‘Snowden’ songwriter Peter Gabriel: ‘The Veil’ vs. ‘La La Land’ tunes for Best Song Oscar

The original tunes from “La La Land” might get some tough competition at the Oscars from Peter Gabriel. He has released a new tune, “The Veil,” that is featured in the Oliver Stone film “Snowden,” and it could be a serious contender in the category of Best Original Song.

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“La La Land” currently is out front to win the Best Picture Oscar with 5/1 odds of prevailing according to our combined odds at Gold Derby. The buzz that the film is generating will boost it in the below-the-line categories. With six original numbers, it’s a good bet that two of them end up being nominated and that one will be the frontrunner to win.

But Gabriel should not be counted out. He was an Oscar nominee back in 2008 for the song “Down to Earth” from the Pixar film “WALL-E.” He lost that one to “Jai Ho” from Best Picture champ “Slumdog Millionaire.”

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Gabriel could get a serious boost if he gets in at the Golden Globes as the HFPA voters have liked him for some time now. They nominated him for Best Original Score in 1988 for “The Last Temptation of Christ” and again in 2002 for “Rabbit-Proof Fence.” While the nomination for “Last Temptation” wasn’t too surprising since there was major buzz around the film in general, the bid for “Rabbit-Proof Fence” was a big surprise. That film was not getting nearly as much attention from critics and awards-watchers.

Gabriel also has a possible advantage because of his history of contributions to film and music videos. All six of his Grammy wins were in those fields: Best New Age Performance for his soundtrack to “Last Temptation” in 1989, Best Short Form Music Video twice (“Digging in the Dirt” in 1992 and “Steam” in 1993), Best Long Form Music Video (“Secret World Live” in 1995), Best Instrumental Arrangement (“Define Dancing” from “WALL-E” in 2008) and Best Visual Media Song (the aforementioned “Down to Earth”).

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The final factor that could work in Gabriel’s favor is possible vote-splitting. According to academy rules, a film cannot have more than two songs nominated for Best Original Song. If “La La Land” fills both slots they could cancel each other out, letting Gabriel sneak in for the win. A similar upset happened 10 years ago when “Dreamgirls” received three nominations for Original Song: “Love You I Do,” “Patience” and “Listen.” The last of those three was widely favored to win, but enough votes must have gone to the other two songs that the Melissa Etheridge song “I Need to Wake Up” from the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” was able to upset.

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