Right-Wing Jesus Wants an Oscar
January 22, 2014 8:00 AM   Subscribe

The 2014 Oscar nominations for best song are: Happy- Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2), The Moon Song- Karen O (Her), Ordinary Love- U2 (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Let It Go- Idina Menzel (Frozen), and Alone Yet Not Alone- Joni Earekson Tada (Alone Yet Not Alone) -- wait, what?

Never heard of this movie? Released to eleven theaters for a one-week run in September 2013, Alone Yet Not Alone is based on a novel by Tracy Leininger. Set in the American Colonial era, the story follows a young blonde girl kidnapped by Native Americans, who finds comfort in her Christian faith and later escapes to be reunited with her family. (From the School Library Journal review: "What could have been an interesting story of survival is diminished by the book's simplistic tone and lack of nuance. The settlers are beautiful and compassionate, while many Indians are unattractive, cruel, and troubled because they don't believe in one god. The depiction of them is beyond biased and there is no attempt to provide any historical background or explanation for their actions. It will be difficult to find an audience for this book.") Rob of the blog Newspaper Rock gives a more detailed background on the story, while Adrienne K. at Native Appropriations asks bluntly "They give out Oscars for racism now?"

The film has interesting ties to Christian Dominionism, a philosophy that calls for a Christian theocracy in the US, much like the fictional Republic of Gilead. Tracy Leininger is the daughter of right-wing kingmaker James Leininger, and has close ties with Vision Forum. VF was a prominent Christian dominionist organization until its closure in late 2013 after leader Doug Phillips admitted to a long-term affair. The film is a production of Vision Forum, while many of the actors in the film were heavily involved in Vision Forum, including stay-at-home daughter Lourdes Torres and Phillips' own children Joshua and Jubilee. It may not be a surprise that Vision Forum and Dominionism at large espouses racism-- a key figure in the movement [note: sketchy racist site] is R.J. Rushdoony, who called for the reinstitution of slavery.

So why was the theme song "Alone Yet Not Alone" nominated for an Oscar, when popular artists Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Beyonce and Jay-Z were overlooked? Well, composer Bruce Broughton is a former governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and served as the Chairman of the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2003-2012. Even with this pedigree, the song was ignored by the Academy-- until Broughton called in his connections. Said an unnamed artist spurned for a nomination "I can't figure any of this shit out."
posted by cereselle (134 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great post, cereselle. Contrast with Inside Llewyn Davis receiving no nomination(s!) for Best Original Song.
posted by timshel at 8:07 AM on January 22, 2014 [24 favorites]


There's actually a lot of fantastic meat to this post that I need to dig through, but that'll have to wait till I stop blinking rapidly while trying to process the words "stay-at-home daughter." Admittedly, this makes a lot more sense when placed in the context of "well, as a wife, you'll be a stay-at-home wife, and you're either in your father's household or your husband's, QED..."

Nevertheless: Buh.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:07 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]




I would be outraged, but this is just more bullshit on top of the foundation of bullshit that is the Academy, so instead I find this absolutely hilarious. Anyone here have a ballot? PLEASE VOTE FOR THIS SONG.
posted by Think_Long at 8:09 AM on January 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


Vote "Let It Go"! Robert Lopez needs his EGOT!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:10 AM on January 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


"They give out Oscars for racism now?"

Given that The Lone Ranger was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and looks on track to win it, probably yes.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:13 AM on January 22, 2014 [33 favorites]




This thing makes that Kirk Cameron movie about the firefighter look like... well, it still looks pretty shitty.
posted by box at 8:16 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Erm, on further review past the hilarious trailer/music video, maybe don't vote for this song as it's kind of despicable. That said, it should make the ceremony more interesting if they perform it.
posted by Think_Long at 8:24 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


So does this have a chance to acually win, or is there a limit to what money and personal influence can achieve here? Because...there may be some REALLY favorable odds available, you know, for entertainment purposes only.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:25 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Which just goes to show, even Jesus wants an Oscar.

According to Box Office Mojo, Alone Yet Not Alone, has grossed $133,546 so far. (But I see that, according to Deadspin, the movie isn't actually scheduled for "general release," until this March.) I kinda wonder if Broughton got a flat fee or a percentage of the gross on this, but what I really wonder is why Broughton feels strongly enough about this to step on toes and call in favors? Maybe he's still pissed over losing to Barry's Out Of Africa score back in '86?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:26 AM on January 22, 2014


I still haven't seen Frozen (which is bad, because, I'm like friendly with the people who wrote it), but hearing "Let it Go" during the Walt Disney World marathon this year was one of the highlights of my life. I hope it wins.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:27 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Given that The Lone Ranger was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and looks on track to win it, probably yes.

