? She looks nothing like her old self)
Salon Glenn Frey, lead singer of The Eagles, has died at 67. 2016 is not letting up.
The Guardian David Lang, Oscar nominated for his Youth song "Simple Song No. 3" talks about musicians he loves from Adele to Shostakovich
Stereogum because no Oscar year is complete without a Best Original Song controversy now there's online hubbub that Lady Gaga only contributed a few words to tbe Diane Warren song that won her an Oscar nomination "Til It Happens To You"
The Gold Standard is rooting for The Big Short's political aisle crossing to take home the Oscar -- I am stunned to hear that they're recommending it on Fox News since Repubs are so anti-regulation and the movie shows how important regulations are at preventing horrific abuses of the system. Did they misunderstand the message of the movie?
Will Packer (Executive Producer of Straight Outta Compton) slams the Oscars on facebook
Spike Lee boycotting the Oscars over the lack of black actors nominated
Variety John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) isn't upset about it, citing that time will sort things out as it did with Oscar snubs Do The Right Thing and Singin' in the Rain, telling Variety:
It’s like every year people complain. People even complain even when we have a lot of nominations. It is what it is. I’ve been in the game for 25 years. You never know — it’s the luck of the draw for you. To me, I’m not surprised. I’m not disappointed either, as much as other people are disappointed.
...I know there are other works that will be recognized by a more diverse Academy and I know there will be other years when work that is really deserving doesn’t get recognized.
That last sentence is the truest sentence ever spoken about the always volatile Oscars -- unlike the Emmys they have an entirely new crop of work to judge each year. Sometimes they make good calls. Other times...
Now that we've had 24 hours to process the Oscar nominations I polled Team Experience for one last Oscar Nomination reaction roundup. Which nomination did each of our contributors find most mystifying? Here are their answers which amused me so I hope you feel the same.
Please bear in mind that these items do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management. We each have our pet peeves and our "achievements" we just can't with. Share your headscratchers with us in the comments. What's still antagonizing you this morning a full 24 hours after getting used to it as an "Academy Award Nominee"
Individual targets after the jump...
Refresh your screen periodically for updates as this post will evolve
If you missed the Oscar nominations this morning you can check out the full list at our Official Nomination Index Page. The individual Oscar charts will take some time to update but should go up throughout the day. But while we're all gathered let's have so fun checking off some trivia and stats. This post is dedicated to the first timers in Oscar's club.
Feel free to contribute "firsts" in the comments!
First Time Lucky
Mad Max Fury Road is the first live action sequel ever nominated for Best Picture whose original wasn't nominated. In fact the entire Mad Max franchise had received zero nominations up until this morning. Mad Max is only the second sequel ever nominated for Best Picture whose original wasn't up for the same prize. The only other example is Toy Story 3 (the first Toy Story did receive a special Oscar though, before the creation of the Animated Feature Category)
First Time Nominees
Acting: Bryan Cranston, Brie Larson, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rachel McAdams, Tom Hardy, and two acting legends, film goddess Charlotte Rampling and stage giant Mark Rylance (whose shelves have all fallen from the weight of various trophies... but he doesn't work in movies much.)
Directing: Adam McKay, Lenny Abrahamson, Thomas McCarthy... and George Miller, believe it or not. Yes, he is an Oscar winner and previous nominee but in different categories (and two of three previous Oscar trips were for talking animal pictures, LOL, the super classic Babe and the animated winner Happy Feet). As of today he's now been nominated in five separate categories: Best Director (MMFR), Best Picture (MMFR & Babe), Best Original Screenplay (Lorenzo's Oil), Best Adapted Screenplay (Babe), and Best Animated Feature (Happy Feet).
Pop Star: Lady Gaga follows up her Oscar Sound of Music medley performance with an actual Oscar nomination for songwriting for "Til It Happens To You". Oscar voters seem happy with her which is weird because they've shunned her predecessor Madonna remarkably oftenn in this category with movie songs that becamse big hits like Into the Groove, This Used to Be My Playground, Live to Tell, etcetera.
Other hit songwriters on their first nods include Sam Smith and James Napier for "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre. And "Earned It" from 50 Shades of Grey from The Weeknd, whose star went supernova recently. The LA Times on his rise to fame.
First Time? Not Exactly but It's Still Cool
The Muse reports that Antony Hegarty (of Antony & The Johnsons fame) is the first trans person to receive an Oscar nomination. Antony is nominated for co-writing the "Manta Ray" the Original Song nominee from the documentary Facing Extinction. But this isn't strictly true. First time in modern era when people are quite aware of such things.
Coincidentally, the only previous example of a trans Oscar nominee also comes from the music categories. Angela Morley (born Wally Stott) was nominated in the music categories twice in the 1970s for The Little Prince (1974) and The Slipper in the Rose (1976). (Lana Wachowski, Hollywood's most famous trans filmmaker, has yet to be Oscar nominated -- the Matrix (1999) which she co-directed with her brother Andy, was nominated for and won four Oscars but none of them went to the Wachowskis.)
First For Your Country
Colombia and Jordan are enjoying their first Foreign Language Film nominations for Embrace of the Serpent and Theeb respectably. Also though I haven't fact-checked I believe Chile is enjoying it's first animated short film nomination with Bear Story.
The First Mean Girl Oscar Nominee
Queen Bee Regina George it is. Rachel McAdams is up for Spotlight. Tina Fey has won Globes & Emmys, Lizzy Caplan has been nominated for an Emmy. Will their be a second Mean Girls Oscar nominee at some point? If so who you think it'll be?
Kieran, here. Full disclosure—Best Original Song is my least favorite category. Though the last three winners of this category have been worthy entries, this relative hot streak doesn’t overwrite the fact that the category’s mandate for existing is somewhat dubious. For every “Glory” or “Skyfall” the category of late will award many more “We Belong Together” and “Man or Muppet” level winners. That’s why when a movie song comes along that feels emotionally or architecturally integral to its film’s narrative, it’s difficult to argue against it as a winner.
That brings us to Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” from Furious 7. Look…I can already hear and see the exasperated sighs and eyerolls that accompany any advocacy for this hit as an Academy Award Winner. Its tedious ubiquity in 2015 can easily (and fairly) prompt the response of “Does it need Academy Awards advocacy on top of everything else?”