Now that I’ve familizrized myself with all of the five nominees, I can provide some input on which nomination I think will win, and I’ll also let you know which one I think should win. The Oscars is in two weeks, so here we go with this award.
The five nominations only span three films because one film had three original songs that were nominated. So the nominations are as follows:
1. “Raise it Up” from the film “August Rush”
2. “Happy Working Song” from the film “Enchanted”
3. “So Close” from the film “Enchanted”
4. “That’s How You Know” from the film “Enchanted”
5. “Falling Slowly” from the film “Once”
Let’s start with the one I think will snag the Oscar, which may be close. This category can be somewhat difficult to predict, at least based on past and recent winners. I don’t know how many people were expecting “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” to win that year. I’m sure the Academy had their reasons, but nevertheless, I think there is one nomination I can rule out. Out of these nominations, I’d say the least likely to win is “Happy Working Song” from Enchanted. I guess there wasn’t very much competition for this category because I think that song is more of a montage of past Disney songs than its own unique song. It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t play like a winner the way the others do.
The one I think is fourth most likely to win is “So Close” from Enchanted. I think Jon Mclaughlin sings this song well and it is also fairly well written. However, it is somewhat standard in terms of the way it is executed. This one would be more likely than “Happy Working Song”, but I think both are a bit of a long shot.
Another Song I did not expect was from August Rush, and it’s titled “Raise It Up”. I happened to see this movie, but I did not know which song it was in the film, since the film features many new songs. When I searched the song on YouTube, I was surprised to find it wasn’t one of the songs that the film centered around. Rather, it was a smaller segment of the film that features the main character walking into a church, and hearing what appears to be a church choir singing. A younger girl sings a portion of the song, and sings it very well. The song itself speaks of brokenness and hope. This song dwelled on me, and even though it may seem too close to already-known choir songs, it focuses much on the vocals. The vocals support the fairly good writing, and even though the song is short-lived, it’s also impressionable. Even though I think this is third most likely to win the Oscar, I wouldn’t be surprised or upset if it wins.
We’re down to two more nominations. Here’s my verdict. I think that “That’s How You Know” will win, but let me also comment on “Falling Slowly.” There has been a lot of talk about this Irish independent film called Once, which contains this song, “Falling Slowly.” Like August Rush, it’s a music movie, so it’s natural to see one song nominated. The way the song is executed is quite good, and I knew when I was watching the film that this particular song was going to be the one that was nominated for the Oscar, despite a few other good ones. I don’t think the film itself is spectacular, but the song is. That said, I also feel this nomination is the ‘dark horse’ of the category in that the film itself wasn’t marketed extraordinarily well in the US. That doesn’t mean the Academy will overlook it, but the style and simplicity of the song may be too much so to garner a win.
So why do I think “That’s How You Know” will win? Well, ironically, there are ways to know these things. The best evidence I have is the track record Disney has when it gets three nominations for songs from one film. “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) had three nominations and the enchanting song “Beauty and the Beast” won. The Lion King (1994) had three nominations and the tranquil song titled “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” backed by Elton John snagged the Oscar. Of note, “The Little Mermaid” had two nominees and one of them won Now, that’s Disney. Many remembered last year where one film earned three nominations in this category (“Dreamgirls”) and still lost to “An Inconvenient Truth”. Nevertheless, I still am vying for “That’s How You Know” this year.
“That’s How You Know” is very upbeat and seems to revitalize the classic Disney that we know and love. Now it may breathe nostalgia, and that alone shouldn’t garner this song to a victory. However, Amy Adams truly shows off her skills in this well-written and cheery song. In some senses, it tries very hard to be magnificent, and that also doesn’t make it the best song for the Oscar either. Notice that many of the past winners in this category aren’t necessarily the most upbeat songs. Still, I think there’s something very special about the way this song is presented, and I am for now going to say that this song is the one I think will win the Oscar.
If you’re not convinced, you won’t be further convinced when I mention that it’s also my personal favorite. That may show some bias on my part. However, I think it’s a viable choice. “If I Didn’t Have You” was an upbeat Oscar winner from Disney/Pixar’s “Monster’s Inc.” There’s hope for this song. I might change my mind through further analysis, but I’m sticking with this choice for now. Comments and critiquing welcome. Thanks for reading!