This year, the Oscar original song list recognized a number of pieces from black narrative or documentary films, while still keeping the Academy’s tradition of starting to embrace a silly song. On Tuesday, that specifically meant Amazon’s “Wuhan Flu” Next Borat movie and “Husavik” from Netflix’s Will Ferrell-Rachel McAdams comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of the Fire Saga the two made the first cut.
“Wuhan Flu” and “Husavik” are part of the AMPAS tradition honoring satirical tunes such as “Blame Canada” from the 2000s South Park: bigger, longer and uncut, and the song “Man or Muppet” by Bret McKenzie in 2011 by The Muppets.
There was a time in the late 1980s when the Best Song category looked like a top 40 list with Oscar winners like “What a Feeling” Flash dance, “I just called to say I loved you” from Women in red and “Take My Breath Away” by Top Gun. However, the Music Branch rules sought to curb this and praised tunes that were genuinely sincere and inherent in the big screen work going on, that is, second credit songs were automatically disqualified. While the category hasn’t always been inundated with the Top 40 tracks lately, the adoration of pop artists prevails with winners such as Lady Gaga for ‘Shallow’ by A star is born, Elton John-Bernie Taupin’s song “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” by Rocketman, and Adele’s 007 theme “Skyfall” from the movie of the same title to name a few.
List of feature-length documentaries at the Oscars: snubs, surprises and Netflix-Amazon confrontation
This year’s selection of pop and R&B artists is no exception, including “Loyal Brave True” by Disney’s Christina Aguilera. Mulan, “Turntables” by Janelle Monáe from doc All In: the struggle for democracy, “See What You’ve Done” by Mary J. Blige from prison documentary The belly of the beast, “Never Break” by John Legend from doc Give voice, and HER “Fight for You” by Judas and the Black Messiah.
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Missing from the shortlist: all of Sia’s songs from her controversial autism feature The music, which was nominated for Best Feature Film – Musical and Best Actress – Musical / Comedy (for Kate Hudson) at the Golden Globes. The film was shot four years ago and reportedly received an additional $ 12 million in funding so that she could amplify the soundtrack and make it more commercial; a movement which alienated only the critics. The Globes also nominated the song performed by Andra Day “Tigress & Tweed” by The United States vs. Billie Holiday; this track is missing from today’s Oscar roster.
Listen to all the original Oscars songs below:
Turntables, from All In: the struggle for democracy
See what you’ve done, The belly of the beast
Wuhan flu, Next Borat movie
Husavik, from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of the Fire Saga
Never break up, Give voice
Make it work, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Fight for you, to Judas and the Black Messiah
lo Sì (Vu), from Life to come (La Vita Davanti a Se)
Rain Song, from Minari
Show me your soul, Mr. Soul!
Loyal Brave True, from Mulan
Free of The one and only Ivan
Speak now of One night in Miami
Green, from Sound of metal
Hear my voice, from The Chicago 7 trial