January 16, 2014 at 10:43 pm #134468
The Hollywood Reporter:
How did a song few people have heard in a movie nearly no one has seen beat out Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Beyonce andJay Z for an Oscar nomination?
“I can’t figure any of this shit out with the music branch,” said someone who missed out on a best original song Oscar nomination this morning at the expense of the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the movie of the same name.
In conversations with The Hollywood Reporter, multiple people with songs on the Academy’s longlist of 75 qualifying songs have wondered how the Academy’s music branch came to nominate asong that has been heard by virtually no one outside the branch from a film that hardly anyone has seen. They also raised questions about the fact that it was written by Bruce Broughton, who served on the Academy’s board of governors as a representative of the music branch from 2003 through 2012, when he was termed out.
“I’m sure he has a lot of friends in the branch,” one person whose song was snubbed toldTHR. Another added, “It doesn’t really surprise me – I think it’s just the latest example of how true art sometimes is overlooked by those in a position to make decisions about what is paid attention to and what is not – but it’s disheartening to a lot of artists.”
Broughton, who was previously nominated for an Oscar 27 years ago for Silverado (1985), was nominated this year for “Alone Yet Not Alone” along with the lyricist, Dennis Spiegel. There is little information available about the film online beyond the facts that it is a drama set in the 18th century, cost $7 million to make, received a limited awards-qualifying release in September and was primarily targeted at the Christian community. The song is apparently performed in the film by Joni Eareckson Tada, a prominent – and quadriplegic – Evangelical minister. As of this morning, the film had no reviews listed on RottenTomatoes.com and no box-office figures listed on BoxOfficeMojo.com.
—-January 16, 2014 at 11:57 pm #134470
I just listened to the song. It’s pretty bleh. And I don’t believe in God, so it’s definitely not written for me.
Was it the first song on the ballot? Lol…January 17, 2014 at 6:00 am #134471
I was initially surprised by this (because I’ve never heard of the song or movie) but I have to say it’s actually a decent song and fits in with the rest of the nominees. Each nominee is fairly different from each other, so it fits in with people who like this kind of song. Let it Go is the traditional musical number, Happy is the fun airy song without great lyrics, Ordinary Love is the culturally relevant one, and The Moon Song is a memorable song from a Best Picture contender. I can understand why people would be upset, but judging it solely on the song, it makes sense to me.January 17, 2014 at 6:42 am #134472
^ The lyrics to Happy are better than the lyrics to Let it Go or Ordinary Love, but yes, otherwise, this is a very diverse line-up, and the aacdemy does have out of nowhere nominees. But it’s clear this song was nominated in large part because of the industry connections of the nominee, and his history with the Academy.
Also, to be honest, I think this song kinda sucks.January 17, 2014 at 9:32 am #134473
These nominations are made differently from other categories (except visual effects and maybe make up) – members get together and see a presentation of each song in their movie, and then give it a ranking, with the 5 top scores getting in. So it’s not like they didn’t have the chance to hear it and see how it was used (and yes, how a song is used in a specific film is and should be an element in its being selected, not just the quality of the song).
My guess is that there is some other thing here going on, including something in Broughton’s life beyond just that he is well known. Maybe we’ll find out.January 17, 2014 at 9:51 am #134474
Can we call bullshit on this whole category? It’s gotta go.January 17, 2014 at 10:06 am #134475
Have we also considered that it might be the first song they heard in the presentation? Based on the title that is quite likely if they went alphabetically. Soit might have had the advantage of not being put side by side against the other contenders. Just a thought.January 17, 2014 at 10:07 am #134476
I think it guarantees that they’ll can the presentation on the show. That saves 20 minutes or so.January 17, 2014 at 10:14 am #134477
You keep saying that, but why would they avoid having 3 major ratings boosts (U2, Pharrell and the Disney song) just because of a weird christian movie?January 17, 2014 at 10:22 am #134478
Agreed with SF. They already have a ‘superhero theme’ that I’m skeptical about, so I don’t want to see them perform every song. They also haven’t done it in recent years, with Skyfall only being performed because of the Bond tribute, and Suddenly because of the musical tribute. the year before, they only had two nominees, and neither performed. I would be shocked if they did anything this year,January 17, 2014 at 10:29 am #134479
Que Sera, Sera!January 17, 2014 at 10:36 am #134480
Renaton – have paid zero attention to this category, other than the vague idea that U2 was involved.
20 minutes is still 20 minutes. The always conscious of ratings GGs didn’t do it (maybe because performers wouldn’t all agree).January 17, 2014 at 10:36 am #134481
I get the sense from the blogosphere (not on here, but in general) that people are hating on the song and its nomination because they’ve never heard of it before, and didn’t know a thing about the film it’s from, and so would rather have seen more famous names like Coldplay or Lana Del Rey get nominated.
Personally, I couldn’t care less if it’s an obscure film that no one’s ever heard of – if the song is good then why should it matter? Then I listened to the song and thought it was mediocre, and then I read that the writer was a govenor of the Academy, who clearly must have used his connections to get friends to nominate it.
I can see why people think it’s unfar. He did a kind of grass-roots campaign within the music branch to get it nominated (I read another article saying how he made phone calls to various members of the music branch, asking them to consider the song). But how is that any different from studios with their big FYC campaigns, with their ads, screenings, parties, dinners, luncheons? The whole thing is a game anyway, and he played it. Good for him.
Those with the connections and money get nominated. This isn’t anything new.January 17, 2014 at 10:40 am #134482
Some nasty things have been revealed about the film. For one thing, the trailer makes it seem really racist. The other is that it’s funded by Rick Santorum and anti-gays groups. Even if you don’t hear the song (that is not good, by the way), this is easily the most embarassing nomination in ages.January 17, 2014 at 10:43 am #134483
If I knew nothing about the film, just hearing its endorsed by nutcase Santorum would be enough for me to stay as far away from this as possible. I’ve seen enough of these Christian films to know it’s a poorly made pile of crap. (To this day, Fireproof remains the worst film I have even seen in my life.)