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Entries in Original Song (87)

Tuesday
Feb042014

Original Song: Pharrell Will Sing "Happy" at the Oscars

One down. Four more Three more songs to go (unless I missed an announcement)...

It's official: there will be Song performances at the Oscars. Pharrell Williams, fresh off his hat-loving Grammy success, will be performing Despicable Me 2's hit song "Happy", currently #11 on Billboard's Hot 100 and rising, on Oscar night. No word yet on the other songs up for the gold but if anyone other than Idina Menzel is asked to sing "Let It Go", currently #26 on Billboard's Hot 100 and rising (and when was the last time two Original Song nominees were actual hits???), I hope there are protests / riots. I'm not even a huge Idina fan but come on! (Still it'd be just like the Oscars to pull something like that.)

Stay tuned...

Related: Aural Oscar ChartsSong Nomination Revoked

Wednesday
Jan292014

And Then There Were Four. Oscar Nomination Revoked In Yet More Music Branch Drama

As you have undoubtedly heard because the drama is too juicy not to spread, the Original Song nominee that shocked everyone on Nomination Morning is no longer. "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone, a faith-based movie, has been disqualified due to excessive untoward campaigning. The nomination had been controversial right from the start for multiple reasons. First, no one had heard of the movie (not even one review on Rotten Tomatoes at the time) and people don't like obscure things. Then the amateurish-looking and racist-seeming trailer got passed around mockingly and we learned that anti-gay activists were endorsing the film. The team behind it basically gave God the credit for its nomination. Listen, Oscar night is heaven on earth but God's got nothing to do with it.

More on Oscar's most aggravating branch after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan232014

Short Link 12

Today's Must Read
The Dissolve Nathan Rabin discusses his own group home experience and his relationship to Short Term 12 which is now out on DVD and BluRay

General Linkage
THR Garrett Hedlund offered the plum Captain Hook role in Joe Wright's Peter Pan adaptation Pan
Ken Levine, inspired by Quentin Tarantino, makes a major announcement 
Variety Scott Thorson (played by Matt Damon in Behind the Candelabra) just sentenced to 8 to 20 years in Nevada! Yikes. 


AV Club Her trailer recut to replace Scarlett Johansson's voice with, uh, Philip Seymour Hoffman's. It's terrifying. you have been warned.
IAR interviews Destin Cretton on Short Term 12
THR a non controversy at Oscar on that strange Original Song nomination from Alone But Not Alone. Pity that Oscar is such sticklers about the rules on some classic important films like Moulin Rouge! and then lets things slide in weird cases like this
Coming Soon the Oscar winning doc Man in Wire could get the narrative feature treatment from Robert Zemeckis
/Film Disney's Frozen getting a sing-along version next weekend
BuzzFeed Rachel McAdams shares her two favorite lines from Mean Girls, 10 years later
Pajiba Chris Pratt sings a song about Jean Claude Van Damme's Sudden Death on Parks and Recreation

Finally...
EW Grace of Monaco pulled from the Weinstein Company's release schedule?!? Don't they realize I need biannual doses of Kidman like Virginia Woolf needs exhilarating trips to London? Readers who've asked how I'm coping should know that I have not yet loaded my coat up with stones. But there will be a reckoning if we never get to see it. 

P.S. Bette Davis thinks you're a vile sorry little bitch*

*show of hands: who thinks Bette is saying "sour" rather than "sorry" - I can't decipher it 

Wednesday
Jan222014

Sundance: 'Land Ho!' Proves Aaron Katz is America's Next Great

Sundance coverage continues with Glenn musing on the career of Aaron Katz and his latest, Land Ho!

"Mumblecore", the term given to the influx of super low-budget independent films with a rotating core of creatives, cops a lot of grief these days. I assume it's mostly from people sick of Lena Dunham’s ubiquity (she wrote/directed/starred in the incredible Tiny Furniture) or people just getting sick from the home-spun, handheld aesthetic that beset many of the movement’s features. Personally, I love that we now have the likes of Greta Gerwig, Lynn Shelton (who’s at Sundance again this year with Laggies) and Joe Swanberg amongst others. The brightest star to my eyes, however, is Aaron Katz, the 32-year-old American director who directed the woozy, boozy, teenage coming-of-age drama Dance Party USA and the deliciously cheeky Sherlock riff Cold Weather. He returns with Land Ho!, co-directing alongside Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song), and proves that he is indeed one of America’s next greats and perhaps my favourite working American director.