Wait, does that include the whole "bird on the head" thing? Because I am not sure no hairstyling wouldn't be better than that.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:28 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


What if it is a good song and can stand on its own merits? Not everything has to be a theofascistic plot to undermine the American entertainment system.
posted by Renoroc at 8:29 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Let It Go is so perfectly designed to win this that if it had been released during Disney's hegemonic period it would have somehow won, like, three Best Song oscars. I wouldn't worry too much.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:30 AM on January 22, 2014 [11 favorites]


What if it is a good song and can stand on its own merits?

If that were the case, Broughton wouldn't have had to get on the phone to members of the Academy talking it up because they would have heard it already.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:30 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


For some reason, the Flixster Trailers channel on my TV always has the most obscure and Christian film trailers on it. There was one about a girl who discovers that why she always felt incomplete was because she had been a late-term abortion and survived (No, really, this exists).

And I watched the trailer for Alone Yet Not Alone.

And, dude, I love shitty Christian-based historical drama. I read Janette Oke for comfort. There was a Love Comes Softly marathon right before Christmas, and I was in heaven.

But even I, with my forgiving ways, could not believe such a film as Alone Yet Not Alone could exist in this day and age. Seriously, it's like it belongs in a pre-Civil War melodrama. Which I suppose is fair, since that's the era they want to send us all back to.
posted by Katemonkey at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


Drat, I was just about to link the Slacktivist piece. My mother has been a listener to Joni and Friends for a long time, thus leading to my occasionally getting stuck listening to it in the car and such. Tada is only famous because she allows conservative evangelicals to pretend that they're in favor of inclusiveness and social justice--and not coincidentally because she has a disability that happens to still photograph quite well, since she's slim, blonde, and has someone to do her hair and makeup. So, basically, everything gets this cast of: Well, you don't need help, look at Joni, she learned to paint with her teeth! You aren't working hard enough. By tacking her name on something, they try to render it invulnerable to criticism, because how can you possibly criticize a quadriplegic?

I don't necessarily fault her personally. I do fault the system that has been exploiting her for decades. Under the circumstances, I suspect that giving this song to her was basically a way to try to guilt trip the Academy.
posted by Sequence at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Look, on the one hand this is A TRAVESTY. But we are talking about the Oscars here. The same voting group that decided Tommy Lee Jones's performance as a wisecracking US Marshal in that magnum opus, The Fugitive, was better than that of Ralph Fiennes' Amon Goeth in Schindler's List.

On the other hand, Alone Yet Not Alone won't win. It will probably get beaten by a song scored for a movie about a cartoon villain and his yellow minions. Which must be pretty gutting if you truly believe in the power of prayer and the omnipotence of the Almighty.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


not to derail, but good lord that tribal theocrat site is bonkers to the core.
posted by HumanComplex at 8:36 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Great post, cereselle. Contrast with Inside Llewyn Davis receiving no nomination(s!) for Best Original Song.

They need complex and godly rules to exclude it because they are so utterly flooded with worthy contenders.
posted by Artw at 8:41 AM on January 22, 2014


I remember when you could spot sites like tribal theocrat straight off by their batshit custom web design. Curse thee, WordPress!
posted by topynate at 8:42 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh for those who haven't seen it, Disney Germany released Let It Go in 25 languages.
posted by Talez at 8:42 AM on January 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


On the other hand, Alone Yet Not Alone won't win. It will probably get beaten by a song scored for a movie about a cartoon villain and his yellow minions. Which must be pretty gutting if you truly believe in the power of prayer and the omnipotence of the Almighty.

To be fair, Happy is a pretty damn enjoyable song. Have you listened to it? I mean, really listened to it, for a whole day? Well, just listening to it a few times could suffice.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:44 AM on January 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


Same Academy as the one that stiffed Lawrence in 'Winter's Bone'? Yeah, don't care.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:45 AM on January 22, 2014


If that were the case, Broughton wouldn't have had to get on the phone to members of the Academy talking it up because they would have heard it already.

That doesn't really follow. It's not as though no one was promoting any of the other songs in the field and Broughton broke some kind of taboo by calling his friends in the Academy and saying "please listen to my song." All of those people would have been being called by well-placed people associated with other nominated songs.

All this story amounts to is that Broughton managed to get his song nominated with the cheapest, lowest-profile publicity campaign of all. When you put it that way it's a bit hard to see what the fuss is about. Sure, the film sounds utterly despicable, but the Oscar for best song is supposed to be awarded on the merits of the song, not as a kind of proxy for the merits of the film.
posted by yoink at 8:46 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Talez: Oh for those who haven't seen it, Disney Germany released Let It Go in 25 languages

Disney's Wonderful World of Babel, previously
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 AM on January 22, 2014


I'm having trouble getting angry while watching a quadriplegic sing about how her faith in God gives her strength, but mostly, yeah, Oscars.

