Oscars 2020: Best Original Song Eligibles

Aww shit, it’s that time again.

I’ve been on pins and needles every year since they went to this new shortlist system in 2018. That year, they didn’t give us the list of eligible songs and just gave us the shortlist, and I thought we might be deprived of the fun that list brings forever. Then last year, the list came out and all was right with the world. And I had no clue what was gonna be this year. BUT IT’S BACK!

This year, 105 songs were deemed eligible, and as we do every year, I’m about to find as many of the 105 as I can, listen to them, give my own personal opinion (which basically just means an off-the-cuff rating out of 5 just to show how much I like the song and a general idea of whether it sounds like it might stand a chance at a shortlist/nomination) and then try to figure out which 15 are gonna end up being shortlisted on Tuesday.

This is legitimately one of my favorite articles to do each year. To the point where I just straight up dumped what I had set for tomorrow to go up some other day and did this all last night. That’s how much I enjoy this. (Plus I didn’t actually have tomorrow’s article written yet, so the procrastination search I did ended up being the best possible scenario.)

So here are all 105 Best Original Song eligibles for 2020:

(Also, just FYI, in my initial pass of this article and trying to get all the songs, I managed to get 95 of the 105 and was only missing 10. Probably by the time you read this, some of these will have been take down. They always are.)

“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy

3.5 stars. I like this. Love Janelle Monae. But, like a lot of these songs written for documentaries, it feels like it’s solid, but not wholly relevant to the film or even a full song. Seems like they didn’t fully write this the way they would have something on one of her albums. Still, better than most of the stuff on this list, I’d wager.

50/50 on whether it can get shortlisted. I’ll keep it as a ‘maybe’ for now.

“Just for You and I” from All My Life

3 stars. Generic indie-sounding song. Totally fine. Never gonna get shortlisted, but perfectly reasonable to listen to. This sounds like a song on the playlist of someone else’s car where it’s totally pleasant, but you don’t like it enough to ask what it is or who sings it because you’re interested in getting it for yourself.

“Feels Like Home” from, All Together Now

3.5 stars. I like it. Hard to imagine that the person singing this was also the voice of Moana who sang “How Far I’ll Go,” but there you have it. Highly unlikely this gets shortlisted, but I’ll keep it in the maybe pile for now, even though pretty much the minute I put any thought into that list, this will get tossed aside for much likelier candidates.

“I Know I Been Changed” from American Skin

3.5 stars. Like it. Never gonna happen for them. I’d be legitimately surprised if they shortlisted this. They dismiss stuff like this for breakfast, even though it’s got a nice beat (and a hell of a guitar solo in the middle)

“I Get It” from Bad Hair

3.5 stars. Effective for the movie. 80s-style parody that sounds like a Janet Jackson song or something like that. It works in the context of the film. Never gonna happen on a shortlist. Just… not something they go for.

“I Love Boobies” from Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Richard Cheese. Jesus. I forgot about that guy. I guess good for them for throwing him in there? He’s no Dan Band, but he’s fun. Also, what the hell is this song? The movie’s not out til next week, so this is what I have to go on. The song itself — 2.5 stars. Parody song that lasts about thirty seconds. They always submit these and they never get nominated. Put it this way — if the tiger song from The Hangover didn’t come close, this won’t (even though somehow Seth McFarlane did a whole song like this at the Oscars that one year, bizarrely).

“Palm Vista Hotel” from Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

2 stars. Another novelty song that makes me really concerned about whatever this movie is. And makes me question why the hell they submitted this. At least we all know off the bat this will never happen.

“See What You’ve Done” from Belly of the Beast

3.5 stars. Perfectly fine. I gave it the half-star bump because this sounds exactly like the second song in the end credits of a 90s movie I grew up watching. You know what I mean? The one that plays after the first one fades out and the credits are still going as you file out and they’re getting into the grips and makeup people part of the credits. I appreciate that. (Also, never gonna happen.)

“Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

4 stars for the entire sequence it’s used in. It’s not much of a song, but it’s catchy, much like “Throw the Jew Down the Well” was from Da Ali G show. I’ll keep it as a maybe just in case they have a sense of humor and shortlist it, but it’s definitely not gonna be in my top list of contenders to do so. Though arguably this is a better original song for a film than almost anything else on this list.

“Burden” from Burden

3 stars. Ehh. Doesn’t do it for me, even though it’s pleasant enough. Also never gonna happen. The movie would need a shit ton more notoriety for them to even take a look at this.

“Great Unknown” from The Call of the Wild

3.5 stars. I’m much more forgiving this year on the ratings. I guess because I’m happy there were even 100 songs to go around. This sounds like at least two documentary songs that are on this list every year. It’s a real long shot for a shortlist (to the point where I’m not even gonna keep it as a ‘maybe’). Can’t imagine they do it.

“Canaan Land” from Canaan Land

2.5 stars. Hard pass.

“The Kingdom Is Near” from Canaan Land

2.5 stars. Again — ehh.

“Santa Monica” from Canaan Land

2 stars. This is too similar to some shit I’d hear some dude playing on the Santa Monica Pier, and that alone makes me deduct the half-star.

“Street Preaching Man” from Canaan Land

2.5 stars. Are we done yet?

“Vagabond” from Canaan Land

2 stars. Finally.

None of these are getting shortlisted, by the way. In case that wasn’t obvious.

“The Spirit of Christmas” from The Christmas Chronicles 2

3.5 stars. It worked the first time, so fuck it, do it again. And this time give us Darlene Love. Not as good as that first musical number in the jail cell.

It’s a fun scene and the song works well in the context of the film, but it’s not the kind of song they go for here. They’re not going here.

“Coming Clean” from Coming Clean

This is the first song I wasn’t able to find at all. The doc’s barely gotten any play in terms of release and I honestly can’t imagine this gets anywhere near a shortlist. So we’ll leave it as a no and just let it get on if it’s gonna get on.

“Feel the Thunder” from The Croods: A New Age

Well damn. Haim going full on Welcome to the Jungle with that opening.

3 stars. It’s a fun song, but too niche for them. When they go niche, it’s something like “Everything Is Awesome.”

Though I’ll give Haim credit. This sounds like something out of a 90s kids show.

“El Milagro” from The Cuban

You can listen to the song here.

3.5 stars. It’s very pleasant. Not a chance in hell it gets shortlisted, but it’s nice to listen to.

“Run” from Cut Throat City

Wait, so RZA directed the movie and didn’t even put a song out there? Okay then.

3 stars. Not the kind of song I’d have expected for this movie, but I kinda dig it.

“Darkness Stalls” from The Dark and the Wicked

3 stars. Solid enough song. Never gonna happen, but I’ll be honest — this was a lot better than I what I thought I was getting here.

“Protocol” from Death Protocol

I still can’t find any information about this documentary. I had to look it up for the Doc Feature list and could’t find it then. Most I can gauge is that it’s somehow about COVID, but other than that, nothing. Which should tell you the likelihood of this getting shortlisted. So just move on and ignore it.

“You’re My Effigy” from Effigy – Poison and the City

2.5 stars. Not my kind of song. Definitely not my tempo. Also never gonna happen.

“Queen Bee” from Emma

This is a curious one. This is the kind of song I’d expect them to maybe slip on a shortlist. It’s a film that got good reviews that is generally liked — this could happen. Not sure if it will, but I’m gonna leave this as a ‘could happen’ for now and parse it out later.

Oh, and 3 stars. It’s fine.

“I’ll Get There (The Other Side)” from Emperor

2.5 stars.

There’s at least one of these every single year. Every one. Usually multiple. And sometimes one gets nominated (Marshall, Harriet), but there’s always a few that don’t make it past the eligibles list. And this is that one for this year.

“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

This feels like it’s gonna work for them. I don’t know why. This feels like a shortlist but no nomination kinda song.

3.5 stars. It’s also a well-written song that functions well within the story. It’s the epitome of the category in a lot of ways. At this point I’d be surprised if they didn’t shortlist this.

“Gratia Plena” from Fatima

Andrea Bocelli. Awesome. I mean, never gonna happen, but awesome that Andrea Bocelli’s out here contributing music to films.

2.5 stars. His voice is nice. I’m not thrilled by the song. Fits for an end credits song to this type of movie though.

“Let Go” from Feels Good Man

Wait, this is a documentary about that fucking frog meme? Jesus.

3 stars. This sounds like half of every single documentary song ever.

“Poverty Porn” from The Forty-Year-Old Version

They haven’t officially released the song, but the movie’s on Netflix, so it’s easy to hear if you want to.

3.5 stars. It’s a good song and works in the film, but they’ll never go for this.

“Valley of Last Resort” from Freak Power: the Ballot or the Bomb

3 stars.

Isn’t it great that you can see that font and background and know exactly who this documentary is about?

Never gonna happen for a shortlist, but I’m at least interested in the doc and had no idea Gustavo Santaolalla had anything to do with it.

“Never Break” from Giving Voice

3.5 stars. It’s John Legend. Of course it sounds great.

I like this one. Might be my favorite song so far, all things considered. Also, previous winner for a documentary produced by Viola Davis. You can bet your sweet ass this is gonna get shortlisted.

“Half Way” from The Half of It

Oh yeah, this song. Forgot about this. This is nice. Never gonna get shortlisted whatsoever, but it’s a nice moment in the film. 3 stars.

“Make You Mine This Season” from Happiest Season

Aww, they got Tegan and Sara to do a song for the gay rom com.

3.5 stars. It’s a nice song. Hard to pull off a Christmas song. Not that this is entirely one, but it’s close enough. More of a holiday song.

Never gonna happen in a million years, but I liked this more than I expected to.

“Love Myself (The High Note)” from The High Note

Big song from a movie about music sung by Tracee Ellis Ross. That alone makes you have to consider it a strong maybe contender for the shortlist.

3 stars. I’m not the biggest fan of the song. Kinda generic (which is pretty much what the movie is, so that fits).

“North Star” from I Hate New Year’s

2.5 stars. Ah yes, the other gay holiday rom com. Much less of a known entity and even less likely to get on the shortlist. Strong no on this one getting shortlisted.

“Hold on to Your Humanity” from I Will Make You Mine

3 stars. Pleasant white people music. Never gonna happen, but this sounds like some shit all my white friends listen to.

“Make It Work” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

3.5 stars. The fact that it’s an original Christmas musical alone should give this a chance at a shortlist. The question is which of the two is more likely to make it. This one sounds solid enough and features both leads. Let’s call this one a solid maybe for now. This feels like it fits the category enough that they’ll look to one of these, I have to imagine.

“Square Root of Possible” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

3.5 stars. Also solid. A bit too reminiscent of a Broadway tune, but maybe they like that. I’ll keep this as a maybe along with the other one until I get the full lay of the land.

“Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah

3.5 stars. Oh hell yeah this is gonna get shortlisted. Look at the film, look at the band (make that singer. That’s how out of touch I am with music now. Figured it was just a band), listen to the first ten seconds. They’re going to shortlist this. Especially in a year like this with almost nothing.

“Together in This” from Jungle Beat: The Movie

2.5 stars. Generic kids movie song. Not for me. also never gonna happen. But hey, Natasha Bedingfield is still out there doing shit.

“Christmas in Outer Space” from Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas in the Dark

You can listen to the song here.

3 stars. In case it wasn’t obvious, 0.00% chance. The Blutarsky. They won’t even acknowledge this as an entity let alone vote to shortlist it.

“More to Tell” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

So there are seven songs from this movie on this list. To save time, just gonna say no to all seven for the shortlist.

In the two years they’ve had shortlists, there’s only been two songs shortlisted from movies that weren’t either widely known or written by someone they respect (Diane Warren). So I’m not gonna start assuming they do that now. Especially given that this is an unknown movie with seven goddamn songs on this list. They won’t listen or separate any of these. So just assume none of them get on.

Okay, cool. Now I can listen to these sons as just songs and rate them on that alone.

First one — 3 stars. Pleasant. Not much more than that, though.

“Summer’s Song” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

3 stars. It’s fine.

“Sunrise, Pa” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

3 stars. Surprisingly my favorite so far.

“Weightless in the Flood” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

3 stars. I’m sensing a trend here.

“Where We Should Be Today” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

3 stars. Almost there.

“Wilds of the West” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

3 stars. Okay, this is getting tedious.

“You Shouldn’t Call” from Killian and the Comeback Kids

3 stars. Okay, we got there.

“So You Remember Me” from Land

This movie’s not out til next week and there’s no sign of the song anywhere. My guess is, without any sort of promotion anywhere, there’s no real chance for this, so it’s gonna have to be one of those where I assume no and just let it make it on if it’s gonna make it on.

“Io Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead

3 stars. I posted the song in both English and Italian, in case that matters to you.

The important thing to know about this song is that it was co-written by Diane Warren, who is a staple of this list. She’s been nominated 11 times so far and 5 times since 2014 (which, if you’re counting, means every year except 2016)

“Lost Girl” from Lost Girls

8 minutes? Jesus. What is this, Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane”?

3 stars. I mean, it’s fine, but pretty sure we didn’t need the extra four minutes on this.

This will never get shortlisted, by the way.

“Naana” from Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf

Can’t find it, and no one’s ever heard of this movie, so I feel pretty confident in saying this will never get shortlisted.

“The Answers” from Max Winslow and the House of Secrets

Aww, sad white boy music.

2.5 stars.

Never gonna happen.

“Home Thoughts From Abroad” from Military Wives

Oh yeah, this movie.

3 stars. It’s fine, and works for the film, but it’ll never happen.

“Rain Song” from Minari

This should get shortlisted on the fact that it’s Minari alone.

The song itself — 3 stars — didn’t really do it for me, even though it’s pleasant.

“Only the Young” from Miss Americana

It’s Taylor Swift. They… don’t really respect her in this branch. She couldn’t even get on for fucking CATS last year. I know the movie was shit, but it was her and Andrew Lloyd Webber writing an original song for a movie based on a beloved stage musical. A shortlist was a sure thing… until it wasn’t. So this — never gonna happen unless they drastically changed their opinions in the course of a year.

Oh, and 2.5 stars. Not my thing at all.

“Show Me Your Soul” from Mr. Soul!

You can listen to the song here.

3 stars.

I’m gonna qualify this as a solid maybe. This feels like the kind of song that gets on and people go, “What is that?” Even though maybe they’ve heard the documentary name before. Glasper had that awesome song a few years ago from Miles Ahead that I quite liked (“Gone 2015”) and also scored The Photograph this year. He’s got a chance for this.

“Loyal Brave True” from Mulan

It’s Christina Aguilera doing a Mulan song. I have to think that even reflexively they shortlist this.

3 stars. Song’s fine, otherwise.

“Together” from Music

3 stars.

They haven’t really gone for Sia before, but it’s a song from an original musical. So maybe they’ll go here? Let’s call it a maybe for now.

“How Can I Tell You” from Nasrin

3 stars. Perfectly fine. Can’t imagine they go for this.

“Staring at a Mountain” from Never Rarely Sometimes Always

3 stars. Perfectly fine. Indie kind of song. Probably too indie for them to shortlist, so I’ll say no. But if they do go here, I can be pretty confident that it won’t get nominated. So it’s kind of a win-win.

“Identical” from On the Rocks

3 stars. I have no memory of this song being in this movie. I mean, I get why it’s there. Her husband wrote it. But what a weird choice for a song. They’d surprise the shit out of me if this somehow ended up shortlisted.

“Free” from The One and Only Ivan

3 stars. Generic song. I’ll keep it as a maybe because this feels like something they could potentially go for.

“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

This is already shortlisted. It’s such a gimme.

3 stars. I kind of expected a better song out of it, though.

“Carried Me With You” from Onward

Brandi Carlile. For some reason when I saw that I imagined Belinda Carlisle, from The Go-Gos who sang “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” and I got excited.

Anyway, 3.5 stars. Perfectly pleasant and the kind of thing that feels like an easy shortlist.

“Isn’t It So” from Ordinary Love

3 stars. Movies like this always have a song to go with it. Never get shortlisted and are all kind of the same. But it’s nice that they’re churning out original songs.

“Everybody Cries” from The Outpost

Rita Wilson is singing this. Okay.

Also, wow, what an on-the-nose song. Also, what a crazy song for a hardcore war movie. Imagine if Black Hawk Down suddenly ended with something like this. Bizarre choice.

2.5 stars. Not for me, can’t imagine this goes anywhere.

“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

Interesting they only submitted the one song, especially with Phillipa Soo on one of them, but I get it. This is the song from the movie. The Disney Princess song. You know the one I mean. So I get pushing this one.

3.5 stars. This should for sure make a shortlist, unless the category is fully broken.

“Redemption” from Palmer

Damn. Movie starring JT and he didn’t even contribute a song. Dude’s all in on Trolls, huh?

Also, a song called “Redemption” in a movie about an ex-con. Little obvious, huh guys?

Not to mention an unbearably on-the-nose choice for a movie like this.

3 stars.

“Motherless Child” from Pearl

Haven’t been able to find this song anywhere, but just seeing how this movie hasn’t seemed to get any sort of notice anywhere and hasn’t promoted anything, I don’t see this happening. Another ‘just let it beat you’ situation.

“Fade Away” from The Photograph

3 stars.

The movie got good notices and this figures to be in play for a shortlist.

Not sure how they’re gonna feel about the ‘almost porn music’ sound to it, but I think this is definitely something that could make it on, even if it feels unlikely.

“Passo Passo” from Pinocchio

3 stars.

The name Dario Marianelli is all you need to know here. Put it on your list. Keep it in contention. They vote for the people they know and like. Dario’s name should get this close to a shortlist, if not on.

“Wear Your Crown” from The Prom

3 stars.

This will be an interesting case study. Original song from a musical film, but not their style for what they normally go for. Like Sia. You 100% have to keep it in contention for your guessing, but history says this probably won’t come close to a nomination. It’ll be interesting to see what we have when all is said and done.

Who’d have guessed Meryl doing the rap interlude on this?

“Come and Play With Me” from Promising Young Woman

3 stars.

This is not their speed at all. I can’t even shortlist this on the film alone just because it’s not even remotely like something they go for.

“Feeling Left Behind” from The Real Exorcist

Both songs for this are on Spotify.

2.5 stars. Also nope. To the song and to its chances.

“The Real Exorcist” from The Real Exorcist

2.5 stars.

Mostly I like that the title of this movie leads to a song that sounds like this.

“Ride” from The Ride

I can’t find anything about this song, but if you want to listen to the song “Ride” by Ciara featuring this film’s star Ludacris, you can click here.

Just gonna let it beat me. What else can I do? It sure doesn’t sound like anything that gets shortlisted, so I’ll go on that.

“Rising Phoenix” from Rising Phoenix

So I saw Daniel Pemberton and thought, “Oh this might get on.” Then I listened to it. And they just ripped off Hamilton. Plus Pemberton hasn’t formally been recognized by them yet as a composer.

3 stars.

Gonna go for a no here. This still isn’t really their speed.

“Lazy” from A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

3.5 stars. Likable as hell. It’s no “Summer Song” from the first one, but it works. And this crop seems to be so bad that this might jump to the top of the pack for me. This is shaping up to be a real bad year for songs.

“A Yearning Wish Fulfilled” from Snake White: Love Endures

“Whose Thoughts Warm This Spring” from Snake White: Love Endures

So these both are from a Chinese musical that doesn’t seem to have been released anywhere yet. But the words ‘Chinese musical’ should tell you about their chances of getting on.

“Cet Amour Me Tue” from Sound of Metal

3.5 stars.

This is like that song in The Meyerowitz Stories that Adam Sandler and Grace Van Patten sing, except with fucked up subtext. Mostly what I’m struck by with this is the fact that Olivia Cooke gives a nomination-worthy performance and the film really should have found a way to give her more screen time so people could notice that.

But yeah, I can’t imagine them going there. If anything, the end credits song feels like the more likely scenario.

“Green” from Sound of Metal

3 stars. Not really for me, but they might find a way to go here out of love for the film. So let’s call it a solid maybe.

“It’s Always Summer in Bikini Bottom” from The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

3 stars.

Hey look, Weezer contributed a song to the SpongeBob movie. Never gonna get shortlisted, but at least now you know.

“Secret to the Formula” from The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

3 stars. I appreciate this show’s commitment to original songs. Never gonna happen, but I still appreciate it.

“Stand” from Stand!

3 stars.

Didn’t even know this movie existed.

Also, what is this, the fourth or fifth one of these songs that sounds exactly like all the other ones?

Talk about formula. Jeez, guys.

(Not happening, by the way.)

“The Plan” from Tenet

So to start, you have to consider this a solid contender for a shortlist, whether it happens or not.

Now for the question of whether I like the song…

3.5 stars.

It’s fine. Honestly surprised Nolan even went here. So good for that alone. But this doesn’t go nearly as hard as what Kendrick did on the Black Panther album.

“Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7

It’s already shortlisted, don’t even play.

3 stars. Not even a huge fan of the song, but they’re gonna shortlist it.

“Just Sing” from Trolls World Tour

3.5 stars.

It’s gonna be funny that this might stand a better chance at winning than the song(s) from the first movie did, and those are infinitely better than this (and I’m including “Get Back Up Again” on there along with “Can’t Stop the Feeling”).

You 100% have to assume this gets shortlisted.

“Becoming Buddha” from Twiceborn

All the songs for this film are on Spotify. So that covers the next six songs.

“I Love New York” from Twiceborn

“Listen for the Voices of the Wind” from Twiceborn

“My Dearest Chiaki” from Twiceborn

“Regretful Love” from Twiceborn

“The Road to Master” from Twiceborn

Also just gonna go a blanket 2.5 stars on all of these and tell you that it’s simply not gonna happen.

“The Devil and I Got Up to Dance a Slow Dance” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday

This song isn’t at all out there, which means they’re only pushing the other one. For a movie that known that’s being pushed that much, it’s surprising that they’re hiding this song despite the fact that they submitted it alongside their marquee song. So that means they’re funneling all the votes for this to the other song and I have to assume that it won’t get on even though I have to consider it a maybe, sight unseen.

“Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday

3.5 stars.

Come on, buddy. You know this is gonna be shortlisted.

“The Future” from The Way I See It

3 stars.

Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders wrote this, which tells me throw it on the contender pile. Plus a doc that could be shortlisted or at least is known — this checks all the boxes for a shortlist.

“Jungle Mantra” from The White Tiger

3.5 stars. I like it. Can’t tell if they’re gonna go for it, so let’s call it a maybe.

Mostly I’m just happy that for once this isn’t by A.R. Rahman. It feels like he’s got a monopoly on all India-set movies.

“I’ll Be Singing” from Wild Mountain Thyme

3.5 stars.

So this is possibly the most traditional song so far. Plus Sinead O’Connor is singing it. So that’s maybe something? Otherwise, this feels almost too good to resist for them.

“I Choose” from The Willoughbys

3 stars. There’s a dozen of these every year and they almost always ignore them. So let’s say they ignore this. Though I’ll keep it as a maybe just on film notoriety alone.

“If Walls Could Talk” from Words on Bathroom Walls

3 stars. I’d have called this a solid maybe if it were longer than a minute an a half. I feel like this is something they could have gravitated to. But it’s so short — unless they released some longer version for critics, I can’t see them shortlisting this.

“The World to Come” from The World to Come

2.5 stars.

Seven minutes. This isn’t an album cut. We’re writing songs for end credits here. I mean, do you and all, but it feels like that one kid in the class that writes 7 pages even though the assignment was a page and a half and not meant to be taken that seriously.

This also isn’t their style at all, by the way. So this won’t be shortlisted unless they really love the film.

“Square Peg” from Yellow Rose

3.5 stars.

Well this is interesting. I mean, the premise of the movie. Though, if WILD Rose didn’t get on this shortlist (and Mary fucking Steenburgen wrote that song and it was possibly the best song that was out there last year), I can’t see this getting on, with so few people knowing this movie. I mean, don’t be shocked if you see it, but I can’t guess this if they didn’t go for the other one.

Though, if they do go for this (because it is pleasant), that means they didn’t shortlist the other one out of spite. And fuck them, because I thought they got over that bullshit.

– – – – – – – – – –

So, based on nothing (except my own experience which has to mean something, even if very little), here are the songs that I can’t imagine get shortlisted at all. Maybe some of them will, but off-the-cuff, I say no:

  • “A Yearning Wish Fulfilled” from Snake White: Love Endures
  • “Becoming Buddha” from Twiceborn
  • “Burden” from Burden
  • “Canaan Land” from Canaan Land
  • “Cet Amour Me Tue” from Sound of Metal
  • “Christmas in Outer Space” from Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas in the Dark
  • “Come and Play With Me” from Promising Young Woman
  • “Coming Clean” from Coming Clean
  • “Darkness Stalls” from The Dark and the Wicked
  • “El Milagro” from The Cuban
  • “Everybody Cries” from The Outpost
  • “Feel the Thunder” from The Croods: A New Age
  • “Feeling Left Behind” from The Real Exorcist
  • “Gratia Plena” from Fatima
  • “Great Unknown” from The Call of the Wild
  • “Half Way” from The Half of It
  • “Hold on to Your Humanity” from I Will Make You Mine
  • “Home Thoughts From Abroad” from Military Wives
  • “How Can I Tell You” from Nasrin
  • “I Get It” from Bad Hair
  • “I Know I Been Changed” from American Skin
  • “I Love Boobies” from Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  • “I Love New York” from Twiceborn
  • “Identical” from On the Rocks
  • “If Walls Could Talk” from Words on Bathroom Walls
  • “I’ll Get There (The Other Side)” from Emperor
  • “Isn’t It So” from Ordinary Love
  • “It’s Always Summer in Bikini Bottom” from The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  • “Just for You and I” from All My Life
  • “Let Go” from Feels Good Man
  • “Listen for the Voices of the Wind” from Twiceborn
  • “Lost Girl” from Lost Girls
  • “Make You Mine This Season” from Happiest Season
  • “More to Tell” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “Motherless Child” from Pearl
  • “My Dearest Chiaki” from Twiceborn
  • “Naana” from Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf
  • “North Star” from I Hate New Year’s
  • “Only the Young” from Miss Americana
  • “Palm Vista Hotel” from Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  • “Poverty Porn” from The Forty-Year-Old Version
  • “Protocol” from Death Protocol
  • “Redemption” from Palmer
  • “Regretful Love” from Twiceborn
  • “Ride” from The Ride
  • “Rising Phoenix” from Rising Phoenix
  • “Run” from Cut Throat City
  • “Santa Monica” from Canaan Land
  • “Secret to the Formula” from The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  • “See What You’ve Done” from Belly of the Beast
  • “So You Remember Me” from Land
  • “The Spirit of Christmas” from The Christmas Chronicles 2
  • “Square Peg” from Yellow Rose
  • “Stand” from Stand!
  • “Staring at a Mountain” from Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • “Street Preaching Man” from Canaan Land
  • “Summer’s Song” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “Sunrise, Pa” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “The Answers” from Max Winslow and the House of Secrets
  • “The Kingdom Is Near” from Canaan Land
  • “The Real Exorcist” from The Real Exorcist
  • “The Road to Master” from Twiceborn
  • “Together in This” from Jungle Beat: The Movie
  • “Vagabond” from Canaan Land
  • “Valley of Last Resort” from Freak Power: the Ballot or the Bomb
  • “Wear Your Crown” from The Prom
  • “Weightless in the Flood” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “Where We Should Be Today” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “Whose Thoughts Warm This Spring” from Snake White: Love Endures
  • “Wilds of the West” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “The World to Come” from The World to Come
  • “You Shouldn’t Call” from Killian and the Comeback Kids
  • “You’re My Effigy” from Effigy – Poison and the City

Which leaves these songs as the ones that theoretically have a shot:

  • “Carried Me With You” from Onward
  • “The Devil and I Got Up to Dance a Slow Dance” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  • “Fade Away” from The Photograph
  • “Feels Like Home” from, All Together Now
  • “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah
  • “Free” from The One and Only Ivan
  • “The Future” from The Way I See It
  • “Green” from Sound of Metal
  • “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
  • “I Choose” from The Willoughbys
  • “I’ll Be Singing” from Wild Mountain Thyme
  • “Io Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead
  • “Jungle Mantra” from The White Tiger
  • “Just Sing” from Trolls World Tour
  • “Lazy” from A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
  • “Love Myself (The High Note)” from The High Note
  • “Make It Work” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
  • “Never Break” from Giving Voice
  • “Queen Bee” from Emma
  • “Passo Passo” from Pinocchio
  • “The Plan” from Tenet
  • “Rain Song” from Minari
  • “Loyal Brave True” from Mulan
  • “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon
  • “Show Me Your Soul” from Mr. Soul!
  • “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami
  • “Square Root of Possible” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
  • “Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  • “Together” from Music
  • “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy
  • “Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

That’s 32. Out of 105, that’s not so bad, especially since I know some of those 32 are ones I don’t really think have a shot.

– – – – –

But before we get into what I’m thinking for shortlist, I have to figure out what the hell I like. And honestly, I’m having trouble picking a preferred category here.

This category sure does miss Billie Eilish. She’d have won this category in a walk if the No Time to Die song were on here.

If I’m picking my own shortlist (and by extension, category), I’d take:

“Carried Me With You” from Onward
“Feels Like Home” from, All Together Now
“Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah
“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“I’ll Be Singing” from Wild Mountain Thyme
“Jungle Mantra” from The White Tiger
“Just Sing” from Trolls World Tour
“Lazy” from A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
“Make It Work” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
“Never Break” from Giving Voice
“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon
“Square Root of Possible” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
“Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday
“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy
“Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

 

And then, if I were actually picking a category from that, I guess I’d take:

“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

“Lazy” from A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

“Square Root of Possible” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

“Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

I wanted to focus on songs that actually feature in the movies rather than were written for end credits. “Husavik,” “Rocket to the Moon,” “Square Root of Possible” are all musical numbers in films that feature music and are perfectly placed there. And “Wuhan Flu” is sung in the film and is a big moment there (plus it’s fun and catchy as hell). “Lazy”… I think they montage it, if they remember correctly. Which is fine. Better than a big singer coming in and throwing a song over the credits. In a year where I liked almost nothing, let’s at least go in for what the category is about. So that’s my list. This will never be the category so I’m not even gonna try to figure out what I’d vote for here. But let’s say these are my preferred choices in the weakest year I’ve seen in a long time (and will be the weakest Song category since the disaster 2011 year with only two nominees).

– – – – – – – – – –

Okay, now for the moment no one’s been waiting for. Of the 32 songs, the ones that I feel stand the best chance at a shortlist (aka the shortlist I’m picking for next week) is:

– – – – –

As for picking 15 of them, let’s say…

“Carried Me With You” from Onward
“Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah
“Free” from The One and Only Ivan
“The Future” from The Way I See It
“Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7
“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Io Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead
“Just Sing” from Trolls World Tour
“Never Break” from Giving Voice
“Rain Song” from Minari
“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon
“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami
“Square Root of Possible” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
“Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday
“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy

Keep an eye out for “Passo Passo” from Pinocchio or “I’ll Be Singing” from Wild Mountain Thyme. I feel like “Lazy” is just destined to be ignored, so I’m just gonna leave it off my list and let them put it on and make me happy they did. And then I’m gonna be interested to see if they throw Sia a shortlist bone even though it doesn’t feel like them.

I’d say that I suspect at least 14 of the 15 shortlisted songs will be on that list of 32 I picked. I don’t think I’m getting 15/15, but if I can get 10-12 then I think I did great. There’s always a random one you never figure that you find out after the fact came from some writer they know and like that I just didn’t realize at the time. Which is fine. But in a year like this, you either have to figure it’s gonna go exactly according to plan or it’s just gonna be chaos. And you can’t plan for chaos, so let’s go with the former and assume that it’ll be pretty by the numbers and the majority of my choices will be on the shortlist and I’ll be essentially on target with some of the finer details maybe altered.

But just looking at this list — “Carried Me with You,” “Fight for You,” “Hear My Voice,” “Io Si (Seen),” “Just Sing,” “Never Break,” “Rocket to the Moon,” “Speak Now” and “Tigress & Tweed” all feel like absolute shortlist gimmes and if any of them are left off it counts as a major snub on their part. So right there, I feel confident on more than half the list. The rest I’m taking on pure educated guesswork.

“The Future” feels exactly like the kind of inclusion they tend to make, even though they usually leave stuff like that off. “Husavik” I struggle to say is a gimme even though I’m extremely confident in that on a shortlist. “Rain Song” just screams shortlist and I feel 98% confident on that one even though it could get left off. “Turntables” I feel like they’ll shortlist just because they know Janelle Monae now and saw what she did at the opening last year. That’s why I’m including that, even though that also feels like one of those flex spots. Jingle Jangle feels like they’ll probably end up leaving both songs off, but I remain hopeful that they’ll at least go for the song in the original musical rather than some other bullshit and kept it in. Even though it’s a 50/50. And “Free” — that just feels like the generic bullshit they’ll toss on a shortlist even though when they don’t, I’ll say, “Good. It wasn’t that great a song and didn’t belong there anyway.” But that’s another flex spot I just took a chance on with the boring choice. Honestly, I feel confident about 11 deep here, which is more than I expected. So we’ll see how it goes.

Shortlists get announced on Tuesday. We’ll know then.

– – – – – – – – – –

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