These are 25 top contenders for best original song based on the songwriters’ Oscar history, the buzz generated by their projects, early-indicator awards and nominations the films have received and, of course, the tunes themselves. (Songs are listed alphabetically by film title.)
Janelle “Django Jane” Monáe, Nathaniel Irvin III, George “George 2.0” A. Peters II
All In: The Fight for Democracy (Amazon Studios)
Monáe is an eight-time Grammy nominee, though she has yet to win. Irvin was Grammy-nominated for co-producing Monáe’s Dirty Computer, an album of the year finalist two years ago. Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés directed the documentary.
“See What You’ve Done”
Mary J. Blige, Nova Wav, DJ Camper
Belly of the Beast (Independent Lens)
Blige was nominated in this category three years ago for co-writing “Mighty River” from Mudbound. She’s vying to become the second Black female songwriter, following Siedah Garrett, to receive two career nods in this category. DJ Camper won a Grammy two years ago for his work on H.E.R.’s self-titled album.
Sacha Baron Cohen, Erran Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)
Sacha Baron Cohen and Hines shared a 2006 best adapted screenplay Oscar nod for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Erran Baron Cohen is Sacha’s older brother. This is the 10th film Erran has worked on since he broke in with Borat.
The Call of the Wild (20th Century Studios)