To be honest, The Oscars have been in my bad books ever since Björk lost to Bob Dylan back in 2001. Since then, the whole thing has seemed kind of pointless. I mean, unless they’re going to put things right this year by making Björk the surprise winner of every single category, what’s the point, really?
But admittedly, that’s unlikely. Here are the actual nominees in the Original Song category this year, ranked from ear-bullyingly bad to tear-inducingly perfect.
Mighty River – Mary J Blige (Mudbound)
Bit schmaltzy this, isn’t it. A bit too end-creditsy. And a bit of a slog, too. Blige’s soulful vocals sound laboured trying to find a tune in the boggy mire of ‘Mighty River’, becoming downright exasperated by the track’s shouty end. There’s not much fun to be found in this obtuse and cliched ballad, though that’s never bothered The Oscars before.
Chance of winning: 2/5
Stand Up For Something – Andra Day ft Common (Marshall)
If ‘Stand Up For Something’ sounds a bit familiar, that’s probably because it’s a lot like a dozen other Diane Warren tracks. The co-writer also penned Paloma Faith’s ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This‘, and there are definite similarities to be drawn between both tracks’ big-band nostalgia sound. A pedestrian ballad, Day’s and Common’s song is a long-winded but forgettable dirge, a track that yelps and shouts it way to a tiring finale.
Chances of winning: 1/5
This Is Me – The cast of The Greatest Showman
If you’re into show tunes, I guess this will be your bag. Surely there’s never been a campier, more on-the-nose title than ‘I Am Me’ for a big singalong number in a musical, but for all its mushiness, this is a decent track that pretty much ticks all the boxes for The Oscars. No doubt this will look good on the night too, there being plenty of potential for a spectacular stage performance. For this reason – and because it’s a safe choice – our money’s on ‘This Is Me’ to scoop the prize.
Chance of winning: 4.5/5
Remember Me – Miguel ft Natalia Lafourcade (Coco)
Raunchy RnB babe Miguel turns down the sex for this cute and catchy kids number from Pixar film Coco. With its super chill strummed guitar and gentle Spanish verses courtesy of Natalia Lafourcade, ‘Remember Me’ is almost a lullaby, its relaxed rhythm enough to ease you into a state of blissful siesta. A good song, though one that doesn’t pack the punch of a winning track, a win for Miguel and Lafourcade is unfortunately improbable.
Chance of winning: 2/5
Mystery Of Love – Sufjan Stevens (Call Me By Your Name)
You know that feeling when you’ve just finished watching Call Me By Your Name and you want to cry for a hundred days and then possibly a hundred more? Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Mystery Of Love’ is the perfect song to do it to. A delicate, carefully crafted track that triggers an instant emotional connection, it’s not only the perfect accompaniment to the film, but a beautiful track in its own right (something that separates it from the rest of the nominees). This is the rightful winner by a mile, and The Oscars will have made a royal cock-up if Stevens walks home empty-handed.
Chance of winning: 4/5