For most categories in the Oscars, the traditional number of selections is five. This year, for “Best Original Song,” the Academy opted for just two, giving Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie a 50/50 chance of having the words “Academy Award winner” added to his name.
McKenzie, who was nominated for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, faces off in the “Best Original Song” category against legendary 70-year-old Brazilian musician Sérgio Mendes’ “Real in Rio.” That’s it.
And that means no one will hear “Think You Can Wait” by the National (from Win Win), which featured some lovely interplay between Matt Berninger’s baritone and guest Sharon Van Etten’s haunting backup vocals (we would have killed to see that on the telecast). No nominations for Jonsi’s “Gathering Stories” (from We Bought a Zoo) obviously means the Academy is okay with the now-four-year gap between Sigur Rós albums. The telecast’s production team will avoid setting up an intricate series of ropes, levers, and pulleys for OK Go to perform “The Greatest Song I Ever Heard,” from The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. And lastly, by ignoring Elvis Costello’s “Sparking Day, the Academy avoids the shame of passing over Elvis once again (he lost in 2003 to a song from Lord of the Rings). Although technically, not getting nominated at all is an even bigger shame.
In any case, this may make for a shorter broadcast this year – albeit one that feels longer, since there won’t even be much music to break up the tedium. Interesting plan, Oscars!