Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in a scene from A Star Is Born whose soundtrack Shallow has already won a few trophies and is nominated at the Grammys for Record of the Year.
Shallow and other Oscar-worthy songs
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2019 - 12:00am

The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards have been released and these are the choices for Best Original Song.

All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA and composed by Lamar, SZA, Sounwave and Al Shux from Black Panther. Lamar curated the entire soundtrack and this strong, slicky-produced ballad with all of its vocal trills was used in the end credits. It was named 15th Best Song of the Year 2018 and has been nominated at the Golden Globes and at the Grammy Awards where it is up for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media. This is the first time for both the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lamar and SZA to be nominated at the Oscars.

I’ll Fight from RBG composed by Diane Warren and Jennifer Hudson and performed by Hudson. RBG is a feature documentary about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Supreme Court Justice, who is known everywhere for her TV appearances and colorful language. Warren is a consistent Academy Award nominee for songs like Because You Loved Me and I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing. She was also nominated last year for Stand Up For Something from Marshall.

The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, performed in the picture by Emily Blunt. This must be the year’s sentimental favorite because Chim Chim Cheree, a song by the Sherman Brothers from the first Mary Poppins movie that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1964. So wouldn’t it be nice if a nice tune from the sequel does the same feat this year.

Shallow from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice, performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Lucky is the picture to find a theme song that can match its intensity beat by beat. That was what happened with A Star is Born and the No. 1 selling Shallow, a country power ballad that has already won a few trophies and is nominated at the Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Pop/Duo Collaboration and Best Song Written for Visual Media.

When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs composed by country music singers and songwriters David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. I love the way this song was used in the Netflix western anthology directed by the Coen Brothers and which starred Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco and others. Not really a surprise as Rawlings and Welch also worked on the T-Bone produced monumentally successful soundtrack to Brother, Where Art Thou? that was also directed by the Coens.

I love the sweet idea of a cowboy turning into an angel and I admit to being sentimental about Mary Poppins, but my choice for Best Original Song is Shallow. Not because it is already a winner at the Hollywood Music In Media, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Satellite Awards and the Golden Globes or that Rolling Stone named it the Second Best Song of 2018. The first was In My Feelings by Drake. But because Shallow is the pivot around which the drama and the music of A Star is Born revolved. And that hook, one of the strongest ever heard bewitches the listener not only to loving the song but the film as well.

I think Shallow has a very strong chance of winning the Oscar but one can never be too sure in these contests with the human factor making the votes. See how Bradley Cooper is being kept out of Best Director nominations? If enough Academy voters decide to be different because Shallow already has too many trophies, then Warren might finally get her first Oscar. But think, only Mary Poppins fans remember Chim Chim Cheree. They even think Supercaliflagialistic and Feed The Birds are the better songs. However, everybody remembers Dear Heart by Andy Williams, the losing song from 1964 that zoomed up the hit charts of the world.

And so Oscar or no Oscar, let us join Gaga and Cooper in: “I’m off the deep end/ watch as I dive in/ I’ll never meet the ground/ crash thru the surface/ where they can’t hurt us/ we’re far from the shallow now…”

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