The Oscars are fast approaching, and doing so with some fairly unfortunate headlines. We recently learned that some of the more technical, and frankly less appreciated, categories will be awarded during commercial breaks, which has hardcore fans of the award show upset. This comes on the heels of the announcement and then cancellation of a “Best Popular Film” award, as well as in the midst of a bizarre narrative of nobody wanting to host the show. Suffice it to say, it hasn’t been the smoothest build up to what ultimately remains Hollywood’s biggest and most prestigious show. But the Academy once again reverses decision and will award all categories on live broadcast!
Despite all this, some believe a fairly popular slate of contending films will lead to a boost in ratings compared to some previous years. Movies like BLACK PANTHER and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY are almost unusually appealing to wide audiences among recent Best Picture nominees, and should make for a fun show in a certain way.
Right about this time though, we tend to focus almost too much on Best Picture to the exclusion of all else. Naturally, for those who are passionate about cinematic soundtracks, it’s every bit as interesting to look ahead to which film and individuals will be honored in a category like Best Original Song.
These days we almost know winners in categories like this in advance. While Hollywood and the U.S. in general don’t openly celebrate betting markets too much, they’re out there, and not just for obscure enthusiasts. Easy-to-use platforms featuring free bet or PayPal options are accessible at least for viewing, if not actual betting, just about everywhere, and while these platforms often focus primarily on casino games, many of them have betting odds for sports and major events also. Those events include the Oscars, and the odds often paint very clear pictures of prospective winners.
This year, that means “Shallow”, as performed by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in the film A STAR IS BORN – and you really don’t have to sift through casino betting platforms to see it. This has been the runaway favorite since the minute the film was released, and has been dominating at any smaller award show with musical categories. It would likely be the biggest shock of the night if the Oscars roll around and “Shallow” doesn’t win Best Original Song.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of this annual celebration of great films and the music that helps make them so, it seemed a good time to look not just at the likely winner in 2019, but also back at some of the most memorable winners from recent Oscars ceremonies.
Here are five picks worth remembering:
1. “City Of Stars”
LA LA LAND wound up being a somewhat polarizing Oscars hit, but most found its soundtrack lovely, or at the very least pleasant to listen to. It had numerous memorable tracks, including “Audition,” which was also nominated for Best Original Song, but “City Of Stars” was really the defining track of the film. Delicate and beautiful, and somehow haunting and hopeful at the same time, it’s a dreamy duet vaguely reminiscent of old Hollywood.
Adele and Paul Epworth did the music and lyrics for this song that, by many people’s estimation, more or less brought back the classic James Bond introduction song, or perhaps took it to new heights. It’s a soaring, dramatic song perfectly infused with 007 themes yet also wholly original, and in addition to being wonderful to listen to on its own, it set the tone for a spectacular film.
3. “Jai Ho”
Before SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE came out in 2008, and dominated the Academy Awards, a lot of American fans were unaware of the brilliance of the composer A.R. Rahman. Really though, Rahman is essentially the Hans Zimmer or John Williams of Bollywood, having done excellent work on a career’s worth of soundtracks and scores. “Jai Ho” from the SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE soundtrack, may have had more mass appeal than anything he’s done though, and represented this creative, festive, joyous explosion of a film in the perfect way.
4. “Falling Slowly”
There probably hasn’t been a more significant Best Original Song winner in the 21st century so far when it comes to measuring a song’s impact on the film it belongs to. “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova helped a film that was made with less than $1 million to gain recognition at the biggest award show in the industry. The film, ONCE, essentially chronicles the creation of an album by an Irish singer-songwriter (Hansard), and “Falling Slowly” is the raw, wonderful tune at its core.
5. “Lose Yourself”
Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” became such a huge hit even some of the rapper’s fans may forget that it was made for the film “8 Mile”, and won this award in 2002. While the music was written by the trio of Eminem, Jeff Bass, and Luis Resto, Eminem wrote the lyrics himself while on the film’s set and rumor has it he recorded it in one take. All things considered, it remains the biggest song this century to win this award, and frankly it’s going to be hard for any track to top it.
Listen to the Skyfall song, featuring the lyric: