I’ve highlighted the many tunes from animated features and documentaries that could contend for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. Now we turn our attention to the musical numbers from feature films contending for one of the five slots in this jam-packed category.
Last year’s winners in this category, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are back with pair of tunes from the P.T. Barnum biopic “The Greatest Showman” – “Come Alive” and “This Is Me.” Should Pasek and Paul prevail, they will mark the first composers to score consecutive wins in Best Original Song since Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer triumphed for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) and “Days of Wine and Roses” (1962).
Speaking of Oscar winners seeking to add another trophy to their awards mantle, Best Original Song favorites Alan Menken and Tim Rice have several new tracks from the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” eligible for consideration, including “Evermore”; “How Does a Moment Last Forever”; and “Days in the Sun.” Only two of these tunes can be nominated, however, given the academy’s rule that a maximum of two songs from a single picture can grace the category. Menken, alongside the late Howard Ashman, previously prevailed in Best Original Song for the title track from the animated “Beauty and the Beast” (1991).
Another Best Original Song winner on the hunt for more Oscar glory is hip-hop artist Common who, alongside eight-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren and Andra Day, has composed the track “Stand Up for Something” from the Thurgood Marshall biopic “Marshall.”
Among the many categories “Call Me by Your Name” shall be contending in at the Oscars is Best Original Song, where two songs, “The Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon,” will vie for consideration. Both are composed by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens.
Other major Oscar contenders that could count Best Original Song among their nominations include “Mighty River,” composed by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson for “Mudbound”; “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way,” composed by Oscar nominee Elvis Costello for “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”; “If I Dare,” composed by Sara Bareilles and Oscar nominee Nicholas Britell for “Battle of the Sexes”; and “To Be Human,” composed by Rich Nowels and Florence Welch for “Wonder Woman.”
Taylor Swift could score her first Oscar nomination for “I Don’t Want to Live Forever,” a tune she composed with Jack Antonoff and Sam Dew for “Fifty Shades Darker.” This would mark the “Fifty Shade” series’ second appearance in the category, after The Weeknd‘s “Earned It” graced Best Original Song in 2015.
Other contenders not to be overlooked in this jam-packed field include “It Ain’t Fair,” composed by Ahmir Thompson and Tariq Trotter for “Detroit”; “I Get Overwhelmed,” composed by Daniel Hunt for “A Ghost Story”; “The Pure and the Damned,” composed by Oneohtrix Point Never for “Good Time”; “Guardian’s Inferno,” composed by Tyler Bates, James Gunn, David Hasselhoff and The Sneepers for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”; “Never Forget,” composed by two-time Oscar nominee Patrick Doyle for “Murder on the Orient Express”; “Hold the Light,” composed by Dierks Bentley for “Only the Brave”; and “The Promise,” composed by the late Chris Cornell for the film of the same name. If nominated, Cornell would mark the first posthumous Best Original Song Oscar nominee since Howard Ashman earned a nomination for “Aladdin” (1992).
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.