By Brian Ives
Earlier today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year’s Oscar nominations, including the nominees for Best Score and Best Original Song.
Related: The 2015 Academy Award Nominations
Up for the Best Original Song award this year: “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie; “Glory” from Selma (the 2015 Golden Globe winner); “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights; “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me; and “Lost Stars” from Begin Again.
Each of these songs has a chance to follow “Let It Go,” “Jai Ho,” “Up Where We Belong,” “The Way We Were” and “Man or Muppet” as songs immortalized as Oscar winners.
As the old cliche goes, it’s an honor just to be nominated. But we’ll extend that cliche just a bit further, and point out that some cool songs from movies in years past that didn’t even get that far.
The following tunes didn’t even get a nomination for an Oscar: Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars‘ “Safe and Sound” (from the first Hunger Games), Bruce Springsteen‘s “The Wrestler” (from The Wrestler), Eddie Vedder‘s “Guaranteed” from Into the Wild, Pearl Jam‘s “Man of the Hour” (written by Vedder) from Big Fish, Madonna‘s “Die Another Day” (co-written by Madge and Mirwais) from the James Bond film of the same name, Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” (Madge and William Orbit) from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, U2‘s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” from Batman Forever and even Eric Clapton‘s Tears In Heaven” (by Clapton and Will Jennings) from Rush, not to mention John C. Reilly’s “Walk Hard” from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.
Here, then, is a list of songs that join that storied company by not even making it to Oscar voters’ ballots this year.
“Opportunity” from Annie – Performed by the film’s young star, Quvenzhané Wallis, and written by Sia and Greg Kurstin, it makes the bold move of adding a song into the cannon of Annie, which you might recall includes such iconic songs as “It’s The Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.” But if you’re going to go for a post-millennial pop music standard, then you go to Sia, and she definitely came through here. Expect “Opportunity” to be included in the program for some high school’s Annie production in 2015 and beyond. So we’re not sure how it got blown off here.
“Big Eyes” from Big Eyes – Written by Lana Del Rey and Dan Heath and sung by Del Rey. She began work on the song right after director Tim Burton showed her an early cut. Her haunted vocals “With your big eyes, and your big lies,” were seemingly written from the perspective of the film’s main character, Margaret Keane (played by Amy Adams), whose very distinct artwork was fraudulently claimed by her then-husband, Walter Keane (played by Christoph Waltz).
“Immortals” from Big Hero 6 – Written and performed by Fall Out Boy; bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz explained in his blog that he and his bandmates related to the film. “suffice it to say that our band is a very particular kind of nerd and the guys behind this story and film shared the same references and ideas-maybe even origins.. so we returned and saw some storyboards and some early animations… we then went and wrote a song to a specific scene but tried to capture the spirit of the film.”
“Let Me In” from The Fault in Our Stars – written and performed by Grouplove, the song features features the band’s usual trading-off of lead vocals between Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi, and goes from soft to loud and then back, mirroring the ups and downs of life with cancer (the film’s two leads met and fell in love at a cancer support group).
“Until the End,” from Garnet’s Gold – Written by J. Ralph, and sung by Liza Minnelli, accompanied by Wynton Marsalis. Liza is an Oscar-winning actress, and this is the type of song that the old Hollywood guard would love; perhaps not enough of them heard it in the documentary about Garnet Frost, who, 20 years ago, nearly died hiking by Scotland’s Loch Arkaig, but survived.
“Ordinary Human” from The Giver – Performed by OneRepublic and written by that band’s leader, Ryan Tedder who is a fan of the book on which the film is based. “It’s a huge honor to contribute our music to a movie that’s not only an amazing story, but also has a cast of actors that we admire so much, like Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep,” he said of the song. “We hope our fans are just as excited about it as we are.” Sadly, few seemed too excited about the film itself, which was not a box office hit.”
“The Last Goodbye” from The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Written and performed by Billy Boyd, a name familiar to Middle Earth fans: he played Peregin Took (a.k.a. Pippin) in the Lord of the Rings films. And voters have definitely taken to music from the J.R.R. Tolkien series: Annie Lennox’s “Into the West” won one of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King‘s 11 Oscars in 2004.
“Yellow Flicker Beat” from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Written by Lorde and Joel Little and performed by Lorde, who also produced the film’s soundtrack. Lorde, still a teenager, already has a GRAMMY under her belt, but apparently an Oscar isn’t in the cards for this year.
“Million Dollar Dream” from Million Dollar Arm – Written and performed by A.R. Rahman and Iggy Azalea. The Academy has been supportive of Rahman in the past; he won Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. But maybe the Iggy backlash worked against this song.
“Miracles” from Unbroken – Written and performed by Coldplay. Well, Academy, you’re running out of time to give the British band their Oscar; they’ve said that their next album will be their last.
See all the 2015 Academy Award nominations.
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