Can Eminem Cut It?
(CP)- You think you’ve got worries? How would you like to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year?
Not only do you have to worry about a nasty old war or some silly old terrorists ruining your big day, but you also have to be looking over your shoulder in case you snub a nominee who in turn wants to pop a cap in your tuxedoed ass.
Yes, Oscars meet Eminem.
He’s your biggest nightmare since Courtney Love slapped designer clothes on her ghoulish ex-junkie frame and attempted to walk the red carpet and go legit, and he’s one of the five nominees vying for the best song award at this year’s ceremonies.
And you know what?
He should also win.
Mr. Marshall Mathers III and his song Lose Yourself — co-written with Jeff Bass and Luis Resto — from the rappin’ Rocky film 8 Mile are the cream of the crop, which also includes U2, Paul Simon, John Kander and Fred Ebb, and Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor.
But, as with the case with any award show, should win and will win are two entirely different things.
Bono and the boys have a great shot at the trophy thanks to The Hands That Built America, their contribution to Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
Not that it’s a very good song, or that its use in the film is even effective or fitting.
Although it plays over a closing montage of the New York skyline, which is shown from its infancy to today — or rather to pre 9/11, which makes it far less powerful — it’s an ultra modern, typical U2 song in a film that goes out of its way to get every last detail correct about the era it’s portraying.
The song seems like an afterthought.
For that reason, despite its association with a favoured film, it probably won’t get the prize.
But while U2’s entry benefits from the high-profile film it’s in, Paul Simon’s song Father and Daughter suffers because it’s from a nice, little animated feature.
And not a Disney one.
The Wild Thornberrys Movie is a charming film, and Simon’s song is a keeper — in fact the whole album is great, featuring tracks by artists such as Peter Gabriel, and Youssou N’ Dour and Sting.
It just doesn’t have the kind of fanfare behind it to take Simon to the podium.
The remaining pairs of nominees should have the inside track, because of their histories and because of the films they’re a part of.
Composer Elliot Goldenthal and lyricist Julie Taymor are the longshot of the two, with their song Burn It Blue from Frida.
Goldenthal, who’s also nominated in the original score category, has two other previous nominations to his credit for Interview with the Vampire and Michael Collins.
And while he’s no Randy Newman — who won the category last year after 15 past attempts, thereby avoiding an Oscar record 16 failed bids — there has to be a minor familiarity with his name and work.
Again, the problem is the vehicle.
Frida has a slight chance of pulling an upset for its star, the bodacious Salma Hayek, but doesn’t come close to having the machinery behind it to earn any other Oscars.
Which leaves that toddlin’ film Chicago and its peppy number I Move On, by John Kander and Fred Ebb.
The team also has a history with Oscar — albeit an old one — as they earned a nomination almost three decades ago with their work on Funny Lady.
But what should push them over the top is that their song happens to be featured in a musical that’s favoured to clean up at this year’s awards.
While the Academy has been known to do dumb things, like ignoring a director whose work is up for best picture, to snub a song from a musical that’s the frontrunner for flick of the year would be incredibly silly and myopic … and all that jazz.
Can Eminem Cut It?