Academy shortlists 49 original songs

Posted by · 4:36 am · December 17th, 2008

High School Musical 3… and 11 of them (count ’em) are from “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.” That’s over a fifth of the contenders, so I’m guessing the folks at Disney will be pretty mortified if at least one of them doesn’t make the final five.

And hell, one of them should. I’m not too snobbish to admit that “HSM3” is an immaculately produced entertainment that succeeds squarely on its own terms, and the same goes for its song score. Those songs are certainly a lot more integral to the film than, say, Peter Gabriel’s track for “WALL-E.” Credit where it’s due.

Otherwise everything that you’d expect to be on the list is there — including the tracks from “The Wrestler,” “Slumdog Millionaire” (nice to see “O Saya” listed as well as “Jai Ho”) and “Synecdoche, New York,” which I know has a lot of fans (myself included) on this site. Elsewhere, I’m happy to see Jenny Lewis’ cute ditty for “Bolt” contending alongside Miley Cyrus’s composition — though to be honest, I’m just happy to see Jenny Lewis in any context.

Some will be surprised by the exclusion of Jennifer Hudson’s “Sex and the City” ballad “All Dressed in Love,” but it was closing credits filler, and godawful at that.

As for predictions, one must bear in mind that the Academy has frequently gone its own way in this category over the last few years, nominating songs that weren’t on anyone’s radar, much less any precursor lists. (Think “Raise It Up” last year, or the French-language “Look to Your Path” in 2005.)

I’m thinking Norah Jones’ pretty, easygoing “The Story” from the otherwise ill-fated “My Blueberry Nights” will be right up their alley: throwback sound, credible middle-of-the-road artist, story-serving song from a film with a strong musical theme. Bullseye.

I’ve also been predicting for months that the rousing title song from “Trouble the Water” will surprise in this category, so I’m chuffed to see it crop up here. It’s a terrific hip-hop track with a great story behind it — it’s by Kimberly Rivers Roberts, the struggling rap artist whose remarkable personal narrative, overcoming the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, forms the heart of the film. It’d be pretty damn inspiring to see her perform on the Oscar stage come February, and I have a hunch the Academy’s music branch (who have become more receptive to hip-hop in recent years) will feel the same way.

Full list after the cut.

By the Boab Tree from Australia

Barking at the Moon from Bolt

I Thought I Lost You from Bolt

Once in a Lifetime from Cadillac Records

The Call from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

It Ain’t Right from Dark Streets

Too Much Juice from Dark Streets

Dracula’s Lament from Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Drive from Fuel

Gran Torino from Gran Torino

Rock Me Sexy Jesus from Hamlet 2

The Boys Are Back from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Can I Have This Dance from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

High School Musical from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

I Want It All from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Just Getting Started from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Just Wanna Be with You from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

A Night to Remember from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Now or Never from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Right Here Right Now from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Scream from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Walk Away from High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Di Notte from The Lodger

The Traveling Song from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

The Story from My Blueberry Nights

The Code of Life from My Dream

In Rodanthe from Nights in Rodanthe

Nothing but the Truth from Nothing but the Truth

Djoyigbe from Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Waterline from Pride and Glory

Another Way to Die from Quantum of Solace

Up to Our Nex from Rachel Getting Married

Chase the Morning from Repo! The Genetic Opera

Chromaggia from Repo! The Genetic Opera

Zydrate Anatomy from Repo! The Genetic Opera

Broken and Bent from Role Models

Code of Silence from Save Me

Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire

O Saya from Slumdog Millionaire

Little Person from Synecdoche, New York

Right to Dream from Tennessee

Forever from They Killed Sister Dorothy

Trouble the Water from Trouble the Water

Down to Earth from WALL-E

The Little Things from Wanted

Count on Me from The Women

The Wrestler from The Wrestler

Sweet Ballad from Yes Man

Yes Man from Yes Man

→ 16 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

16 responses so far

  • 1 12-17-2008 at 7:18 am

    BurmaShave said...

    Jai Ho
    Little Person
    Down to Earth
    The Wrestler
    Dracula’s Lament (fingers crossed wild card, since it was shortlisted)

  • 2 12-17-2008 at 7:40 am

    mike said...

    really wish Pineapple Express was on the list, love that song.

  • 3 12-17-2008 at 9:07 am

    Ryan said...

    “I’m not too snobbish to admit that “HSM3″ is an immaculately produced entertainment that succeeds squarely on its own terms, and the same goes for its song score. Those songs are certainly a lot more integral to the film than, say, Peter Gabriel’s track for “WALL-E.” Credit where it’s due.”

    THANK YOU. Yes, it’s not high art nor is it being performed by musical legends and gods, but some songs in the movie were pretty good and yes, integral to the film. People should stop bashing especially if they have not heard the songs/watched the movie. I hope at least one song make it. I’m partial to “I Want It All” just to see Lucas Grabeel performed in front of his “Milk” co-stars.

    I’m also rooting for “Jai Ho” just for the possibility of a rousing Bollywood performance on Oscar night. Please make it so.

  • 4 12-17-2008 at 9:56 am

    KBJr. said...

    I don’t care what anyone says, the snub of “All Dressed Up In Love” is inexcusable. You mean to tell me that this great throwback song was of any less quality than say “Another Way To Die”? Now THAT song was garbage.

  • 5 12-17-2008 at 1:31 pm

    Dillon Green said...

    Now, HSM 3? SOOOO glad that someone finally realized that the Academy should nominate these songs! Songs integral to the film’s story and very well composed and written should ALWAYS be nominated. These songs are so well written and sung by talented performers. How GREAT would it be to see Lucas perform “I want it all” at the Oscars? Also, if you think about it, that particular song gives a shoutout to the Oscars in the lyrics, so…. Do the Oscars love attention? That would be a DEFINITELY….

  • 6 12-17-2008 at 2:13 pm

    Rob L said...

    I agree that “All Dressed in Love” deserved a shot here, but unfortunately, it was an end credits song.

    I am really hoping for “Jai Ho” and “O Saya”, and I would also love to see “Once in a Lifetime”, “By the Boab Tree” and a song from HSM3.

  • 7 12-17-2008 at 2:32 pm

    Kip Mooney said...

    Narrowed down?

    “Jai Ho”
    “Down to Earth”
    “The Wrestler”
    “I Thought I Lost You”
    “Once in a Lifetime”

    I’d love to see “Dracula’s Lament” and “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” up there though.

  • 8 12-17-2008 at 3:08 pm

    Joel said...

    I’m liking the love for “The Little Things” from “Wanted.” Great song, great movie.

    I’m sure “High School Musical 3” will be this year’s “Enchanted.”

  • 9 12-17-2008 at 3:43 pm

    Chad said...

    I really hope O Saya gets the Slumdog love and not Jai Ho. There were few sequences as exciting and well executed as the one set to O Saya and the Bollywood number at the end is tacked on to say the least.

  • 10 12-17-2008 at 4:17 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    KBJr: I can’t disagree about “Another Way to Die,” which is execrable. I didn’t mean to imply that I think all 49 songs here are necessarily more deserving — I just wasn’t at all disappointed that the Hudson track didn’t make it.

    Kip: Aren’t those the Globe nominees? I reckon there’s going to be a surprise or two. There always is.

    Joel: The rules have been changed so that no film can receive more than two nominations in this category. So, fortunately, nothing can quite be this year’s “Enchanted.”

  • 11 12-17-2008 at 5:51 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Kip: Apologies, my mistake… I forgot the Globes didn’t nominate “Jai Ho.” Still, I reckon something will creep in out of left field.

  • 12 12-17-2008 at 6:23 pm

    Ryan said...

    “…and the Bollywood number at the end is tacked on to say the least.”

    But is it really? Throughout the movie, Boyle took us on a journey of India giving us highlights and lowlights of its culture. How could he not pay homage to a big part of its culture with a big (and fantastic) Bollywood dance number in the end?

  • 13 12-17-2008 at 6:24 pm

    Dillon Green said...

    Here are my predictions:

    “The Wrestler”–The Wrestler
    “Gran Torino”–Gran Torino
    “Down to Earth”–Wall-E
    “Jai Ho”–Slumdog Millionaire
    “I Want it All”–High School Musical 3

    I think the Academy is going to go crazy for Springsteen, so I think he comes out on top. I really like the songs from Gran Torino and Wall-E. Jai Ho was simply outstanding, but so was O Saya, so either one would be nice and also expected since the Academy seems to have a taste for foreign songs. I do believe that HSM 3 will get a nod for the 11 places it holds on the shortlist. It was cram-packed with good songs, so any one would be nice, but I’m going with I want it all due to the Oscar shout out in the lyrics.

    Guy Lodge: Isn’t that rule just great? Now maybe some songs that deserve to get nominated won’t get edged out by songs like “Happy Working Song”!!!!!! I mean really, the song was O.K., but a nomination? No way. And I STILL think it is ridiculous that the Academy did not nominate “Never Gonna Break My Faith” from Bobby a two years ago…. They always pick off-the-wall undeservings.

  • 14 12-18-2008 at 12:50 am

    Rajesh Wadhwa said...

    “O Saya . .” must won the Oscar for India

  • 15 12-18-2008 at 1:14 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Dillon: “So Close” was more objectionable than “Happy Working Song” to me… I mean, ew. On principle, I wouldn’t have a problem with allowing an unlimited number of songs from a film if they’re deserving (had they filled last year’s slate with songs from “Once,” you wouldn’t have heard me complaining!), but anything that curbs their awful taste is welcome.

  • 16 12-18-2008 at 2:01 am

    redcupbluecup said...