Really, Academy? Only two nominations for Best Original Song this year? And they're both from children's movies? Because there were so many songs on your shortlist (39, to precise), and because only songs that score an average of 8.5 out of 10 from your voters can get nominated, you basically just made yourselves look like a bunch of incompetent, music-hating fools. And now -- joy of joys -- we get to watch you all decide who gets an Academy Award this year: a Muppet-based ballad or the soundtrack to that cartoon bird thing. We'll be on the edge of our seats the night of the awards, for sure, with those freakin' options. (Not.) Here, then -- from your very own not-so-shortlist -- are five songs that should have been nominated for an Oscar.
1. "Gathering Stories," by Jonsi (from We Bought A Zoo)
Sweeping and gorgeous, full of epic romance and rushes of feel-good joy, Cameron Crowe is The Best when it comes to putting together great soundtracks (just think of the songs he resurrected in Almost Famous). This would 100 percent be our choice to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song this year. It's just beautiful. But no. Let's give it to a pile of a muppets and a comedian instead. That's a much better idea.
2. "Pop," by The Shillaly Brothers (from White Irish Drinkers)
Mostly, we wish this was nominated just so we could see a (hopefully boozy and raucous) performance of this take place in front of a room full of bored people wearing super uncomfortable gowns and stiff suits. Awkward!
3. "The Living Proof," by Mary J. Blige (from The Help)
Even though we wanted Jonsi to win, we really thought this slice of aspirational melodrama was going to take the Oscar home. It's so obviously exactly what the Academy usually looks for in a soundtrack song! It's overwrought, it's unoffensive, it's over-emotional and it's just the sort of thing that makes middle-aged women quietly weep before high-fiving each other. How did this not get a nomination? Actual insanity.
4. "The Keeper," by Chris Cornell (from Machine Gun Preacher)
Also doing a bit of triumph-over-adversity balladry, here's Chris Cornell sounding better than he has in years. Indulging in a bit of folksy grubbiness, this manages to be both solemn and uplifting at the same time (like all good drama soundtracks should). And it almost lapses into "Hunger Strike" by Temple of the Dog at one point. Shoulda been nominated, people. Shoulda been nominated.
5. "Where The River Goes," by Zac Brown (from Footloose)
We've stuck this one right at the end because we were scared you'd stop reading if you saw it any earlier. Yes, it's part of the soundtrack to a movie that should never have been made. And, yes, that movie is (*shudder*) Footloose -- but dammit, this song has a big country heart and a truckload of charm. Sure, it's not by Kenny Loggins. And it's definitely not "Let's Hear It For The Boy." But we like it regardless. We're really surprised that the Academy didn't. Damn fools!