Two things before we get started.
One: Sorry for the ridiculous movies choices of late. “Corky Romano” I can’t explain, but I did watch. Kangaroo Jack is equally silly but does feature Christopher Walken and as such warranted a viewing.
Two: Once again Danny Elfman has been robbed at the oscars. Not that “Big Fish” was a masterpiece of cinematic scoring, but none of the other nominees were either and I still think Mr. Elfman deserves some sort of recognition for “Edward Scissorhand” and other early works of his that were indeed superb.
Now, on to the Academy Awards award for “Music (Original Song).” The Academy sees fit to give an award to the best song featured in a film. Now, I am all for this award, however, this award is routinely pimped by the studios and musicians alike. More often than not, the nominated songs are songs that are technically written to be featured in the film, but are only shown as the credits are rolling. This is just cheating. The studios hire the likes of Sting or Bryan Adams to write a song for the rollout credits and BAM!, you have at least an oscar nomination. Some songs must be written to actually be a part of the film and carry the story on, and not just in a MGM musical sense, a la Mitch & Mickey’s “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow”. It was a goofy, fruity song, but I’ll be hog tied if there was a song that better fit its purpose in a film last year. (“Belleville Rendez-vous” deserves honorable mention, but the later is the superior choice.)
So, dear Academy, I propose this: Change the category of “Music (Original Song)” to be “Music (Original Song that was written for the purposes of enhancing the actual film, not just to add a piece of musical flare to the end credits).