Bright and early on Jan. 22, the Oscar nominations will be announced, including the category for best original song. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences narrowed it down to 49 songs in contention for a nomination this year.
From there, we've made our picks for the five songs that will be nominated -- and the five songs that should be nominated. (Let's just say that while we anticipate the Academy will prove to be as Disney-obsessed as it has been in years past, we don't necessarily feel the same way.)
SHOULD BE NOMINATED:
1. "The Wrestler" from "The Wrestler"
Performer: Bruce Springsteen
Songwriter: Bruce Springsteen
As Springsteen revealed in his acceptance speech when he won the Golden Globe for this song, he wrote it after Mickey Rourke called him up and asked him to contribute a tune to the soundtrack. The result is classic Springsteen -- hardscrabble lyrics over a haunting melody. It's the perfect mix of artist, actor and movie.
2. "O Saya" from "Slumdog Millionaire"
Performers: A.R. Rahman, M.I.A.
Songwriters: A.R. Rahman, M.I.A.
Rahman and M.I.A. teamed up for this propulsive track that backs the scene in the film where the audience is first introduced to the scope of life in the Mumbai slums. It enhances the scene in the movie in a visceral way; it would be a lesser moment without the song.
3. "The Little Things" from "Wanted"
Performer: Danny Elfman
Songwriter: Danny Elfman
It's time for a true blue, electric guitar, drums and bass rock song to get a nomination--the last time anything close was nominated was Aerosmith in 1999 for Diane Warren's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," (and obviously we're even hedging there because it was a ballad by a rock band.) Oingo Boingo fans also will appreciate the Elfman's vocal are still as skritchy and crazy as ever.
4. "The Call" from "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
Performer: Regina Spektor
Songwriter: Regina Spektor
Spektor's sweet, haunting voice is the perfect accompaniment to a children's fantasy film --
what may keep it from actually getting a nomination is that it's played over the closing credits, and songs that are embedded in the narrative of the film generally win more favor from the Academy.
5. "Sweet Ballad" from "Yes Man"
Performer: Zooey Deschanel and Von Iva performing as Munchausen by Proxy
Songwriters: Becky Kupersmith, Jillian Iva Meador, Kelly Harris Yep, call it the "Blame
Canada" spot in honor of the song nominated from "South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut" -- going for the laughs is a winning strategy. Deschanel and Von Iva appear in the film as Deschanel's character's band -- Munchausen by Proxy -- and it's probably the tenderest love song where the most frequently used word is "whore."