Hollywood’s biggest party-slash-awards ceremony is happening this Sunday, January 11th 2015 at the Beverley Hilton in Beverly Hills and as usual, Matt and Jay are cramming like crazy in order to bring you their predictions, hopes, and outrage, but mostly to just compete between ourselves.
The Golden Globes are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press, “journalists” who report on American film and television to other countries. Why they felt qualified and entitled to start up their own award system I’ll never know, but the Golden Globes are an excuse for the industry to come out and party. Everyone’s eating dinner and drinking heavily, which often leads to more interesting acceptance speeches (and also more absences due to bathroom breaks). The Golden Globes celebrate both film and television but these Assholes will be concentrating on the movie side of things. The tricky thing with the Globes is that they’re handed out quite early in the award season, before general audiences have really had the chance to see all of the nominated films because wide release hasn’t happened yet. So, bear with us. We’re trying our best.
There are 5 films nominated for best original song, a new song written and recorded specifically for a movie. The award goes to whoever wrote the song, not who performed it. This year, however, the nominees are all known to the music industry and to your radios.
For the film Noah: Mercy Is, by Patti Smith & Lenny Kaye
For the film Annie: Opportunity, by Sia, Greg Kurstin & Will Gluck
For the film The Hunger Games Mockingbird: Yellow Flicker Beat, by Lorde
For the film Big Eyes: Big Eyes, by Lana Del Rey
For the film Selma: Glory, by John Legend & Common
The Patti Smith one is more of a sweeping theme along more traditional movie music. It’s beautiful and solemn enough for the film but it’s kind of forgettable and the truth is, I just can’t bring myself to predict even a hypothetical win for the movie Noah.
The Lorde song is kind of good, and she’s certainly a darling at the moment. It’s cool to have a song written by a strong young woman for a movie about a strong young woman. The lyrics are good, and appropriate (“the fires found a home in me”) but the sound just doesn’t seem to match the mood of the movie.
Lana Del Rey wrote a very suitable piece for her movie, Big Eyes. It’s haunting and ethereal, much like most of the stuff she does on her own time. It’s not much of a departure for her and frankly, it’s just not that interesting to listen to as a stand-alone song.
That leaves my top two contenders, the song from Annie and the song from Selma, about as different as two songs can get. Annie is of course a musical, but anything used in the first movie can’t be nominated, so they’ve written new material to keep the movie feeling fresh and to be eligible for accolades, which they just might receive. Sia is already a decorated song writer who has a whole catalogue of hits to her credibility. This one probably wouldn’t get a lot of play on the radio but does manage to incorporate all the best bits of the movie, all while being believably sung by a little girl with great pipes. It’s sweet and mildly catchy and a good representation of the movie. My favourite, and my vote, for what it’s worth, go to John Legend and Common for Selma. It’s a great song, strong lyricism (“Freedom is like religious to us’), catchy beat, radio-worthy. It’s quite powerful and with reference to Ferguson, it ties the historical to the present and makes the song not just good, but relevant.
Score one for Selma. But do I think the Globes will agree? I’m not sure. But they should.