2008 Best Original Song - Slumdog Hits the Oscar Jackpot

WON: "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire

SHOULD'VE WON: "Down to Earth," WALL-E

Welcome to 2008, yet another funky three-nominee year in Best Original Song (a result of the category's oddball points system). What makes '08 a particular head-scratcher is there were certainly more than a mere three tunes worthy of recognition. The true best original song of the year - Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" (from the Mickey Rourke picture) - inexplicably wasn't even nominated, despite taking home the Golden Globe.

Instead of awarding The Boss, the Academy utilized Best Original Song to shower even more love on Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which came out of nowhere in '08 to all but sweep the year's Oscars, defeating more traditionally awards-baity projects like Frost/Nixon and Milk.

The winner in Best Original Song, A.R. Rahman's "Jai Ho," is I think very much emblematic of the picture's strengths and weaknesses, a piece full of buoyant energy that nonetheless leaves me a tad cold in the end. Rahman's orchestrations are pretty remarkable but the production overall leaves me both exhausted and disinterested by the halfway mark. The other Slumdog song, "O...Saya," doesn't quite have that same enthusiasm but also is a little more nuanced. I'm just not in love with either of the tunes.

For me, this one's a clear slam dunk for Peter Gabriel's lovely "Down to Earth," which nicely compliments Disney-Pixar's greatest film to date, WALL-E.

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. "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  63. "If I Didn't Have You," Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  64. "You'll Be in My Heart," Tarzan (1999)
  65. "You Light Up My Life," You Light Up My Life (1977)
  66. "Gigi," Gigi (1958)
  67. "The Continental," The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  68. "Sweet Leilani," Waikiki Wedding (1937)
  69. "Buttons and Bows," The Paleface (1948)
  70. "Talk to the Animals," Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  71. "The Shadow of Your Smile," The Sandpiper (1965)
  72. "When You Believe," The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  73. "Say You, Say Me," White Nights (1985)
  74. "The Morning After," The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  75. "We May Never Love Like This Again," The Towering Inferno (1974)