Land Ho! is a simple film, but never simplistic. It’s certainly not as high-concept as Cold Weather, but it weaved an enchanting spell over me with its tale of two friends, Colin and Mitch, taking a late-in-life vacation through the wilds of Iceland. Paul Eenhoorn of the equally beguiling This is Martin Bonner stars with Earl Lynn Nelson in only his third (!) film, and your enjoyment of the film rests quite heavily on their shoulders. Eerhoorn’s delicate, friendly style is such a beauty to watch and the film’s latter passage as the re-invigoration of Colin literally comes bubbling to the surface in a hot spring is such an effective, richly portrayed sequence that's a wonder to watch. Nelson, also good, unfortunately has the lesser of the two-hander, although his randy senior citizen act results in many genuinely funny moments.

I can’t speak for Martha Stephens of which this is the first film I have seen, but Aaron Katz is just about the bee’s knees right now. I respond so strongly to his stripped back, but emotionally vibrant and visually effervescent approach to his material. It would be hard to make Iceland look ugly, but with Land Ho! it is filmed so lovingly by Katz’s frequent cinematographer, Andrew Reed, that is reveals an entirely new beauty. An argument scene between the two men lit only by the hovering radiance of nightclub glowsticks is a particularly striking image that I’ll likely not soon forget. The soundtrack, too, is a total winner with scenes punctuated by somewhat anachronistic – and yet totally right – electronic music including the film’s unofficial anthem, “In a Big Country”.

Compared to another former mumblecore-adjacent director’s Sundance return, Alex Ross Perry and Listen Up Phillip, Katz and Stephen’s Land Ho! isn’t a particularly revelatory creative step forward. However, what it has are rare virtues that will likely strike at viewers in a truly genuine, earnest place that cinema rarely ventures. It’s a sublime film, wonderfully styled, and one that makes me entirely confident in announcing Katz as one American cinema’s most vital, invigorating, and masterful modern voices.

Grade: A-
Distribution: Was just picked up this morning by Sony Pictures Classics for worldwide release in 2014. Let’s start that best original song ball rolling for this dizzying ditty by Keegan DeWitt.

Monday
Dec162013

The "Original Song" Eligibility List. Hum Along

Look, I enjoyed the "Please Mr Kennedy" song scene in Inside Llewyn Davis as much as anyone -- I was laughing out loud -- but I am curious why people ALWAYS want novelty songs to be honored for gold? Is it because they don't take the Original Song category seriously? I'm still pissed that everyone was rooting for the 30 Rock gag song "Rural Juror" to beat Smash beauty "Hang the Moon" for the parallel Emmy category! "Please Mr Kennedy", which has been nominated for the "Critics Choice" and the Golden Globe is not Oscar eligible but here are the 75 songs that are.

As for other non Mr Kennedy songs that make great scenes from their movies? Just know that we're rooting for "So You Know What It's Like" from Short Term 12 and "Moon Song" from Her. If the former happens can we all agree to pretend it's as good as a supporting actor nomination for Keith Stanfield? Any other FYCs out there from this list? Which movies do you think use their songs well? 

OSCAR'S ELIGIBILITY LIST - BEST ORIGINAL SONG
5 will go on to Oscar nominations

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec102013

Team FYC: "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" Original Score

Team FYC highlights our favorite individual fringe Oscar contenders. Here's Philippe Ostiguy...

Last January, waves of chatter came rushing out of Sundance with glowing words for a little American drama that has steadily enchanted audiences since. Though it can’t be credited with much innovation, David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is an old-fashioned tale of love and crime told with heart, eager to pay tribute to Americana pioneers.  Though its sun-kissed cinematography and trio of lead performances by Rooney Mara, Ben Foster and Casey Affleck have been the main talking points, the film earns most of its magic by way of Daniel Hart’s musical contributions, at once delicate and tense, alert and dreaming.

Classically trained violinist Hart, who has released music under his own name as well as with his bands The Physics of Meaning and Dark Rooms, has little film experience: his only other scoring credit is on Lowery’s previous film, St. Nick. But that’s about to change. His work on Saints is memorable and precise, a perfect fit for the film that beautifully stands on its own. His string-heavy compositions are wistful and light as daydreams, yet, from the nostalgia of “Do You Remember That Day” to the slight dissonance of “Ruth Tries to Write”, always suggest the violence of emotions below the surface. It’s a subtle and layered score that, though deeply rooted in tradition, always feels alive, fitting in somewhere between Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ haunting work on The Assassination of Jesse James and more cacophonic Lawless score.

The songs composed for the soundtrack deserve a mention, too: between the Motown-esque ‘60s throwback of Andrew Tinker’s “Ain’t Long Enough”, Curtis Heath and John Graney’s bluesy “Been Waiting” and the soulful country of “Siren Call” and “Here We Are”, which both sound like they were written half a century ago, Hart’s compositions find a slew of striking complements that make Saints’ a most well-rounded soundtrack – and one that, though it might not turn the Academy’s head, more than deserves a spin or two. Or more.

You can listen to part of the soundtrack here.

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