(If we're listing Oscars travesties, I submit: Mel Gibson, Best Director - Braveheart wins over Mike Figgis for Leaving Las Vegas)
posted by gwint at 8:50 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm still sore that Ladies of Tampa was snubbed last year.
posted by troika at 8:52 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


aaaaaaand I just read Vendars link above. Good grief.
posted by gwint at 8:53 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


> So does this have a chance to acually win, or is there a limit to what money and personal influence can achieve here?

I don't think they expect to win. I think they wanted to be able to claim that they were "Nominated for an Academy Award" and the credibility to put themselves in the ranks of Disney and the other major players. So they already got what they wanted. Everything from this onward is gravy.
posted by ardgedee at 8:56 AM on January 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


The same voting group that decided Tommy Lee Jones's performance as a wisecracking US Marshal in that magnum opus, The Fugitive, was better than that of Ralph Fiennes' Amon Goeth in Schindler's List.

The Best Supporting Actor/Actress awards are 90 percent "Best New Artist" or "Lifetime Achievement" and have been since at least the 1970s.

It's not as though no one was promoting any of the other songs in the field and Broughton broke some kind of taboo by calling his friends in the Academy and saying "please listen to my song."

I have a feeling that Broughton laid a little more emphasis on "my" in that request. If Kirk Cameron had written it, does anyone believe that we would be discussing it as an Academy Award nominee? I mean, come on -- I will not be bent to fear / He's the refuge, I know it's weird?
posted by Etrigan at 8:56 AM on January 22, 2014


But we are talking about the Oscars here. The same voting group that decided Tommy Lee Jones's performance as a wisecracking US Marshal in that magnum opus, The Fugitive, was better than that of Ralph Fiennes' Amon Goeth in Schindler's List.

Same Academy as the one that stiffed Lawrence in 'Winter's Bone'? Yeah, don't care.

(If we're listing Oscars travesties, I submit: Mel Gibson, Best Director - Braveheart wins over Mike Figgis for Leaving Las Vegas)


To this growing list I would like to add - Bill Murray losing out on "Best Actor" for Lost In Translation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


This thing makes that Kirk Cameron movie about the firefighter look like... well, it still looks pretty shitty.

I've actually seen that movie - it's not that bad. Cameron is a very good actor (even with his woeful ignorance of this history of banana farming), and it had some very useful (and true) stuff to say about communication in relationships. That said, the last 10 minutes were idiotic - they had solved their relationship problems, but then they couldn't get along until both had accepted Jesus as their personal saviour. Also, the bit about the porn was stupid. Porn can totally spice up and improve your relationship.

I am actually torn when it comes to deep Christian belief. I am not a believer and have never been through what is often called "the conversion experience", but I have close family who are born again and I see what great comfort and joy they take from their belief. I understand and envy the kind of peace that someone like the singer takes from her faith - you can hear it in her prayer that preceeds the song. But (of course), I abhor the hatred and intolerance that is justified and spurred on by some people of faith, and I don't really understand how they can go from the God of Love to the God of Hate - they are antithetical to each other. Dominionism is just whacked: the Jesus of the New Testament never seeks to be a state power, but always divided religion from earthly power (thus the "render unto Caesar"). His message was a personal one about how to live your life, not how to tell other people how to live theirs.

As for the Alone: Yet not Alonemovie itself: I think it would be awesome if the response to this movie were another movie about a settler being kidnapped from her Christian family and held in captivity for years...based on the true story of Eunice Kanenstenhawi Williams, subject of Demos' The Unredeemed Captive. It would have to be largely fictional, though; as Demos found in his own research, most of the sources are heavily biased to the English, Puritain, and anti-Native/Catholic position of her father and brother. Though he really wanted to tell her story, the restrictions of a historian stymied that. A novelist/film-maker wouldn't be so restricted and so could really explore why she might have decided to stay.
posted by jb at 9:00 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Nota bene: the link for "key figure in the movement" above goes to a very racist and very offensive site called "tribaltheocrat.com," which seems to be espousing classic "kinism." If you want to learn what the hell that means, and would rather not give clicks to a racist site or have to look at it at all, you may be better off visiting the Wikipedia page on "kinism."

