June 21, 2008

Random Musing: Best Original Song Oscar

Today is a sad day for Disney films and musicals. "The number of original songs that can be nominated from a single movie will now be limited to two, according to a rule change by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences late Tuesday." Last year's "Enchanted" will then be the final film to have three nominations, which included "Happy Working Song," "So Close," and "That's How You Know," none of which won. The year before, Jennifer Hudson-powered musical "Dreamgirls" also had three nominations, including "Listen," "Love You I Do," and "Patience," also none of which won. The only other two films to have more than two nominations were 1991's Oscar magnet "Beauty and the Beast" and 1994's "The Lion King," both Disney films.
With this change in nomination policy, I am actually not sure for whom it would become more difficult---Disney films and musicals or the Academy itself. With the nomination list from any one film limited, anyone would instantly think the film is missing another opportunity for an Oscar in that category, but with the nominations limited, it makes it more difficult for the Academy to piggyback so many songs from any one film into the category for nomination. I mean, come on! "Patience" from Dreamgirls was nowhere near being Oscar-worthy, but two other songs were chosen from the film, and because it was "original" too, it made it easy for the Academy to round out the category with five nominees.
And now I have to bring up the trouble with Oscar. I have realized that "Falling Slowly," a song from "Once" and the actual winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song last year, was hardly originally composed for "Once." No, according to Wikipedia:

"It had appeared in 2006 on "The Cost" (an album issued by [writer] Hansard's band, The Frames) as well as in the movie "Beauty in Trouble"; it had also been performed by the [writers] in various European venues. The Academy ruled that because the song had been composed for the movie, and the prior public exposure during the long period that the movie took to produce had been minimal, it remained eligible."

Total bull. It was not written specifically for the film, so it would therefore be ineligible, and their reasoning is bull. The Academy itself says:
"Only songs that are 'original and written specifically for the film' are eligible to win."

Therefore, "Falling Slowly" is officially ineligible. That is all there is to it. It was not written specifically for "Once" because it clearly popped up on at least one band's album before the film was even released! "You Must Love Me" from "Evita" was certainly not on any album by Madonna before the film's release! And again, I do not know who is losing out the most in this circumstance: the other eligible songs that rounded out the nominees last year or the Academy itself for bending its own rules and proving to be hypocrites?
Anyway, I just thought it was fascinating to share the news of the original song nomination rule change and to point out the Academy's recent bending of rules. And I still have not reasoned for whom it would be least fair in any of these cases.

No comments: