Awards season is officially upon us and we're counting down the days until the Oscars on 24th February 2019. Here are our tips for the Best Original Song contenders...
Will Lady Gaga win Best Original Song for A Star is Born?
Given the enormous success of the A Star is Born soundtrack (it topped the UK album charts back in October), it seems that Lady Gaga is a shoo-in for the Academy Award. The transformative pop icon has drawn acclaim for her impassioned performance in Bradley Cooper's directorial debut, with many critics agreeing that much of the power stems from her authentically raw musical performances within the film itself (performed live at Gaga's request, with several scenes shot incognito at festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella).
The soundtrack's litany of powerful, heartbreaking tunes means it's highly likely A Star is Born will steamroller all other movies in the Best Original Song category. Our money would be on the triumphant, empowering 'Shallow', which featured prominently in the trailers and acts as the emotional awakening of Gaga's character Ally.
That said, the same song (and indeed all of them) has recently been disqualified in the Grammy Awards on the grounds that the soundtrack album was released on October 5th, four days after the Grammy qualifying date. So perhaps we should instead back the moving 'I'll Never Love Again', which rounds off the movie and barely leaves a dry eye in the house.
Gaga is already the recipient of numerous awards including Grammys, Emmys and Golden Globes, so is she about to add her first Oscar to the haul? We reckon so.
Will Mary Poppins Returns win the Best Original Song Oscar?
This is entirely speculative as Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns isn't released until December, and no-one outside the production has heard what's on offer.
However, Screenrant reports that during last year's set visit, they were privy to selections of the movie's new songs composed by Marc Shaiman and lyricist Scott Wittman. One in particular, called 'Trip A Little Light Fantastic' sounds like an ambitious homage to the original movie's classic rooftop sequence, and could emerge as a favourite.
Screenrant says: "We got to see part of the filming of 'Trip A Little Light Fantastic', a nighttime sequence in a London park where Jack and his fellow leeries (streetlamp lighters) perform a song-and-dance number for Mary Poppins and the children. From that one alone, it was clear Marshall is making sure the soundstage sets are expansive, and the dancers numerous."
The website also credits star Emily Blunt with the following: "I think that these songs, even though you haven't heard them before, there is something about the music that seems familiar, and I think that is always a sign of a great song, if you feel like I've heard this, and you realize you haven't but it's just that good that it strikes a chord in you."
Given Disney's barnstorming track record with Best Original Song Oscars (let's not forget the original Mary Poppins won for 'Chim Chim Cher-ee'), this would appear to be A Star is Born's greatest rival.
Will Deadpool 2 emerge as a surprise Best Original Song contender?
Who says the Best Original Song Oscar necessarily has to be serious or high-minded? Titanic songstress Celine Dion surprised everyone when she emerged with her Deadpool 2 ballad 'Ashes', one that encapsulated Mr. Pool's love of all things power pop. The accompanying music video, in which a gyrating Deadpool shared the stage with Dion, was no less delightful, a hilarious contrast to the sweary, uber-violent antics of the blockbusting Deadpool sequel.
Will the Oscars discover their sense of humour and surprise everybody by awarding 'Ashes?' It's a long shot but you never know...
Is Black Panther a Best Original Song contender?
Despite Marvel's push towards a Best Picture nomination for Black Panther, this seems unlikely. (The critically acclaimed superhero hit was originally positioned for the controversial new 'Popular Film' Oscar, before that category was postponed.) It remains to be seen whether Black Panther will generate any nominations at all (we're stumping for Best Supporting Actor for Michael B. Jordan, terrific as insidious villain Killmonger), but perhaps Best Original Song is a possibility.
'All of the Stars' is the movie's official anthem, written by Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Sounwave, and Al Shux, and performed by Lamar and SZA. The curated soundtrack album, which complemented Ludwig Goransson's superbly energetic, tribal score, was released to a massive splash of publicity back in February, and encapsulates the movie's on-trend blend of gritty, pulsating modernity with poetic lyricism. Given the sheer weight of Lamar's brand name, not to mention the runaway success of the movie itself (with $1.3 billion in the bank, it's one of 2018's biggest hits), this could be a dark horse.
Will Thom Yorke win his first Oscar for Suspiria?
Those who have had BBC Radio 6 Music on rotation for the last few weeks will no doubt have heard Thom Yorke's dreamy, unsettling theme for horror remake Suspiria. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino reinvents Dario Argento's seminal 1977 Italian horror to gory and striking effect, and he reportedly pursued Radiohead frontman Yorke to write the score.
After months of cajoling, Yorke finally agreed, and the ensuing, much-played 'Suspirium' theme could have come off a Radiohead album with its eerie, atmospheric noodling. It's an important character in the film (released in cinemas and on the Mubi streaming service on 16th November), and Yorke could very well be a surprise pick. Not to mention, he's potentially poised to join fellow Radiohead alumnus Jonny Greenwood (a frequent collaborator of director Paul Thomas Anderson) and become an acclaimed film composer in his own right.
Is Andrea Bocelli a contender for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms?
Given the importance of music to the Nutcracker (E.T.A. Hoffman's story was adapted into the beloved Tchaikovsky ballet), it's not surprising Disney has brought out the big guns for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' soundtrack.
While Maleficent composer James Newton Howard adapts Tchaikovsky's melodies to enchanting effect in the film itself, the end credits are adorned with the stirring, beautiful 'Fall On Me' from legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. The piece was recorded as a duet with Bocelli's son Matteo, and premiered on Dancing with the Stars' 'Disney Night' on 22nd October. It's also set to feature on his upcoming album 'Si', so we shouldn't rule this out as a Best Original Song contender.
What are your tips for the Oscar for Best Original Song? Let us know @Cineworld.
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