Saturday, January 28, 2012

Best Original Song - 2011

"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets performed by Jason Segel and Peter Linz

Movie Synopsis: Three fans help the Muppets reunite to save their theatre from a greedy oil tycoon. Adventures and wackiness ensue.

Does it appear in the movie (i.e. other than the end credits)? least I'm pretty sure it does?
Is it important to the plot? From my internet research, yes?
Is it pleasing to the ear? Silly as fuck, but yes.
"Real in Rio" from Rio performed by Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez,, and the Rio Singers

Movie Synopsis: A domesticated macaw goes to Rio De Janeiro with a she-macaw. Adventures and wackiness ensue.

Does it appear in the movie (i.e. other than the end credits)? Opening and closing.
Is it important to the plot? SOUTH AMERICAN BIRDS LIKE THE SAMBA!
Is it pleasing to the ear? Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros have soured me on all psuedo-South American music.

Oh, no. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. There are but two, I repeat, two--dos, deux, due, zwei, duobus--Best Original Song nominees this year. Why, you ask? Well, according to this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly:
"...the Academy's music branch introduced a rule change in 2009 demanding that tunes receive an average score of 8.25 or higher (out of 10) from branch members to earn a nod. And if just one song hits the 8.25 mark, the track with the next highest score gets a nomination."
Meaning: nothing is good enough for the pretentious asshats in the Academy's music branch. I mean, Christ, just for appearances throw in a third nominee. This is just embarrassing. It makes the category look pointless. (Which if you get down to it, the whole damn thing: film makers awarding film makers for the sake of getting awards is pointless...but I digress). In 1945, the category hit its peak with a staggering 14 nominations. The following year, the rules changed to limit the number of nominations to five maximum. Since then, only four years--1988, 2005, 2008, 2010--have strayed from this formula. But this is a new low.

It's hard to believe a mere seven years ago the Counting Crows's radio-friendly "Accidentally in Love" (from Shrek 2) was a nominee. And nine years ago Eminem's hoody-up anthem "Lose Yourself" (from 8 Mile) was the Best Original Song winner and a number one single on the Billboard charts. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Sigh...anyway, what gets my vote?
"Man or Muppet" from The Muppets

It made me laugh. It's better structured. It's bombastic. It's something.

So what will win?
I'd say "Man or Muppet" for all the reasons given above AND songs from The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Great Muppet Caper (1981) were previously nominated, so maybe the Academy has some love for the Muppets. Plus, I have a 50/50 chance of being right. I like them odds.

Before this year's Golden Globes, I listened to the five nominees for their Best Original Song category. Even though the Globes and the Oscars disagree on this category more than any other, I figured there could be some overlap. I was wrong, of course. It's unfortunate too because "Lay Your Head Down" from Albert Nobbs and the winning "Masterpiece" from Madonna's upcoming directorial debut W.E. are actually listenable. But the bestest, most awesome song?

"Hello, Hello" from Gnomeo & Juliet performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga

I love this song. It's catchy and a little weird (Come on, it's Elton and Gaga!). The first time I heard it during an impromptu viewing of Gnomeo & Juliet, I thought to myself "Oh fuck all, this will be my number one song." And so it was for several weeks. 

If this was a perfect world, "Hello, Hello" would be nominated for and win the Academy Award for Best Original Song 2011. Alas, we live in a world where two mediocre/okayish songs manage to rise above all else. Ugh. I won't give up on this category yet.

Also, I've been thinking about maybe, MAYBE, doing a Golden Globes Best Original Song comparison retrospective. I could also try to catch songs I missed (aka songs that couldn't be found on Youtube at the time). Hmmmm.

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