At this year’s Oscars, musical artists as big as Beyonce and Billie Eilish were nominated for best original song, creating great competition and an unmissable award show.
By Arianna Lopez / Matthew staff || Edited by Arianna Zomparelli
For the first time in two decades, three songwriters are nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards for songs they wrote without contributors. This fact alone shows how high the stake for the 2022 Oscars is, especially for music, with staggering quality and competition.
The five songs nominated are “Down to joy” from Belfast by Van Morrison, “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Somehow you do” from Four Good days by Diane Warren, “Be Alive” from King Richard by Beyoncé and Dixson; and last but not least, “No time to die” from the latest Bond movie by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell.
The funky laid back rock sound of “Down to joy,” marries perfectly with the Irish nostalgic atmosphere of Belfast, a movie set in late 1960s Northern Ireland, a beautiful narrative about the power of memory. The guitar riffs and backing vocals fill your heart with hometown nostalgia, a perfect musical retelling of the main character’s arch story. For months people have been pointing out that it is not an original song. Morrison reuses melody and several words from 1970’s “Coming down to joy” but despite the controversy, there is nothing that impedes its nomination in the Oscars guidelines.
“Dos Oruguitas” is among my personal favorites of this year. Encanto is a brilliant movie, and the entire soundtrack is simply genius. Moreover, now Miranda only needs an Oscar to achieve his very well deserved” EGOT status” (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards). Remarkably the song is sung in Spanish, scoring the second year in a row that a best original song candidate has been performed in a language other than English. “Dos Oruguitas” is a song about healing and it is the perfect mixture of pain and pride. The imagery of the caterpillars and their fear of growing into butterflies is perfectly painted with layers of percussion mixed with strings and Yatra’s heartwarming vocal performance.
Warren’s 13th nomination for best original song comes from Four Good Days’ “Somehow You Do.” She is only the second woman to receive so many nods in this category, yet she still has not won. The track was written for Four Good Days, an examination of a mother’s relationship with her long-term addict daughter. Reba McEntire deep husky voice touches the chords of your soul in this heartfelt sweet country ballad, painfully truth worthy. This is my favorite track among the five and I believe its strength to be found in the perfectly architected lyrics that are incredibly powerful and so flawlessly related to the movie.
This is the first Oscar nomination for both Beyoncé and Dixson in the category of best original song since they missed out last year with “Spirit” from The Lion King. The song is empowering, the vocals astounding, the message is clear, and the music is viscerally captivating, making it a perfect addition to King Richard empowerment.
The latest James bond film did not seem to satisfy expectations and fell behind a grand legacy of prequels, but I have nothing to say about the beautiful song Billie and Finneas created. The music is breathtaking and painfully enchanting, it is a perfect blend of sentimental lyrics and melodies that achieve Adele’s “Skyfall” powerfulness. I still do not believe it is worth this year’s victory, because of the fierce competition, but I do believe it is a great piece of art considering also that Eilish is the younger artist ever to record a Bond song.
For how much I would love to see Warren win her awaited award or to see Lin-Manuel Miranda obtain his EGOT title, my prediction is that this year’s win will go to Beyonce’s “Be Alive.”