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No, Gwyneth you can't have the microphone to sing Crusin'!!!
by Michael Collins

This week SDM (a little early due to an overseas commitment - the SDM team are such jetsetters) looks at the music categories of the Oscar nominations. Who will win, who should win, and who will do that show stopping performance on the big night. Let's look at who’s in the running for best score and best song on the big night. It’s important to know if you should bring along some earplugs along with the blindfold you’ll need to prevent you from seeing what Gwyneth Paltrow is wearing.

The best song list has a nice mix about it and actually has some potential to be interesting. The two songs nominated from Cold Mountain rightly reflects the excellent score of that film. Scarlet Tide and You Will Be My Ain' True Love are produced by music big shot heavy weights with Elvis Costello and Sting respectively making the contributions. Either song would be fine with me to get the award.

A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow (from A Mighty Wind) and Belleville Rendez-vous (The Triplets of Belleville) make up the numbers is this category. It's great to see those songs here. They have a certain novelty value to them, but they aren't really serious contenders for the award. They're a bit like Blame Canada and Monty Python's Every Sperm Is Sacred. They'll make the awards night a little more interesting, but that's about it.

So far we have a whole bunch of interesting songs from films with good scores.

The only one letting the side down is Into the West from Return of the King performed by Annie Lennox. I didn't like the song in the movie. Didn't like it when I heard the soundtrack CD and I'm not going to like it when it probably wins the award.

For the best score award, House of Sand and Fog, Big Fish and Finding Nemo join the previously mentioned best song contenders, Cold Mountain and Return of the King.

The House of Sand and Fog was such an impressive and satisfying film that the score almost went by without me noticing. There's no moment when the music just demands attention. That's not a criticism of the score, more an accolade for the excellent acting that went on during that film.

Big Fish had an excellent eclectic and interesting soundtrack CD, with a combination of original score and old pop songs. This award though is just for the score and so that takes a few points away from the chances of winning.

Return of the King and Finding Nemo had by my reckoning fairly standard soundtracks. They are very good and all, but they didn't really have that special something that reached out and grabbed my ears. Nemo has the wonderful colour and playfulness in the music and suited the film to a T. Return of the King was big! Big! Big! And was throwing in everything to match the epic nature of the film. While huge in scale and emotion it also at times worked with admirable restraint.

In any other year I may not have been happy, but I would have been content if either of those films had won the Oscar.

Yet this is not any other year. It's the year that Cold Mountain enters the fray. It's mix of styles from the period of film and the interesting composers like Jack White, Elvis Costello and Sting makes for what is easily the most inventive and rewarding of scores to have come around since American Beauty. This should win the Oscar this year, but I think the tough competition from Nemo and Return of the King could pip it at the post when the sentiment of the Academy is considered.

For making a prediction on who is actually going to win the two music awards then the smart money will be on Return of the King to collect two of what is predicted to be a number of awards. Yet the far more rewarding for me was the music from Cold Mountain.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1018
originally posted: 02/25/04 22:57:45
last updated: 01/12/05 05:01:39
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