Just because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences music branch seems to hate the very concept of music, doesn’t mean one can’t hope/pray/wish that one day they will actually stop their BS and nominate songs that are actually good, or at least ones that have some effect both inside and outside of the movie. Really, when was the last time when a Best Original Song winner was even at least catchy? Anyway, this is my wish list for 2012 and yes, I am fully aware that most of these will be disqualified…
1. “Safe & Sound” Taylor Swift ft. The Civil Wars from The Hunger Games
Why it should be nominated: Simply put, it’s wonderful. Taylor Swift might be the target of constant snark—especially when it comes to awards—but this song, co-written by her, The Civil Wars and T-Bone Burnett is a stunning, simple ballad that perfectly evokes the desolation of the movie. Swift’s breathy vocals had never been this effective, when she sings “Don’t you dare look out your window/Darling everything’s on fire” you’ll be both swept away by enchantment and disturbed by what remains her darkest moment.
Why it won’t: The fact that it’s not the first cue in the ending credits and isn’t featured during the movie makes it ineligible. Period.
2. “Who Were We?” Kylie Minogue from Holy Motors
Why it should be nominated: In a movie with a myriad of memorable scenes few were as dreamlike as this meta-moment when Jean (Minogue) takes her former lover Oscar (Denis Lavant) on a trip down memory lane. They climb stairs, she asks him to hold her hand and then as if possessed by the spirit of Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand she bursts into song. “Who were we?/Who were we?/When we were/Who we were” she sings, in a few lines encompassing a history of cinema and the perils of doomed love.
Why it won’t: The song might be too erudite for AMPAS, although if you remember well, Lars Von Trier’s sole Oscar nomination came from his songwriter credit for “I’ve Seen It All” from Dancer in the Dark.
3. “Abraham’s Daughter” Arcade Fire from from The Hunger Games
Why it should be nominated: On “wow” factor alone, the way the song is added to the end credits is magnificent. There is no way anyone who sees The Hunger Games won’t hum this for hours afterwards.
Why it won’t: The music branch seemed to slowly become more progressive, yet the past few years have seen them snub some groundbreaking work in order to reward Randy Newman for the umpteenth time.
4. “Skyfall” Adele from Skyfall
Why it should be nominated: I am a big fan of James Bond songs and the recent entries for Casino Royale, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day have been shocking snubs perhaps because they’re too “different”. However leave it to Adele to take the classic way, put her Shirley Bassey on and deliver a suave, seductive ballad that might’ve come out of the ‘60s. Considering Adele is highly regarded as the savior of the music industry, it should make sense that Oscar would want to recognize her too…
Why it won’t: ...however the song samples two notes from the theme to Dr. No. Instant disqualification.
5. “When Can I See You Again?” Owl City from Wreck-It Ralph
Why it should be nominated: In the year of “Call Me Maybe” this cute pop song from one of the year’s biggest animated hits should at least be in contention.
Why it won’t: The last cute pop song nominated for an Oscar was released in the 1980’s.
What 2012 movie songs would make your list?