63 Original Songs Up For 2009 Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has released the list of the songs eligible for this year’s Best Original Song (a practice I wish they would do for Best Original Score). Since I’m writing an article on this for Film Score Monthly Online next month, I’m not going to provide any commentary about the nominees themselves. As usual this list contains contains some mighty odd–and obscure–choices.

This year’s list of song’s eligible for the 82nd Academy Awards are:

  • “All Is Love” from “Where the Wild Things Are”Oscar
  • “Almost Over You” from “My One and Only”
  • “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”
  • “AyAyAyAy” from “The Maid”
  • “Back to Tennessee” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
  • “Being Bad” from “Duplicity”
  • “Blanco” from “Fast & Furious”
  • “Brothers in Arms” from “Brothers at War”
  • “Butterfly Fly Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
  • “Cinema Italiano” from “Nine”
  • “Colorblind” from “Invictus”
  • “Depression Era” from “That Evening Sun”
  • “Don’t Walk Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
  • “Dove of Peace” from “Bruno”
  • “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”
  • “Fly Farm Blues” from “It Might Get Loud”
  • “Forget Me” from “I Love You, Beth Cooper”
  • “God Bless Us Everyone” from “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”
  • “Here” from “Shrink”
  • “Hideaway” from “Where the Wild Things Are”
  • “Hoedown Throwdown” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
  • “I Bring What I Love” from “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love”
  • “I See You” from “Avatar”
  • “(I Want to) Come Home” from “Everybody’s Fine”
  • “If You’re Wondering” from “The Lightkeepers”
  • “Impossible Fantasy” from “Adventures of Power”
  • “Innocent Child” from “Skin”
  • “Invictus 9,000 Days” from “Invictus”
  • “Legendary” from “Tyson”
  • “Let Freedom Reign” from “Skin”
  • “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36”
  • “Ma Belle Evangeline” from “The Princess and the Frog”
  • “My One and Only” from “My One and Only”
  • “Na Na” from “Couples Retreat”
  • “Never Knew I Needed” from “The Princess and the Frog”
  • “New Divide” from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
  • “New Jersey Nights” from “Adventures of Power”
  • “New York Is Where I Live” from “Did You Hear about the Morgans?”
  • “No Time for Love” from “Simon & Malou”
  • “One Day” from “Post Grad”
  • “Only You” from “The Young Victoria”
  • “Other Father Song” from “Coraline”
  • “Petey’s Song” from “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
  • “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” from “Ponyo”“
  • Possibility” from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”
  • “Raining Sunshine” from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
  • “Running Out of Empty (Make Ourselves at Home)” from “Lymelife”
  • “Smoke without Fire” from “An Education”
  • “Somebody Else” from “Crazy Heart”
  • “Stu’s Song” from “The Hangover”
  • “Take It All” from “Nine”
  • “Through the Trees” from “Jennifer’s Body”
  • “Trust Me” from “The Informant!”
  • “Un Bouquet des Violettes” from “New York, I Love You”
  • “We Are the Children of the World” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
  • “We Love Violence” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
  • “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart”
  • “When You Find Me” from “Adam”
  • “Winter” from “Brothers”
  • “The Word Is Love” from “Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!”
  • “You Got Me Wrapped around Your Little Finger” from “An Education”
  • “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
  • “You’ve Been a Friend to Me” from “Old Dogs”

You’ll find a lot of blog posts and other articles about this list, a lot of them complaining about songs included and songs left out. Just remember, to be eligible songwriters have to submit their paperwork by the deadline AND the song has to meet the Academy’s criteria. The official rules for Best Original Song state:

An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the motion picture. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits.

The Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch on January 12. DVD’s of the clips will be sent to voters who can’t make the screening. Following the screenings, members will determine the nominees by an averaged point system vote. This year, the Music Branch changed its Song rules again, following yet another year when only three nominees were chosen. The official press release states:

If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees.

One thing I do NOT like about this list is the omission of the songwriters from the press release. They are also excluded from the initial ballot at the screening of clips. I understand and appreciate their efforts to try and keep everything on an even playing field, especially when people may vote for a “name”. But it’s still demeaning to the artists involved and the Music Branch keeps missing chances to champion their own industry.

Expect anywhere from 2 to 5–or 0!–nominees from this list when the nominations are announced on February 2.

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