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Oscar song noms present slim pickings

Muppetmovieofficial123There is little room for complaint when a song about the struggle to determine if one is mere man or mere Muppet makes the Oscars cut – especially if that song is accompanied on film by the loveable Jim Parsons.

But there is plenty of room for grousing about the fact that a mere two tunes landed in the Best Original Song category for this year’s Oscars.

The aforementioned “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” movie is deserving for its sweetly kooky premise alone. Add in some show-tune bravado and we’re sold.

And the other nominee, “Real in Rio” from the animated “Rio” is fizzy and fun.

But, frankly, neither is a “My Heart Will Go On” or “Lose Yourself” – the last Oscar-winning song to make an impact outside of the movie it originated from.

Remember when big acts such as Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Phil Collins won Oscars? Or when songs such as “Falling Slowly” from “Once” or “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle & Flow” – tunes integral to the fabric of the movie – took home trophies?

Those days appear to be over – although it could be argued that the Muppets tune is one of the most memorable things in that welcome return of our felt friends.

But thanks to a convoluted scoring system and an odd method of screening song nominees — both instituted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as summarized here by the Hollywood Reporter – it might be awhile before we see a full plate of five song nominees again.

On Tuesday, after the paltry list of noms was announced, Mary J. Blige, whose perfectly worthy “The Living Proof” from “The Help” was snubbed, tweeted her frustration: “It saddens me & feels like the Academy is being mean…”

While I doubt the voting committee intentionally set out to anger the artists behind the other 37 eligible songs, Blige has a point. It comes across as callous and insulting – and makes you wonder if this is the Academy’s way of neatly axing time-consuming song productions during the telecast.

Anyway…if you’re curious about the other songs that could have been nominated, here’s the list compiled by Spin.

• “The World I Knew” from “African Cats”
• “Lay Your Head Down” from Albert Nobbs”
• “Star Spangled Man” from “Captain America: The First Avenger”
• “Collision of Worlds” from “Cars 2”
• “Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu” from “DAM999”
• “DAM999 Theme Song” from “DAM999”
• “Mujhe Chod Ke” from “DAM999”
• “Rainbird” from “Dirty Girl”
• “Keep On Walking” from “The First Grader”
• “Where the River Goes” from “Footloose”
• “Hello Hello” from “Gnomeo & Juliet”
• “Love Builds a Garden” from “Gnomeo & Juliet”
• “Bridge of Light” from “Happy Feet Two”
• “The Mighty Sven” from “Happy Feet Two”
• “Never Be Daunted” from “happythankyoumoreplease”
• “Hell and Back” from “Hell and Back Again”
• “The Living Proof” from “The Help”
• “Coeur Volant” from “Hugo”
• “It’s How We Play” from “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
• “When the Heart Dies” from “In the Land of Blood and Honey”
• “Ja Nao Estar” from “José and Pilar”
• “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher”
• “Life’s a Happy Song” from “The Muppets”
• “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
• “Pictures in My Head” from “The Muppets”
• “Summer Song” from “The Music Never Stopped”
• “Imaginary Friends” from “Olive”
• “Sparkling Day” from “One Day”
• “Taking You with Me” from “Our Idiot Brother”
• “The Greatest Song I Ever Heard” from “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”
• “Hot Wings” from “Rio”
• “Let Me Take You to Rio” from “Rio”

• “Real in Rio” from “Rio”

• “Shelter” from “Take Shelter”
• “Gathering Stories” from “We Bought a Zoo”
• “Pop” from “White Irish Drinkers”
• “Think You Can Wait” from “Win Win”
• “The Backson Song” from “Winnie the Pooh”
• “So Long” from “Winnie the Pooh”

5 comments Add your comment


January 25th, 2012
5:41 pm

When you start wanting to hear this instead of mainstream rock music then things have gotten really, really bad.

Fred S

January 25th, 2012
8:09 pm

The nomination process for Best Original Song is flawed. Voters rate each song from 6 to 10. There is an incentive to give your preferred songs a “10″ and the rest a “6″ to maximize the impact of your vote. As a result all but the most uniformly popular songs (Muppets, Rio) are weighed down with low votes and can’t make the minimum threshold of 8.25. In a year with so many strong candidates it’s a shame that Oscar viewers will only be exposed to two songs…


January 25th, 2012
9:36 pm

I think the race for best song is a disaster, the chosen tunes are not even the best in their films. I think the snubbed songs should make a campaign to get write-in votes, that way maybe we will get a worthy winner.


January 26th, 2012
3:26 pm

Is Jim Parsons in The Muppets movie??? Looks like Jason Segel to me.

Melissa Ruggieri

January 26th, 2012
3:52 pm

Hi Carrie – yes, Jim is in the movie. If you watch the video link to the “Man or Muppet” clip you’ll see him.