• April 12, 2024

The 2021 Oscars’ Best Original Song Nominees, Cruelly Ranked : NPR

Eurovision Song Contest: The story of Fire Saga surpasses grandeur yet produces material that would thrive on a real Eurovision stage. John Wilson / Netflix hide caption

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John Wilson / Netflix

Eurovision Song Contest: The story of Fire Saga surpasses grandeur yet produces material that would thrive on a real Eurovision stage.

John Wilson / Netflix

It’s been an unusual year for … a lot of things, really, why should the Oscars be any different? But the Best Original Songs category feels particularly unusual given the pandemic forced so many blockbusters to be postponed: We didn’t get a Frozen-style animated musical to block one of the spots (and Christina Aguileras) by default new song from the live-action remake of Mulan it didn’t work out), during Billie Eilish’s James Bond theme Maybe if No Time to Die had actually come out as planned, it was the front runner.

That leaves more room than usual for somber closing credits that reflect the themes of dramas about the pursuit of social justice – songs that over the years tend to bleed together in our collective memories to form a somber but stirring picture Rat King called “I will speak and raise my voice to rise and stand and fight.” These songs follow a path taken by Common and John Legends Selma Anthem in 2014. “Fame“Form a subgenre best described as” Glorycore “. Talk! Rise! Stand! Fight!

Taken together, this year’s harvest could have used a touch of joy and energy – a “Accuse Canada“If you will. But given that it’s probably best that we don’t have to watch Sacha Baron Cohen perform.”Wuhan flu“At the Oscars out of context, these are the five songs we get. Here they’re cruel and objectively ranked in ascending order of quality.

5. “Hear my voice” The Chicago Trial 7performed by Celeste (Daniel Pemberton and Celeste, songwriters)


Hear My Voice has a lively voice from soul singer Celeste, great string arrangement, and a publicly available message about how to hear your voice. But a song can be too universal: you could put “Hear My Voice” on the credits of three dozen different 2020 films and make sure it fits. It’s an afterthought in The Trial of the Chicago 7, and it would be an afterthought almost anywhere else.

Seriously, why does Hear My Voice have to exist beyond chasing that award? It’s a nice boost to Celeste’s worthy career, but the song itself might as well be titled For Your Consideration: Hear My Voice (from The Trial Of The Chicago 7).

4. “I do (see)” The life before usperformed by Laura Pausini (Diane Warren and Laura Pausini, songwriters)


Diane Warren has been nominated an astonishing 12 times for best original song, including indelible hits like “Nothing Will Stop Us Now,” “How Do I Live” and “I Don’t Want To Miss Aware” – by the Academy Awards Staple Mannequin, Con Air and Armageddon. But she never won and after her collaboration with Lady Gaga in 2015 “Until it happens to you“mistakenly lost to Sam Smith”Writing is on the wall“Year after year, Warren has settled into a pattern of writing or taking note of a fourth- or fifth-highest nominee for the best original song of a given year.

Although she did not write Celeste’s “Hear My Voice,” Warren has become one of the most dedicated and tenacious practitioners of Glorycore and has contributed to it. “Stand up for something“(from Marshall)”I will fight“(from RBG) and”I stand by you“(from Breakthrough) to the catalog of the Oscars-approved hymns on loyalty and / or defiance. In” Io sì “(from the Italian drama The Life Ahead) she at least softens her approach a little and writes in Italian about … Well, a kind of defiant loyalty. Translated, the words Laura Pausini sings could have been written by an app programmed to have its user nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards: “If you want me I’m here / Nobody sees you, but I do. “

While winning isn’t a big favorite, don’t be surprised if Warren finally ends her losing streak on Sunday night. As a sentimental choice from a pool without a clear front runner, she has a significantly better chance than Celeste – or someone, for example, who is nominated for best actor against Chadwick Boseman.

3. “Speak now” One night in Miami …performed by Leslie Odom Jr. (Sam Ashworth and Leslie Odom Jr., songwriters)


On the one hand, “Speak Now” does not play a role in the plot of One Night in Miami …, Regina King’s excellent drama about an eventful evening in the lives of Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown. It also doesn’t push the boundaries of Oscar-friendly songs about speaking, standing, standing up, and / or fighting. But it ties in with one of the film’s central tensions, with Cooke (played by Odom) grappling with his responsibility to play songs that speak to the moment and challenge white audiences.

Hamilton’s Tony and Grammy winner Odom was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor and is very effective in King’s film: In One Night in Miami … and “Speak Now” he doesn’t mimic Cooke as much as impersonation the essence of the legend and as his own talent make the difference.

2. “Fight for you” Judas and the black messiah, performed by HER (D’Mile, HER and Tiara Thomas, songwriters)


So if you keep track of things, that’s a song about hearing, a song about being seen, and another song about hearing. At least SHE brings a fight to the mix right?

Unfortunately, we’re now 4 on 4 with the best nominees for original songs whose placement in their respective films starts immediately when the credits start rolling. Even so, “Fight for You” has a brassy quality that matches the sound and tone of Judas and the Black Messiah. It feels like an extension of the soundtrack and overall messaging. Even better, it increases the use of words to deeds, including a call for revolution that fits the theme of the film.

If you’re trying to navigate an Oscar pool, it is an unusually difficult category – a term that is reflected in the category Bundled Gold Derby rating. Ultimately, voters might be eager to help Warren break their losing streak, bring Leslie Odom Jr. a letter closer to his inevitable EGOT, or surrender to Netflix’s aggressive attempts at all costs for The Trial of the Chicago 7 advertise. But “Fight for You” seems as likely a bet as any other: it’s timeless, and contemporary, and contemporary, in a way that helps overcome mere Glorycore award grubbing. Plus, The Grammys love YOU Why wouldn’t the Oscars join them?

1. “Husavik” Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Sagaperformed by Molly Sandén, Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrell (Rickard Göransson, Fat Max Gsus and Savan Kotecha, songwriters)


The Eurovision Song Contest is hardly what you would call Oscar bait: it’s a fun but scattering broadcast of a topic that is already parodying itself, led by stars (Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams) whose eternal joy in playing is a delayed one Tempo cannot overcome the dubious density of jokes. But the film is successful in one crucial area: it gets the songs largely to the point, surpasses the grandeur, and at the same time produces material that would thrive on a real Eurovision stage.

The song is lyrically cheesy and fits its context in the film. It’s based on a soaring melody that adds to the size of the orchestra and both McAdams (in a quiet solo scene) and Swedish singer Molly Sandén, whose enormous voice, provides a powerful showcase for viewers to hear when McAdams sings on stage. As the best nominee for original songs, “Husavik” ticks all the check boxes that this category should have in the interest of review: if all four other nominated songs are credited to their films, “Husavik” is at the center of Eurovision’s song climate scene Competition. It has to be absolutely fatal for the finale of the film to work and it brings the house down.

Not to say it will win because it probably won’t win. But it should.

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