Music in the Oscars

by Jess

Last night was the biggest, most glamorous party in the cinematic calendar – the Oscars.

And what amazing films and performances we’ve had this year.  Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Fences, Jackie, Florence Foster Jenkins…. The list goes on with an even longer list of all the spectacular performances from the actors and actresses. A personal favourite of mine was La La Land – stylistic, slick and, best of all, MUSICAL!

Which leads me to the theme of this article.

Music in the Oscars.

Because, let’s face it – music makes a film! 

There are two awards for music at the Oscars. Best Original Score and Best Original Song.The Original Score is the music that is composed for the overall film, the incidental music that happens during the scenes to enhance the action, the mood and the characters’ emotions. It’s the music we take for granted – but we’d definitely notice if it wasn’t there!

But on this Monday morning, I want to introduce you to the Original Songs that were up for nominations. These were the songs that were written specifically for the film. Maybe you can have a listen during your coffee break, on the way home from work or even ask your tutor to play/sing it in a future lesson!

So sit back and have a listen to these five great songs:

  1. AUDITION (THE FOOLS WHO DREAM) from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

This is the one we’ve all heard on the La La Land trailer, as you see Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dance away into the stars in a romantic, cliché Hollywood scene. Emma sings this song as part of an audition in the film. It’s so simply done with just her on screen, a plain back drop and one camera circling her face. Simple yet effective!

  1. CAN’T STOP THE FEELING from Trolls; Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

This was my soundtrack to the summer – ask my Dad, I even had a dance move every time it came on in the car on holiday! Didn’t Justin Timberlake come back with a bang with this one?! It’s a feel good, upbeat, dance number. If writing the song wasn’t enough, he also featured in the film… his voice, he hasn’t actually turned into a brightly coloured Troll as far as I’m aware.

  1. CITY OF STARS from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

We’re back to La La Land but this time we’ve got Ryan Gosling taking centre stage. His character played a struggling jazz pianist, going from job to job and it was only when he sat down at home that he played the music he really wanted to play. This was the song he always chose to perform for his pleasure. It was a recurring theme throughout the film, and I loved it!

  1. THE EMPTY CHAIR from Jim: The James Foley Story; Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

This makes a lovely contrast to the others featured on this year’s Oscar lists. Sting made a comeback this year writing it. It has a beautiful folk quality, Sting’s resonating voice along with  solo piano accompaniment. Hauntingly beautiful.

  1. HOW FAR I’LL GO from Moana; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Finally we finish with Disney! You can’t have an Oscars original song without Disney. The music was inspired by traditional South Pacific sounds alongside the classic Broadway musical songs. The combination makes it pretty gorgeous! Disney have given us another belter with this song, possibility not as epic as Let it Go, but it still stuck in my head for a long time after I watched the film.

I hope you have chance to listen to these great songs. Let’s keep celebrating all this exciting music.

Have a good Monday.