Elton John wins second Oscar

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star

Pop music superstar Elton John won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 92nd Academy Awards which was held last Sunday evening Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California. Elton is said to have given a “technicolor” performance of the song titled I’m Gonna Love Me Again. 

Which I was not able to watch until later on YouTube. As I am sure you did not, too. This is because no television channel, cable or free TV was able to get the rights to air Academy Awards ceremonies this year. Just like last year.  You might have seen some portions in some bootleg channel on the Net. But otherwise, it was no Oscar Awards for Pinoys again. 

I am glad though that portions of the show were allowed to be uploaded on YouTube and other platforms. That is why we were able to watch the musical numbers. And that includes Billie Eilish and brother Finneas performing the Beatles’ Yesterday in the In Memoriam portion. Goosebumps galore.

Anyway, I am happy that Elton won the Oscar for I’m Gonna Love Me Again. This is the theme for his biopic, Rocket Man and he co-wrote it with his long-time songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.  Just think they had been making hits together since their first one, Your Song and that was 50 years ago!

I also see this win as a sort of recognition for Rocketman, which I believe is superior in every way to the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. I am still amazed at how Dexter Fletcher, who, by the way, directed both films, was able to create musical numbers out of mundane situations.

 I also think that Taron Egerton’s performance as Elton is many notches higher than that of Rami Maleck’s prosthetics and posturings and I must add lip-synching in Bohemian Rhapsody. But then it is mighty difficult to lobby for other actor nominees when you have somebody like Joaquin Phoenix as Joker in contention.

Anyway again. Although he seemed like the easy choice, it was not also easy for Elton to win this year. He was up against quite a line-up of excellent movie themes by veteran composers who are also previous winners for Best Song. 

The perky but pathos-laden I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away written and performed by Randy Newman for the Disney franchise animated flick Toy Story 4; the gospel ballad I’m Standing With You performed by the plus-size beauty of This is Us, Chrissy Metz and composed by Diane Warren for the Christian drama Breakthrough.

Into the Unknown written by the husband and wife team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and sung by Idina Menzel in the second chapter of the Elsa adventures, Frozen II; and Stand-up from Harriet, the biopic of the heroic Harriet Taubman, composed by Joshuah Brian Campbell and the film’s star, the lovely and talented Cynthia Erivo, who is also a Best Actress nominee for the same film. 

Incidentally, the life-affirming I’m Gonna Love Me Again also won the Golden Globe, the Critics Choice and the Satellite awards for Best Song. This is Elton’s second Academy award.  He first won the Oscar and also the Golden Globe for Can You Feel the Love Tonight, the song that he composed with Tim Rice for the Disney animated film, The Lion King in 1995. The pair were also nominated that year for The Circle of Life and Hakuna Matata for the same picture.

The winner for the Best Musical Score was Hildur Guonadottir, the musician from Iceland, who is now the hottest newcomer to the area of film music. She won for her work in Joker, which I must say is truly evocative of the story. She also won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for Joker and already has an EMMY and a Grammy for her work in Chernobyl.

Hildur is the youngest among the nominees this year. The others were frequent nominees and winners Alexandre Desplat for Little Women; Randy Newman for Marriage Story; Thomas Newman for 1917; and John Williams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 

I feel bad for Sam Mendes, winning everything else and then losing at the Oscars. But now the Academy Awards will not be accused anymore of being exclusive and not diversified enough after giving the major awards to the South Korean film Parasite instead of to 1917.


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