Like Original Score, the Original Song category is a star-studded pack where music divas Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Oscar winner Lady Gaga are all lined up and ready to battle. But their biggest competition might be each other but the breakthrough hit of the season, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice winner “Naatu Naatu” from RRR.
After India opted not to select RRR as its official submission for the International Feature Film race, a groundswell – that had begun with critics last summer – became a push for the song to be a major contender on its own, and who doesn’t want to see the film’s two leads, N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan Teja, performing the iconic dance sequence live on the Oscar stage? It might take a lip synch for it to happen, but still, give the people what they want.
Only three songs have earned the three main precursors of Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe and Hollywood Music in Media nominations and they are “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick and “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. “Ciao Papa” and “Lift Me Up” were HMMA winners, the former in the animated category and the latter in the main overall feature film category.
The most curious case this year in this category is perennial nominee Diane Warren. With 13 career Oscar nominations, the legendary songwriter of hits like “Because You Loved Me” and “How Do I Live?” finally earned an Honorary Oscar this season but does that mean the music branch, which loves her like no other, will see it as a sign to stop nominating her? Warren has always been a ‘pencil in’ nominee, presumably taking up one of the final five spots year to year. She has the HMMA-winning song “Applause” from the film Tell It Like a Woman” in contention and if she can make it in this year, after her honorary win, she’ll always make it.
No matter how it shakes out, someone big is getting snubbed. It happens every year and it’s definitely going to happen this year.
The Music Branch has 388 voting members and after 81 eligible songs made it through the first round, we have the shortlist of 15. The number of votes needed to secure a nomination in Original Song is 65.
Oscar nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 24. Here are my final 2023 Oscar nomination predictions for Original Song.
|1. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR – CCA, GG|
|2. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – CCA, GG, HMMA|
|3. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick – CCA, GG, HMMA|
|4. “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – CCA, GG, HMMA|
|5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman – HMMA|
|6. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing – CCA, GG, HMMA|
|7. “new body rhumba” from White Noise – CCA, HMMA|
|8. “This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once – HMMA|
|9. “Stand Up” from Till – HMMA|
|10. “Til You’re Home” from A Man Called Otto – HMMA|
|11. “My Mind & Me” from Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me – HMMA|
|12. “Dust & Ash” from The Voice of Dust and Ash – HMMA|
|13. “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water|
|14. “Time” from Amsterdam|
|15. “Good Afternoon” from Spirited|