' ' Cinema Romantico: Countdown to the Oscars: Best Song Re-imagined

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Countdown to the Oscars: Best Song Re-imagined

Today Cinema Romantico re-imagines the slowly-becoming-irrelevant Oscar category of Best Song as if it was one combined category and the songs did not have to be “original” or fit some other antiquated piece of Academy criteria, and I and I alone was judge and jury in regards to the five nominees.

5. It Must Have Been Love, Roxette in “Comet.” Jumping around in time, “Comet” chronicles the get-together and break-up and get-together and break-up of Dell (Justin Long) and Kimberly (Emmy Rossum). At one point the film winds up in the eighties where the duo argues over the phone, and while the connection between the moment and the song might be far too blatant, and while Rossum’s hair might too absurdly scream 1980’S!!!!!!!!, well, what’s more relatable than the moment she declares “Wait, this is my favorite part” and interrupts their conversation to sing along and rock out? “It must've been love! But it's ooooover nooooow!” *Thumps chest.* (Listen here.)

4. Needles and Pins, Petula Clark in “Two Days, One Night.” The Dardenne Brothers, those champions of cinematic naturalism, purposely avoid music on the soundtrack aside a couple specific sequences, which only makes them count for that much more. The first involves a depressed, embattled Marion Cotillard turning back on the radio after her husband turns off Clark’s version of “Needles and Pins” because he fears its sadness will send her right back over the manic edge. She smiles, she laughs, and for a second you worry that’s the kind of grin and the kind of chuckle that prologues tears. It doesn’t. She holds on. (Watch here.)

3. The Big House, Brett McKenzie in “Muppets Most Wanted.” I like to imagine Vladimir Putin watching this Tina Fey-led doo-wop introducing Kermit to the Russian gulag where he has inadvertently wound up and nodding, satisfactorily, as she sings the lines “This is Russia’s premier state funded hotel / We’re very proud of our eclectic clientele” because it is and they are.

2. Harvest, Neil Young in “Inherent Vice.” . To many of my vastly disappointed friends, I have never been a significant Neil Young fan. And yet...this song fills in the single most romantic moment in the considerable Paul Thomas Anderson canon - two stoned lovebirds on a hopeless quest in the rain but hopelessly in love and blissfully unaware that their love affair, like the era in which they exist, like life itself, is diaphanously dancing past them. Fuck it, let's call this #1A. (Listen here.)

1. Land Ho, Keegan Dewitt & Ólöf Rún Benediktsdóttir in “Land Ho!” “I say, make time to dance alone with one hand waving free.” So said Claire Colburn, the Original [redacted]. Mitch and Colin aren't dancing alone in “Land Ho!”, alas, they are dancing side-by-side, but that's okay. They're in this together, this noble quest to find and feel the Divine lurking somewhere beneath the surface of this humdrum reality. And in this blessed moment, as they dance like two guys that can't dance on this beach to this song, they find it. (Listen here.)

1 comment:

Kevin Powers said...

I love this post. Thanks so much for including the powerful use of Neil Young's "Harvest" in Inherent Vice. I have been on an unstoppable Neil Young binge since I saw the film last month. It is truly a masterful song choice.