Oscar 2023, our predictions: soundtracks and original songs

The best soundtracks

Justin Hurwtiz, a loyal collaborator of Damien Chazelle, has already won for La La Land. Twice: for Best Score and Best Original Song (City of Stars). He deserves a third statuette as well for Babylon, considering the philological and highly original work done on the music of the 1920s. That he had never “played” like this, among dissonant pianos (see the love theme carrier) and the entry of afro-jazz and even voodoo sounds. However, the Academy didn’t like the film (shame!), which weakens the – rightly obligatory – candidacy.

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Son Lux

The most interesting – see also, further on, the collaboration with David Byrne and Mitski for the original song This Is a Life – is also the one with the least chance of winning. Or perhaps, having seen the sentiment that spawned the film directed by the Daniels, could turn everything around and win this statuette as well. The multiverse staged in Everything Everywhere All at Once it is also sound, between rock, symphonic and electronic. And the hand of Son Lux is a breath of fresh and good air for the Academy.

The Fabelmans

John Williams

The veteran of the veterans, the man who, thanks to the collaboration with his associates Lucas and Spielberg, has literally rewritten and reinvented the music for the cinema. At 90, he has already broken a record: he is the oldest person ever nominated in the history of the award. He has already won five Oscars, and many see the sixth very close. The Fabelmans it makes no difference: it’s always very high-end music and very popular at the same time. But certainly the themes do not remain impressed as they once were. But you know: most members of the Academy like to bet easy.

Nothing new on the western front

Volker Bertelmann

L’underdog (so to speak: it is still a blockbuster “made in Netflix”) which already represents the real surprise of these Oscars. Among the nine (!) total nominations, there is also the one for the soundtrack by Volker Bertelmann, better known as Hauschka. Which, according to bookmakers, could beat much more aggressive candidates on paper. Classic score for the classic big war film, but with flashes of current sound: nothing new on the western front (or almost), but also for this he could win easy.

The spirits of the island

Carter Williams

Another round, another veteran. At 68, Burwell has “only” two nominations before this one (per Carol And Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri), but it is one of the “safe” names on the composition scene of the last thirty years. The score with an Irish flavor written for Martin McDonagh’s masterpiece enhances the story of (in) friendship between Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. But, of all of them, he seems to be the weakest candidate.

The best original songs


Diane Warren (from ‘Tell It Like a Woman’)

Diane Warren has some experience with nominations, with 14 for Best Original Song since 1988 and 6 in recent years alone – the latest in 2021 for I do (Seen) with Laura Pausini. The piece was written for an anthology of seven short stories directed and interpreted by women from all over the world (Margherita Buy, Marcia Gay Harden, Cara Delevingne, Leonor Varela, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anne Watanabe and Eva Longoria three the protagonists and Maria Sole Tognazzi, Lucia Puenzo and Catherine Hardwicke among the directors), so the nomination was quite obvious. Diane will perform with Sofia Carson at the ceremony, but the Academy already gave her the Governors Award in November. So a victory for her seems unlikely.

Hold My Hand

Lady Gaga, BloodPop (from ‘Top Gun: Maverick’)

As Steven Spielberg himself told Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick it may have saved the cinema. And then Lady Gaga is the second nomination in this category, after her victory with shallow feat. Bradley Cooper. In terms of ratings it could probably have done better, but with the reviews it hasn’t fared badly. If the Academy wants to win easy, here it is rock power ballad there is and the mega popstar as well. The image of Gaga in Tom’s aviator bomber jacket is enough for us.

Lift me up

music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Goransson; text by Tems, Ryan Coogler (from ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’)

The other popstar in the five is Riri, thanks to her performance at the Super Bowl and family-sized covers with A$AP Rocky. Lift me up it is the first song that the singer has recorded since 2016, it was conceived as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2023 from a tumor, and was written together with Ludwig Göransson and director Ryan Coogler for a highly anticipated sequel. The piece broke in terms of ratings, but not in critic reviews. Meanwhile, Rihanna performs at the Oscars, and that’s enough for us.

Naatu Naatu

music by MM Keeravaani; text by Chandrabose (from ‘RRR’)

The action epic made in India has become a firm favourite awards seasonespecially thanks to Naatu Naatu, which is much more than a song: it’s a musical number in perfect Bollywood style. And while the Telugu-language film missed out on a nomination in its most important category, Best International Film, the song, already a Golden Globe winner, is the first from an Indian film to be nominated in the category. And, according to forecasts, it really seems that he will get the better of Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

This Is a Life

music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne, Mitski; lyrics by Ryan Lott, David Byrne (from ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’)

The piece is there, the authors (Son Lux) as well, the coolness of the performers is skyrocketing (David Byrne and Mitski). But Everything Everywhere All at Once it has 10 other nominations and obviously aims very high (with good reason, it’s THE film of the year). And between Gaga, Rihanna and the very fierce Indian hit, he will almost certainly have the worst.

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