Oscars 2023: Best Original Song Predictions

Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and Diane Warren are all safe bets in a year when no Oscar nominee for Best Original Song is a phenomenon.

We’ll be updating these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks. Final voting will take place March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 95th Oscars show on Sunday, March 12 will air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.

The state of the race

In a film year so captivated by blockbuster hits, one would think there would be more lively soundtrack cuts to shake up the Oscar race for Best Original Song. Thank the Lord for Top Gun: Maverick, which has given us the gift of a new Lady Gaga anthem.

While it didn’t chart as much as your average single, “Hold My Hand” is still the clear front-runner for the award given its ties to Oscar history. Not only did Gaga win the Best Original Song category for “Shallow” in 2019, the original “Top Gun” also won the award for the song “Take My Breath Away” in 1987. While “Hold My Hand” isn’t a phenomenon like the songs above (both hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100), the track lives up to the hype surrounding it.

But the song, which is Lady Gaga’s biggest competitor in this category, had a bigger impact on her film becoming a phenomenon. The “Naatu Naatu” sequence in the Tollywood blockbuster “RRR” was shortened and shared widely on social media, serving as the best advertisement for Americans to watch the three-hour, action-packed historical epic this summer. Though the Oscars generally overlook India’s massive film industry, “Naatu Naatu” scratches a similar itch as 2009’s Best Original Song winner “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” and even has the exuberant dance number on YouTube, where it’s available has over 21 million views.

Another lively dance sequence comes at the end of Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” with “New Body Rhumba,” LCD Soundsystem’s first song in five years. It shouldn’t be counted out of the running for best original song, especially when extra credits are usually awarded for music incorporated into the film itself.

Diane Warren at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Diane Warren at the 94th Academy Awards.

Gilbert Flores for Diversity

Meanwhile, one of this year’s honorary Oscar winners has her own contender: Diane Warren is being talked about, even though very few people have seen the film she composed for. She has had 13 nominations in this category, seven of which have been in the past decade. So if another song loses momentum during awards season, this could be the year she actually wins. However, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell might as well be beating them two years in a row – they won the Oscar for a Bond theme and composed this year’s catchy contender “Nobody Like U,” a throwback to the boy band era for the lovable Pixar film Turning Red.

In terms of snubs, it’s hard to tell if Taylor Swift will get her first-ever Oscar nomination for “Carolina,” written for this summer’s biggest sleeper hit, “Where the Crawdads Sing.” But it’s surprising that one of the most decorated musicians working today, and the only woman with three Grammys for Album of the Year, has been overlooked by the academy for so long. She’s been making music for movies all the time and even won a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media, but “Carolina” just didn’t resonate with audiences like her music drops usually do, so it would be a little odd for that One of them is the soundtrack cut, which eventually gets her into the Dolby Theater.

Finally, we still haven’t gotten a taste of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Babylon, and Avatar: The Way of the Water soundtracks. All three of these films are from filmmakers who have projects with Best Original Song nominations. The latter two directed the Oscar-winning films, so count this as another category that Ryan Coogler, Damien Chazelle and James Cameron could revise with the release of what are possibly their most ambitious films.

Shortlisted candidates are listed in alphabetical order. No film is considered a frontrunner until we’ve seen it.

Leader:
“Naatu Naatu” – Kaala Bhairava, MM Keeravani and Rahul Sipligunj (“RRR”)
“It’s a Life” – David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski (“Everywhere at Once”)
“Hot Girl” – Charli XCX and George Daniel (“Bodies Bodies Bodies”)
“Vegas” – Doja Cat (“Elvis”)
“Love Isn’t Love” – ​​Billy Eichner & Marc Shaiman (“Bros”)
“Nobody Like U” – Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (“Turning Red”)
“Stand Up” – Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II and Jazmine Sullivan (“Till”)
“Time” – Giveon Evans, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, Daniel Pemberton and Jahaan Akil Sweet (“Amsterdam”)
“Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
“Not Alone” – Joe Jonas (“Devotion”)
“On My Way (Marry Me)” – Jennifer Lopez (“Marry Me”)
“I’m not worried” – OneRepublic (“Top Gun: Maverick”)

Competitors:
“In the Machine” – Mel Brooks (“The Machine”)
“We Are Art” – Annalaura di Luggo & Paky Di Maio (“We Are Art: Through the Eyes of Annalaura”)
“New Body Rhumba” – James Murphy (“White Noise”)
“Dust and Ashes” – J. Ralph (“The Voice of Dust and Ashes”)
“(You Made It Feel Like) Home” – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“Bones and All”)
“Turn Up The Sunshine” – Diana Ross and Tame Impala (“Minions: The Rise of Gru”)
“Carolina” – Taylor Swift (“Where the Crawdads Sing”)
“Applause” – Diane Warren (“Say It Like A Woman”)

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/10/2023-oscars-best-original-song-predictions-1234770456/ Oscars 2023: Best Original Song Predictions

Lindsay Lowe

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