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Academy Award Music Nominations: Do Win Butler And Karen O Even Have A Chance?

Karen O



















I rarely go to the theater, I’m simply not that interested by most movies that come out, but I managed to see Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ last week. And what a surprise, not only the film is nominated for best picture and best original screenplay, but the music and the song are too! I rarely have the same taste then these old guys allowed to vote for the Academy Awards, so what’s going on?

‘Her’ is nominated for best original song with ‘The Moon Song,’ a collaboration between Karen O and Spike Jonze, and best music (original score) with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Owen Pallett’s score. The question is, does any of them even have a chance? I would say probably not, especially because the song is in competition with ‘Let it Go’ by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez for ‘Frozen’ and ‘Ordinary Love’ by U2, for ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’. Both songs suck big time, and I would not even need to comment of the Frozen song: it’s frozen in time, the old times of Broadway musicals rehashed by the Disney machine, incessantly making another one of these awful numbers that win an academy award every year. The singer screams like a nasal Céline Dion and I guess it gives the song all the potential. How could the melancholic ukulele of ‘The Moon Song’ ever beat this? And the U2 one? It is part Coldplay part Sting left overs, with Bono’s highest falsetto. Is that all they could do to honor the band’s greatest admiration? I am not impressed by their bland pop, but they will probably win because Mandela just died. And yeah, there are also two other songs, the tearful ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’, and ‘Happy’ for ‘Despicable Me 2’. The first one is way too Christian for me,… gosh, we are always alone, that’s the point! And the second one by Pharell Williams is fun and light, but there won’t probably be enough drama for the Academy.

And regarding the music, everything goes, Win Butler competes with ‘Gravity’ by Steven Price, ‘Philomena’ by Alexandre Desplat, ‘The Book Thief’ by John Williams, and ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ by Thomas Newman… at this point I think the Arcade Fire frontman has a chance, because all these music (at least what I have listened to on Youtube) are quite soundtrack-y, you know the type, interchangeable from one movie to another, whereas ‘Supersymmetry’ has personality. But Williams and Newman are such institutions in Hollywood.

I just like Karen O’s reaction to her song nomination: ‘Holy smokes. I had zero clue! To say this was unexpected is an understatement. It’s wild because ‘The Moon Song’ was written and recorded in the most humble of circumstances; at my dining room table, a few paces away from the couch I read the script for Her for the first time,’ she declared to Rolling Stone. I am as amazed of the nomination as she was, this is such a humble song for the Oscars!

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