Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Welcome to OW's 5 Days of Oscar Championships Tournament Battle Picks!

Posted By on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 4:52 PM

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OK, I don't know what exactly OW's 5 Days of Oscar Championships Tournament Battle Picks means, but it sounds fun, right? And it almost definitely will be a little!

Fellow OW movie critic Rob Boylan came up with this idea to do a week of picking our favorite past winners from each category, ostensibly so he could rave about How Green Was My Valley or something.

I said, "Great idea! We'll highlight a category a day and pick our favorites from this year! Me first." And then I sat on it for a couple days.

So there's a disconnect. But I'm not stopping him from doing his thing. The tiny delete button is!

All right, here we go. We'll do 1 a day, but more likely many to get through the ones we care about. Let us begin the...

OW's 5 Days of Oscar Championships Tournament Battle Picks!!! or OW FOCTOBAP!

Day 1: Original Song

The nominees:

"Country Strong" from Country Strong, Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey. Performed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

[youtube YN4tTY7SOvc]

"I See the Light" from Tangled, Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Glenn Slater. Performed by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi.

[youtube j5iFxpkz40o]

"If I Rise" from 127 Hours, Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong. Performed by Dido and A.R. Rahman.

[youtube sGdOvcL9DN8&feature=player_embedded]

"We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman. Performed by Randy Newman.

[youtube twZ9LTYjcDs]

Analysis:

"Country Strong": Gwyneth sounds fine, the song is sturdy (constructed by well-known Nashville songwriters), if a bit silly. But the film it comes from was so thoroughly derided as absurd and false that it rubs off on the song itself.

"I See the Light": Classic Disney delivered in classic prince-and-princess enunciation, but the song doesn't quiiiiite match the greatness of the film. Amy Adams did the same thing with way more verve in Enchanted.

"If I Rise": Pitch perfect. Haunting, ethereal, heartbreaking. Elevated the scene it was featured in, relates to the story in every way, even the (spoiler alert) children's chorus. Also, new music video released today! Did you watch above?

"We Belong Together": With due respect to Randy Newman, this doesn't belong here. Ill-fitting in its jauntiness, it doesn't contain a hint of the melancholy that pervaded even Newman's bounciest Toy Story contributions to this point, which is a double whammy considering the heaping pile of heartbreak that defines the third installment. It's like he didn't even watch it. Here's my pick for what should have gone in its place – and no, I'm not joking. I'm also not the only one who thought so. The Academy better recognize Jason Segal's bonkers songwriting ability next year with The Muppets. S'all I'm sayin'.

[youtube AsMG-wyf7kY]

The winner:

"If I Rise." Of course.

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