The magic of movies and those that make them were celebrated once again last night at the 95th Academy Awards. While film is predominantly a visual medium, our favorite films would have far less depth and emotion without scores and original songs to back them up. Join us for a quick recap of the contenders and winners of these categories.
Best Original Score
This category offered a look at the soundscapes that brought a wide variety of characters, settings, and circumstances to life. Babylon provided audiences with an extravagant look at old Hollywood. Its score featured wild and unhinged jazz, a representation of the time and lifestyle shown in the film. Next, The Fablemans, a rendition of the life story of Steven Spielberg, was packed with orchestral sound fit for every emotion in the human range; and was composed by the legendary John Williams. Pensive, Celtic ballads were featured predominately in The Banshees of Inishrein. Everything Everywhere All at Once brought audiences sounds as strange and compelling as its story. Lastly, All Quiet on the Western Front captured the sinister, horrific nature of World War One combat with its use of sparse orchestral sound and a deep, foreboding, bass synth. Ultimately, All Quiet on the Western Front took home the Oscar.
Best Original Song
Best Original Song is another exciting category, and it featured a lot of great contenders this year. First on the list, “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman was a poppy but down tempo call to action. Sophia Carson let her astounding vocals loose while clad in a shimmering, gold gown. Dianne Warren backed her on the piano along with a small string section against a shadowy background.
Next up, “This is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once channeled harmony and instrumentation to create a song fit with the joy, heartache, and indecision within a human life. David Byrne, Stephanie Hsu, and Son Lux performed the song on stage. The performers dressed in white suites and each donned the now signature hot dog fingers from the film. As they danced and sang, key images from the film such as the googley eyes, everything bagel and racoontouille flashed in a psychedelic mashup, reminiscent of the films bold style.
Lady Gaga returned for her second Oscar nomination with the track “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick. The stage for her performance was sparse and dark, reflective of the song’s mood. Gaga herself dressed down in black shirt and slacks as she belted out the emotional lyrics. This stirring song reached #49 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has 100 million streams on Spotify.
Another huge hit both inside and outside of its respective film is “Lift Me Up” by Rihanna, from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. On stage, a full orchestra accompanied her, organized around a set illuminated by a dull orange glow. She proudly took her position at the front of the stage and delivered the song in the only way she knows how: spectacularly. The song was a massive hit, pulling in 53 million listens on Spotify. Additionally, this track made it to #14 on the US Adult Top 40 and #1 on the US Hot R&B/Hip Hop charts.
RRR took the world by storm and brought new and well-deserved attention to Bollywood. The song “Naatu Naatu” gained a nominated in this category and for good reason. It uses components of traditional Indian music but is brought to the 21st century with full force. The driving drum and string beat and the infectiously repetitious lyrics are sure to get you tapping your feet. Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava along with about thirty as they offered the audience a vibrant, intense dance routine with a full set and period costumes. RRR clinched the Oscar for best original song at the end of the night.
Check out these songs on your preferred streaming platform and be sure to view their respective films for full effect!