2005 Best Original Song - Give Dolly an Oscar Already!!

WON: "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," Hustle & Flow

SHOULD'VE WON: "Travelin' Thru," Transamerica

Let's first get two important things out of the way in this review of 2005 Best Original Song - one, Crash's "In the Deep" is as dreary and heavy-handed as the picture it's featured in (the all-time worst Best Picture winner, by the way) and two, Brokeback Mountain's sublime "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" should have had this prize in the bag. That it wasn't even nominated should have tipped us all off that the film was vulnerable in the top category.

With that said, '05 Best Original Song is more an amusing curiosity than anything. It's among that small handful of oddball years in which the Academy opted for fewer than five nominees, a result of the category's idiosyncratic points system in voting. It's also the year that managed to pit hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia against country legend superstar Dolly Parton. With the Brokeback song inexplicably on the sidelines, this race seemed like a virtual jump ball heading into Oscar night.

Hustle & Flow's "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" isn't a bad winner and it's featured in a strong picture to boot, unlike the other two nominees. There is, however, a certain cheesiness to the record that certainly wasn't present in, for instance, 8 Mile's "Lose Yourself." Not that this is necessarily a deal-breaker - if the race was exclusively this and "In the Deep," I'd be whole-heartedly on-board - but there's just nothing especially Oscar-calibur or all that remarkable about the track.

Parton's "Travelin' Thru" isn't an extraordinary piece either, nor would I include it in the top tier of her gigantic discography, but it is nonetheless a very nice toe-tapper, fitting for the film (even if, again, it's not a very good one) and come on - she is so overdue for an Oscar, having first deserved to triumph 25 years prior to this with "9 to 5."

Come back to the big screen, Dolly! (And preferably in something better than Joyful Noise...)

The Oscar-winners ranked (thus far)...

  1. "Over the Rainbow," The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  2. "The Way You Look Tonight," Swing Time (1936)
  3. "High Hopes," A Hole in the Head (1959)
  4. "Streets of Philadelphia," Philadelphia (1993)
  5. "Lose Yourself," 8 Mile (2002)
  6. "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  7. "Mona Lisa," Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950)
  8. "Baby, It's Cold Outside," Neptune's Daughter (1949)
  9. "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," Dirty Dancing (1987)
  10. "The Windmills of Your Mind," The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
  11. "The Way We Were," The Way We Were (1973)
  12. "Let the River Run," Working Girl (1988)
  13. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  14. "Under the Sea," The Little Mermaid (1989)
  15. "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, On My Darlin')," High Noon (1952)
  16. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," The Lion King (1994)
  17. "Beauty and the Beast," Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  18. "I'm Easy," Nashville (1975)
  19. "You'll Never Know," Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943)
  20. "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," The Harvey Girls (1946)
  21. "Fame," Fame (1980)
  22. "Theme from Shaft," Shaft (1971)
  23. "Secret Love," Calamity Jane (1953)
  24. "White Christmas," Holiday Inn (1942)
  25. "Moon River," Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
  26. "Take My Breath Away," Top Gun (1986)
  27. "When You Wish Upon a Star," Pinocchio (1940)
  28. "Thanks for the Memory," The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938)
  29. "Lullaby of Broadway," Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
  30. "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," Song of the South (1947)
  31. "A Whole New World," Aladdin (1992)
  32. "My Heart Will Go On," Titanic (1997)
  33. "Flashdance...What a Feeling," Flashdance (1983)
  34. "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," Arthur (1981)
  35. "Last Dance," Thank God It's Friday (1978)
  36. "Colors of the Wind," Pocahontas (1995)
  37. "You Must Love Me," Evita (1996)
  38. "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)," Dick Tracy (1990)
  39. "Days of Wine and Roses," Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  40. "For All We Know," Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
  41. "All the Way," The Joker Is Wild (1957)
  42. "It Might As Well Be Spring," State Fair (1945)
  43. "The Last Time I Saw Paris," Lady Be Good (1941)
  44. "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," Here Comes the Groom (1951)
  45. "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
  46. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," Hustle & Flow (2005)
  47. "It Goes Like It Goes," Norma Rae (1979)
  48. "Born Free," Born Free (1966)
  49. "Never on Sunday," Never on Sunday (1960)
  50. "I Just Called to Say I Love You," The Woman in Red (1984)
  51. "Up Where We Belong," An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  52. "Three Coins in the Fountain," Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
  53. "Chim Chim Cher-ee," Mary Poppins (1964)
  54. "Call Me Irresponsible," Papa's Delicate Condition (1963)
  55. "Evergreen (Theme from A Star Is Born)," A Star Is Born (1976)
  56. "Al otro lado del río," The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  57. "Things Have Changed," Wonder Boys (2000)
  58. "Swinging on a Star," Going My Way (1944)
  59. "Into the West," The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  60. "If I Didn't Have You," Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  61. "You'll Be in My Heart," Tarzan (1999)
  62. "You Light Up My Life," You Light Up My Life (1977)
  63. "Gigi," Gigi (1958)
  64. "The Continental," The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  65. "Sweet Leilani," Waikiki Wedding (1937)
  66. "Buttons and Bows," The Paleface (1948)
  67. "Talk to the Animals," Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  68. "The Shadow of Your Smile," The Sandpiper (1965)
  69. "When You Believe," The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  70. "Say You, Say Me," White Nights (1985)
  71. "The Morning After," The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  72. "We May Never Love Like This Again," The Towering Inferno (1974)