2010 Best Original Song - Ahem, Where Is Cher?

WON: "We Belong Together," Toy Story 3

SHOULD'VE WON: "If I Rise," 127 Hours

2010 marked a pretty damn solid year at the Oscars - even though I'm not the least bit fond of The King's Speech - with terrific contenders like Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, True Grit, Animal Kingdom and Another Year, among others. Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo? Fabulous winners.

Yet, for all of the strength seen across the bulk of categories, Best Original Song that year marked one of the most deadly-dull line-ups to ever grace the category, a sleepy, entirely unremarkable batch of four songs that is exceedingly difficult to select a favorite among.

The Academy, faced with this anemic foursome, opted to go with Oscar mainstay Randy Newman here, awarding him a second Best Original Song prize, this time for Toy Story 3's "We Belong Together." About on-par with Monsters, Inc.'s "If I Didn't Have You" (his first winner) when it comes to utter lack of imagination, it is handily the weakest tune Newman composed for the Toy Story series.

The thing is, Newman's competition wasn't all that superior. In fact, Country Strong's "Coming Home," inexplicably performed by Gwyneth Paltrow, is even less appealing than the Toy Story tune, a cookie-cutter country ballad that would make the likes of Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes cringe. Tangled's "I See the Light" is another merely agreeable Alan Menken composition that makes you long for the days of Howard Ashman - it's pretty-enough but there's no magic there.

Ultimately, I least dislike 127 Hours' "If I Rise" here, a reasonably interesting A.R. Rahman piece that's more satisfying than his Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire work and gets a nice boost from Dido's always-affecting vocal work. Is it incredible stuff? No. But it's the only song I had the faintest bit of interest listening to multiple times over the past few days of revisiting this line-up.

The real eyebrow-raiser of 2010 Best Original Song is the Academy for once ignored Diane Warren, despite her having won the Golden Globe this year for Burlesque's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," a dynamite, perfectly fitting ballad for Cher. In most years, such a song shouldn't really be in contention for an Oscar but in this snoozefest, I would have handily given Warren the win.

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. "I Need to Wake Up," An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
  36. "Last Dance," Thank God It's Friday (1978)
  37. "Colors of the Wind," Pocahontas (1995)
  38. "Falling Slowly," Once (2007)
  39. "You Must Love Me," Evita (1996)
  40. "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)," Dick Tracy (1990)
  41. "Days of Wine and Roses," Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  42. "For All We Know," Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
  43. "All the Way," The Joker Is Wild (1957)
  44. "It Might As Well Be Spring," State Fair (1945)
  45. "The Last Time I Saw Paris," Lady Be Good (1941)
  46. "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," Here Comes the Groom (1951)
  47. "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
  48. "The Weary Kind," Crazy Heart (2009)
  49. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," Hustle & Flow (2005)
  50. "It Goes Like It Goes," Norma Rae (1979)
  51. "Born Free," Born Free (1966)
  52. "Never on Sunday," Never on Sunday (1960)
  53. "I Just Called to Say I Love You," The Woman in Red (1984)
  54. "Up Where We Belong," An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  55. "Three Coins in the Fountain," Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
  56. "Chim Chim Cher-ee," Mary Poppins (1964)
  57. "Call Me Irresponsible," Papa's Delicate Condition (1963)
  58. "Evergreen (Theme from A Star Is Born)," A Star Is Born (1976)
  59. "Al otro lado del río," The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  60. "Things Have Changed," Wonder Boys (2000)
  61. "Swinging on a Star," Going My Way (1944)
  62. "Into the West," The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  63. "We Belong Together," Toy Story 3 (2010)
  64. "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  65. "If I Didn't Have You," Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  66. "You'll Be in My Heart," Tarzan (1999)
  67. "You Light Up My Life," You Light Up My Life (1977)
  68. "Gigi," Gigi (1958)
  69. "The Continental," The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  70. "Sweet Leilani," Waikiki Wedding (1937)
  71. "Buttons and Bows," The Paleface (1948)
  72. "Talk to the Animals," Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  73. "The Shadow of Your Smile," The Sandpiper (1965)
  74. "When You Believe," The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  75. "Say You, Say Me," White Nights (1985)
  76. "The Morning After," The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  77. "We May Never Love Like This Again," The Towering Inferno (1974)