a theatre, film & pop culture review
Missing: every decent song played during the credits
In 2009, the Academy lost its collective mind a little bit. First, it instituted that ridiculous concept of ten Best Picture nominees (they couldn’t even scrap together a full ten this year… who thought that was a good idea again?). But what many don’t realize is that that same year the Academy also altered the rules for Best Original song nominees. It’s a mind-boggling method in which voting members of the music branch watch sections of films where songs are played and nothing else. This basically discourages nominations of any song you may half-hear as you’re shuffling your way toward the exit — i.e. the best songs written this year that aren’t in musicals.
Then, of course, there’s the convoluted system of ‘scoring’ potential nominees (which I don’t have the patience to explain, but you can read about it here), which actually allows for the possibility of zero nominees. And if only one song scores high enough, the next highest scored song gets an (undeserved) nom as well. Considering our two nominees above, that’s probably what happened this year.
After the Academy slashed away every worthy song, we’re left with the existential question, am I a “Man or Muppet” from the billionth Muppets movie and the tropical diddy, “Real in Rio” from Rio, an animated feature about a nerd bird voiced by Jesse Eisenberg. While most voters probably haven’t a clue about about Muppet music maestro Bret McKenzie, who is one-half of folk rock-comedy duo in The Flight of the Conchords, they’ll most likely favor his manly muppet piano ballad over Sergio Mendes’s lighter, vibrant ode to Rio.