Oscar Nominations: The Tragedy Of The Best Original Song Category

The nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, and there are already plenty of debates that will be argued all across MTV News properties (especially on the always-sharp MTV Movies Blog) today and every day up until the Oscars are actually handed out on March 7. Will “Avatar” run the table, or will it be spoiled by an upstart like “The Hurt Locker”?

Overall, it seems like a pretty even set of nominations, though there is one category that has everyone here in the MTV Newsroom scratching our heads. That category is, of course, the one for Best Original Song. The nominations run like this: Two Randy Newman songs from “The Princess and the Frog,” a tune from “Nine,” a song from the French film “Paris 36” and one of the T-Bone Burnett-produced tracks from “Crazy Heart.”

To that we say: Huh?

Considering all the great tracks included on the shortlist, it’s amazing that the songs they chose ended up so … boring. Randy Newman is great, but those songs from “The Princess and the Frog” could have been written in his sleep. While “The Weary Kind (Theme from ’Crazy Heart’)” is a totally reasonable rambling country tune, it doesn’t even particularly stand out in the context of the movie. The other two are anonymous ditties from movies nobody saw.

The big problem is that none of these entries seem to help out the narrative very much. And outside of the song from “Crazy Heart,” none of them do a particularly good job of reflecting the tone of the films they come from. But most importantly, these nominations will make for some extremely boring performances when the Oscar telecast comes around. Since nobody went to go see the movie, is anybody really itching to see a live version of “Take It All” from “Nine”?

With the shortlist in mind, here’s what the lineup should have looked like.

» “All Is Love,” by Karen O and the Kids (“Where the Wild Things Are”)
» “Legendary,” by Nas (“Tyson”)
» “I See You,” by Leona Lewis (“Avatar”)
» “Possibility,” by Lykke Li (“The Twilight Saga: New Moon”)
» “Stu’s Song,” by Ed Helms (“The Hangover”)

Doesn’t that look like a much better reflection not only of the music presented in films this year but also a much more fun set of performances for Oscar night?

What do you think? What songs should have been nominated for Best Original Song? Or did the Academy get it right? Leave your thoughts in the comments!