2007 Best Original Song - Falling for "Falling Slowly"

WON: "Falling Slowly," Once

SHOULD'VE WON: "Raise It Up," August Rush

Yeah, yeah, I know. The notion of the molasses-dripping August Rush as being worthy of Oscar consideration sounds like an Oscar fanboy's bad April Fool's Day joke. Alas, Best Original Song is a category in which I have bestowed favoritism upon the likes of Armageddon, The Bodyguard and Pearl Harbor, among others, all quite worse than the Freddie Highmore film.

Even if the picture itself is unbearably sticky-sweet, August Rush's "Raise it Up" is an immensely pleasant surprise, a truly soaring and affecting gospel piece, performed by Jamia Simone Nash and the Harlem-based Impact Repertory Theatre. I think it's just marvelous the Academy recognized it, given both its lack of precursor attention in that awards season and the middling notices for the film.

I give "Raise It Up" an ever-so-slight edge over the Academy's pick for the win here, Once's lovely "Falling Slowly." Performed and composed by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, it packs a subtle, bittersweet punch and I can't find anything the least bit negative to say about it, other than I'm not quite as head-over-heels for it as its many ardent fans tend to be.

I do, however, prefer "Falling Slowly" to the remaining three nominees, all from Disney's ginormously successful Enchanted, a picture Amy Adams surely deserved an Oscar nom for. Adams is an absolute delight to listen to on "Happy Working Song" and "That's How You Know" - I actually prefer the former to the latter, which I felt was a bit overhyped at the time - but I don't think Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz were operating at quite the same sky-high level as the picture's leading lady here. She breathes tremendous life into the songs but I don't think there's a whole lot of magic there beyond her energy. The third nominee, "So Close," isn't performed by Adams (but rather Jon McLaughlin) and is a real snooze.

Too bad the Academy didn't have the balls this year to recognize any of the many uproarious original songs from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.

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. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," Hustle & Flow (2005)
  49. "It Goes Like It Goes," Norma Rae (1979)
  50. "Born Free," Born Free (1966)
  51. "Never on Sunday," Never on Sunday (1960)
  52. "I Just Called to Say I Love You," The Woman in Red (1984)
  53. "Up Where We Belong," An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  54. "Three Coins in the Fountain," Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
  55. "Chim Chim Cher-ee," Mary Poppins (1964)
  56. "Call Me Irresponsible," Papa's Delicate Condition (1963)
  57. "Evergreen (Theme from A Star Is Born)," A Star Is Born (1976)
  58. "Al otro lado del río," The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  59. "Things Have Changed," Wonder Boys (2000)
  60. "Swinging on a Star," Going My Way (1944)
  61. "Into the West," The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  62. "If I Didn't Have You," Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  63. "You'll Be in My Heart," Tarzan (1999)
  64. "You Light Up My Life," You Light Up My Life (1977)
  65. "Gigi," Gigi (1958)
  66. "The Continental," The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  67. "Sweet Leilani," Waikiki Wedding (1937)
  68. "Buttons and Bows," The Paleface (1948)
  69. "Talk to the Animals," Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  70. "The Shadow of Your Smile," The Sandpiper (1965)
  71. "When You Believe," The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  72. "Say You, Say Me," White Nights (1985)
  73. "The Morning After," The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  74. "We May Never Love Like This Again," The Towering Inferno (1974)