Sometimes, the nominees for Best Original Song come from unexpected places. This time around, not so much. The Marshall nod was a bit out of left field but certainly nothing unforeseeable.
The winner for Best Original Song, though, often comes from the most popular film of the bunch. This is to say, whichever film was most widely seen or whichever had the most widely-heard song or whichever has the highest Oscar stock. This, or the film is a popular musical, in which case it often wins by default.
This year, the nominees include a (somewhat) popular musical, a widely seen animated film, and a film with a relatively high Oscar stock. So…who wins?
- Call Me by Your Name – “The Mystery of Love,” Sufjan Stevens
- Coco – “Remember Me,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
- The Greatest Showman – “This is Me,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
- Marshall – “Stand up for Something,” Common, Diane Warren
- Mudbound – “Mighty River,” Raphael Saadiq, Mary J. Blige, Taura Stinson
Will Win: “Remember Me” – Coco
Could Win: “This is Me” – The Greatest Showman
Dark Horse: “The Mystery of Love” – Sufjan Stevens
And the race is on…
The theme song to Coco, “Remember Me” is the crowd-pleasing favorite in this category. It is hard to see it not winning here, but it did lose out in the Golden Globes race.
The Golden Globes and the Academy Awards do not always see eye-to-eye on Best Original Song. However, the Globe-winner, “This is Me,” is the anthem of a film that has been trying real hard to make headway in this awards season. When I saw this film over the Christmas holiday, there is a clip from Hugh Jackman and the director thanking people for coming out and discussing how extensive the production of the film was. They’re really trying.
The Greatest Showman is a big budget musical starring Hugh Jackman that has made a sizeable amount of money for a musical. “This is Me” should be running away with this thing, right?
Well…The Greatest Showman isn’t what we would call a “good movie.” In fact, it kind of warps P.T. Barnum in a way that is entirely too flattering, which makes the message of “This is Me” more ironic than actually, you know, anthemic.
So…Sufjan Stevens is hip and trendy, right? He’ll take this one out from under Coco, yeah?
It’s a hard sell. But ol’ Sufjan has the benefit of being part of the only film in this category to be nominated for Best Picture. He could get an edge for being a movie more ready to be lauded by the Academy. However, Call Me By Your Name is pretty unlikely to come away with many awards on Oscar night. It could easily get shut out here, too.
Common has won in this category before (but for a more widely-seen film, mind you). Mary J. Blige’s presence on multiple fronts of Mudbound could give her a slight edge here. But both of these choices are not favorable picks.
No, the safest bet remains Coco. It may not be the most musically intricate choice, but it is an emotional piece that ties the entire film together.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)