Best Original Song Substitutes

Bono of U2 winning Golden Globe for Best Original Song
- he's also Oscar-nominated for "Ordinary Love"
The 86th Academy Award nominations were announced on January 16, 2014. For Best Original Song, the nominees were "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone, "Happy" from Despicable Me 2, "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen, "The Moon Song" from Her and "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. However, on January 29, nearly two weeks after, the Academy announced that it was rescinding the nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone," meaning that song is no longer in the running to win the Oscar. It's like its nomination never existed. It's essentially been taken off the ballot.

According to Kris Tapley, this is not the first time a nomination has been rescinded, but it's possibly the first time the Academy has done so for the reason stated. It was reported that Bruce Broughton who wrote the music for "Alone Yet Not Alone" is a former governor from the Academy's Board of Governors that oversee the various branches, including the music branch, which determines the song nominees.

Broughton is also a current executive committee member of that same branch. Allegedly, Broughton sent emails directly to music branch members and told them what song was his and that they should listen to it, subtly urging them to nominate it. When the Academy learned of this, they deemed it crossed the line.

Tapley's article argued that the Academy's response to what Broughton did was irrational. Tapley argues that campaigning is part of the process, and what Broughton did was not that egregious or it's not any more egregious than major studios spending millions on advertising, screeners and other goodies that go to Academy members.

I disagree with Tapley. I believe what Broughton did was more egregious. What Broughton did was the equivalent of insider trading. It's a clear abuse of his position.

In response to all of this, Broughton wrote a letter to the Academy's communications director, which was published February 3rd on The Wrap. In it, he defends his actions by saying that the Academy's President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, was a consultant on Oscar-nominated projects like The King's Speech and The Artist. Yet, there are no details as to what she specifically did as a consultant. If what she did were the same as Broughton, then he would have an argument.

But regardless of what Broughton did or what Isaacs did, every year for the past decade or so, there are songs in this category with which I disagree and songs I would rather nominate instead.

There were 75 songs that were eligible for Best Original Song. I listened to all of them. I whittled them down to 16 that I really liked. Of those 16, only one got the Oscar nomination, and that was "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 by Pharrell Williams.

If the other 4 nominees had been rescinded, I have four substitutes that I would love to see and hear at the Oscars. One song is the track that just won the Grammy for Best Rock Song, which is "Cut Me Some Slack" from the film Sound City. It's the track by Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl.

I also really enjoyed "Oblivion" from the Tom Cruise film Oblivion by M83 featuring Susanne Sundfør.

My third substitution would be "In the Middle of the Night" from Lee Daniels' The Butler, a beautiful gospel track by Fantasia, which you can stream for free on Spotify.

Last but not least, I would have loved to have seen and heard "Young and Beautiful" from The Great Gatsby by Lana del Rey.


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