Oscars 2019: Best Original Song Shortlist

We’ll finish up today with this one, since I went over this list a few hours ago. I wanted to save it for the end, but the other stuff requires actual effort for me to speak intelligently about them, so we’ll finish with the last easy one. (Score is also kinda easy, but I also have to look at what wasn’t eligible and all that, so I’ll just save it for the morning when I’m fresh.)

There were 75 films eligible to get on this and they shortlisted 15 of them. It seems like a weak year, so I’m expecting at least ten of these to go to the ones I tossed on my list. Honestly, let’s just see what they did.

Here’s your shortlist for Best Original Song:

“Speechless” from Aladdin
“Letter To My Godfather” from The Black Godfather
“I’m Standing With You” from Breakthrough
“Da Bronx” from The Bronx USA
“Into The Unknown” from Frozen II
“Stand Up” from Harriet
“Catchy Song” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
“Never Too Late” from The Lion King
“Spirit” from The Lion King
“Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn
“A Glass of Soju” from Parasite
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman
“High Above The Water” from Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4
“Glasgow,” from Wild Rose

They left off Taylor Swift! Oh shit!

That’s awesome. I mean, good, but also, oh man. Cats didn’t get shortlisted and Beyoncé did. Objectively they chose the worse song, but that’s just fucking hilarious and I’m totally cool with it.

Four of my five personal favorites made it on, so that’s good. And I never had any hope for “I Punched Keanu Reeves” to actually make this list anyway. Looking at the 17 I pulled out of my ass as potential shortlistees… 12. That’s about right.

Elton John gets on twice, with his Lion King song. Couldn’t have seen that one coming. Pharrell gets on. Not overly surprised by that, even though I wouldn’t have done it. “Da Bronx” gets on, even though I have no idea what that song even is. Guess I’m gonna be watching that doc tonight or tomorrow to hear that song. Maybe I’ll be all for it, who knows. And Parasite got on here, which just speaks to overall support for that film. I guessed that it might, but still.

So looking at what I guessed… what did I get wrong? “I Punched Keanu Reeves,” but that was a joke. I knew it would never get on. Cats, obviously. So that’s two. Which means I missed two more. Oh, “The Dead Don’t Die.” Yeah, never really expected that to make it, though I thought it could slip on a shortlist potentially. And “Summer Song,” from Yesterday. Which I can’t say I’m all that surprised about. So yeah, comes down to this just being a really weak year, and the only big decision they made from the obvious choices was no Cats.

That’s really the only talking point from what didn’t make it. Everything else was totally fungible. That has to be an anti-Swift vote. Has to be.

Just breaking this one down from what I’m seeing, in terms of likelihood of actually being nominated:

15. “Da Bronx,” from The Bronx, USA

14. “Never Too Late,” from The Lion King

13. “Letter to My Godfather,” from The Black Godfather

12. “High Above The Water” from Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

11. “Spirit,” from The Lion King

10. “Speechless,” from Aladdin

9. “Daily Battles,” from Motherless Brooklyn

8. “A Glass of Soju,” from Parasite

7. “Catchy Song,” from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

6. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” from Toy Story 4

5. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from Rocketman

4. “Glasgow (No Place Like Home),” from Wild Rose

3. “I’m Standing with You,” from Breakthrough

2. “Stand Up,” from Harriet

1. “Into the Unknown,” from Frozen

This should be pretty obvious for most people. The branch is gonna sit down and watch clips/music videos of all the nominees (along with who wrote them, wink wink) and they’re gonna pick their choices from there.

I feel like we’re pretty top-heavy on this one in terms of who normally would get on. Frozen is a gimme. Harriet is a gimme because they’ve eaten that shit up in recent years. Breakthrough is Diane Warren and I’m just not leaving her off my guess list. I just won’t do it. Wild Rose has all the press, so that should be an easy one. And Elton is Elton. The only other major choices are Lego Movie again, which is possible, and Randy Newman. And honestly, were the song not so ‘ehh’, I’d probably have Randy Newman in the top five.

Otherwise — Parasite, I doubt they go there on Song, but they could. So that’ll have to be respected if not necessarily considered. Thom Yorke… I’d love it, but does anyone really see that one going down? Beyoncé I can’t see happening. Double dipping on Elton won’t happen. It’s not a guarantee he even gets on with the first one. So let’s worry about that before we start thinking about the other one. The Aladdin song… I guess it could, but do we really see that going down? The Toni Morrison song — total wild card. Pharrell I think they just put out of respect for him and the doc. Can’t see them nominating it in the end. But we’ll see. Maybe. And “Da Bronx” I just need to listen to. But considering it’s nowhere online yet, I’m not thinking it’s got a bit campaign push behind it.

Also, heads up — the BFCA list had my entire top five (which I didn’t even realize because I just glossed over the category when I saw the nominations), plus Beyoncé and the Aladdin song. Well shit, now don’t I feel better about that?

And the Globes, starfucker central — Frozen, Elton, Beyoncé, Harriet and then Taylor Swift, who wasn’t shortlisted.

BAFTA doesn’t nominate for Song, so this is all the help we’re ever gonna get on this one. Most you’ll see over the next month is who campaigns the hardest.

I’m not gonna put the nominations thing at the bottom. You can see it from my list. I think the top five are the most likely, never count out Randy Newman, then the next five below him theoretically have a shot, even though I don’t think they’re going anywhere near Beyoncé. So really four. Aladdin is as low as my legitimate contenders list is gonna go, and I’ll just let the other five get on.

This feels like a top-heavy category. Feels like it’s gonna be obvious and we should all do really well here if we’re guessing it. I think we’re pretty solid here. Barring something weird, you should be able to get 4/5 pretty easy.

Last four shortlists (Score, Documentary Short, Live Action Short and Animated Short) coming at you in the morning.

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