BY MELISSA RUGGIERI
This year’s crop of Oscar nominees for Best Original Song can be greeted only with a shrug.
Not that there was going to be an obvious frontrunner a la last year’s powerful “Glory” from John Legend and Common or 2013’s ubiquitous “Let it Go” from yet another Disney behemoth.
But instead of recognizing perhaps the most popular song from a film this year, the Wiz Khalifa/Charlie Puth collaboration “See You Again” from “Furious 7,” the Academy decided to potentially honor mostly meh contributions (aside from the potent Diane Warren/Lady Gaga collaboration).
If you’re interested, here is the list of the songs that were eligible.
And here are the nominees:
“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Written by Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd), Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio; performed by The Weeknd.
If this received a nod, it’s a massive oversight that Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” was ignored (and you can’t say Oscar voters don’t like pop. See: “Let it Go.”)
“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre.” Written Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith; performed by Sam Smith.
Songs from James Bond movies are usually automatic considerations, so this isn’t surprising. But usually, they’re good songs.
“’Til it Happens to You,” from “The Hunting Ground.” Written by Lady Gaga and Diane Warren; performed by Lady Gaga.
The mix of Warren – this is her eighth career nomination – and a searing vocal from Lady G. on a song that tackles the harrowing topic of sexual assault makes this the one nominated song that needs to be heard.
“Manta Ray,” from “Racing Extinction.” Music by J. Ralph. Lyrics by Antony Hegarty.
The pretty, simple piano melody and a melancholy vocal from Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) are…fine.
“Simple Song #3” from “Youth.” Music and Lyric by David Lang. Vocals by Sumi Jo.
In the film, the song’s opening notes are used as a running theme throughout the movie. The full production is indeed lovely, but obviously more attractive to fans of opera and classical.