Unlike previous years, the Oscar category for original song is a legitimate race full of a wide variety of choices with no dominate frontrunner. From indie tracks, to childish tunes and true tear jerkers, it is anyone’s game.
Lana Del Rey may have a second chance at the award with her pair of songs for the female empowering film Big Eyes. Co-writer of the title tune, Larry Karaszewski told The Hollywood Reporter that the song “Big Eyes” voices Margaret Keane’s (Amy Adams) unspoken thoughts so perfectly that the film “almost becomes a musical.”
Another strong contender is Selma’s end-credits theme “Glory” written by Common and John Legend. The intimate piano, orchestral and vocal arrangement mirrors the style of Bob Dylan or John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Common commented that the majesty behind the piece was because it is for Dr. King. THR also notes that the fact the song can tie together the civil rights period piece with current events by referencing the recent events in Ferguson, Mo, is a plus.
“Lost Stars,” written by Gregg Alexander and performed by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine from Begin Again was an early frontrunner in the category before the competition truly heated up.
However, Adam Levine is not the only well-known name that has a chance at the title. Coldplay’s “Miracles,” the inspirational capper the Unbroken seems to be the likeliest rock band to win, according to THR. Lorde’s radio hit “Yellow Flicker Beat” may have a chance, though the Academy’s reaction to previous Hunger Games themes leads us to believe that she may be quite the underdog.
Patti Smith’s “Mercy Is” from Noah would definitely increase the Academy’s Indie cred, though the branch may lean towards Ethan Hawke’s emotionally raw, acoustic lullaby “Split the Difference,” from Boyhood.
The Lego Movie’s irresistibly silly tune “Everything Is Awesome” could represent children’s movies this year or it could be booted for a less high-profile contender like Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye,” from the Hobbit.
Comedy may also break through with Eric Idle-co-written “Boxtrolls Song” or Seth MacFarlene’s “A Million Ways to Die” from A Million Ways to Die in the West.
However, sentiment often acts as the game changer, bringing dark horses into the spotlight. This year sentiment sides with country-pop legend Glen Campbell’s “Not Gonna Miss You” which he wrote for the documentary I’ll Be You, before his Alzheimer’s advanced. If the song gets the votes, it would only be the second winning song from a documentary, (the first being Melissa Etheridge’s “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth in 2006) a victory that would definitely be cause for tears and cheers.