Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One Category at a Time: Best Original Song

In surprising fashion, the Academy actually managed to nail down five respectable nominees this year, and managed to avoid snubbing the year's best track.

Of course I refer to T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham's "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart, a beautiful composition with poetic lyrics that evoke the film's main themes without being too blunt. Lazy lyrics are indeed one weakness I notice with the other nominees. Not to belittle them, but I don't see how they stand a chance against T-Bone, who has become a very popular guy this season.

The oft-nominated Randy Newman was destined to get a couple of nominations this year based on the very nature of The Princess and the Frog (original screen musicals are so rare these days). "Down in New Orleans" and "Almost There" are fun jaunty tunes, but are likely to split the vote of the film's supporters. The token foreign language nominee "Loin de Paname" from Paris 36 is a wistful and nostalgic tune from a movie nobody's seen. Maury Yeston's "Take It All" is a sassy number from a film that not enough people liked.

For all my complaining about the gross mishandling of this category over the years, I must concede that when the whole Academy votes on a winner, it's usually quite good. I doubt they'll screw it up this year.

Will/should win: "The Weary Kind" from Crazy Heart

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