Maybe a warning on the link in the post would be in order?
posted by koeselitz at 9:01 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


And actually, to bring this around to Best Song - I keep not being able to find this when I need to, but wasn't there once a production number at some Oscars ceremony in the 70's which was a medley of "songs that were eligible but weren't ever nominated" and it was this whole medley of amazing songs?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:01 AM on January 22, 2014


*pours syrup out of headphones*
posted by pyramid termite at 9:04 AM on January 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


On the other hand, Alone Yet Not Alone won't win. It will probably get beaten by a song scored for a movie about a cartoon villain and his yellow minions. Which must be pretty gutting if you truly believe in the power of prayer and the omnipotence of the Almighty.

an AWESOME song about a cartoon villain and his yellow minions

(okay, maybe not as inspirational as "Let it Go", which was a high point in an otherwise slightly disappointing film, but currently my new sauntering down the street fav)

I was so chuffed when Brett McKenzie won for "Man or Muppet". I didn't know he was involved in the film until I was in the theatre and listening to that song, and thought, "that's either by one of the Flight of the Conchords, or someone who REALLY likes them". I have the soundtrack now.
posted by jb at 9:05 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


What does the novel have to do with the song? For that matter, what does the movie have to do with the song?
That the movie didn't make any money and played a limited run also doesn't make any difference to the song nomination. “Falling Slowly,” from the film Once which opened in only two theaters, but won in 2007.
If Broughton could influence nominations this easily, he could have done it in the past and had more nominations. There's lots of people who've had their work nominated who were on the Board of Governors.
Biggest Oscar travesty was Ordinary People over Raging Bull.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Oscars serve one purpose - to promote and create stars that will sell more tickets in the future. That is all it has every been about. If that means throwing a bone to fundamentalists to get them to watch the show then they will do that. If you want merit based nominations and awards go watch the Independent Spirit awards.
posted by any major dude at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2014


Isn't this nom basically because the Academy is an idiot club for idiots?

I mean, Crash over Brokeback Mountain?

Who cares about this stuff anymore?
posted by sonascope at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


koeselitz, fair enough. I'm flagging your comment to ask the mods to put in that warning. Although I may have just done it wrong, so I'm flagging my own comment to make sure they know yours wasn't breaking guidelines.
posted by cereselle at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2014


I keep not being able to find this when I need to, but wasn't there once a production number at some Oscars ceremony in the 70's which was a medley of "songs that were eligible but weren't ever nominated" and it was this whole medley of amazing songs?

1979. Steve Lawrence and Sammy Davis Jr. present "Not Even Nominated."
posted by Shmuel510 at 9:09 AM on January 22, 2014 [18 favorites]


Thank you Shmuel, that's it!

How am I NOT able to find it? I even google "Sammy Davis Jr. oscars song not nominated" and find nothing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:10 AM on January 22, 2014


That Joni video was so incredibly manipulative. "Gee, God, I don't know if I can do this, because I am a crippled cripple who has to deal with crippledness -- which You should know, because you crippled me!" This is MDA Telethon-level shit.

And then it explains how her husband has to press on her diaphragm to help her hit the high notes. Which... mildly interesting fact, but the song itself is supposed to be up for an award, not the story behind it.

Interestingly, that recent barbershop quartet post brought up the flip side of this: this performance of "Lucky Old Sun" by Crossroads would have been the highest score ever, except that (according to one of the commenters) "they were penalized because of the reference to God, when Michael says 'won't you hear my plea good Lord.' Contest music cannot have any spiritual or patriotic references. It gives unfair advantage because of the emotions it invokes." (emphasis mine)

Fascinating.
posted by Madamina at 9:11 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have a feeling that Broughton laid a little more emphasis on "my" in that request. If Kirk Cameron had written it, does anyone believe that we would be discussing it as an Academy Award nominee?

Probably not, but I'm still not seeing how this gets read as any kind of malfeasance. If the point was that he rang people up and said "if you don't vote for my song I have contacts on the inside who will know how you voted and I'll make sure you never work in this town again" then, sure, that would be a capital-S Scandal. But all you're saying is "well known, popular insider guy finds it easier to get recognition from peers than outsider guy" which, well, yeah. Duh. But that's true for absolutely every category of every awards show ever. Do you think that the songs by U2 and Karen O would have found it as easy to get on the list if they'd been written by no-name newcomers? Do you think the song from Frozen would have got as much attention if it had been composed for a tiny independent movie that didn't have the might of Disney behind it?

It's pretty impressive, in fact, that this song managed to get a nomination despite being from a studio with zero clout, being for a film with no stars and no buzz, performed by someone who is not a big name star. The only thing this song had going for it was that the composer is a pretty well known guy in the field. Why am I supposed to be outraged and shocked at that any more than by the various Q-factor and industry-power elements that were operating in favor of the other songs?

The notion that somehow Broughton has some kind of Godfather-like power to force Academy voters to vote for his song whether they like it or not is absurd on its face. He's been a prolific film-music composer for decades and this is his first Oscar nomination ever for best song.
posted by yoink at 9:12 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be fair, Happy is a pretty damn enjoyable song.

And the perfect song to sing to my cat when he does something cute|dumb|naughty|adorable: #because he's heeecky then do the pawsy dance.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:14 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


to ask the mods to put in that warning.

[done, carry on]

posted by cortex at 9:16 AM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tommy Lee Jones's performance as a wisecracking US Marshal in that magnum opus, The Fugitive, was better than that of Ralph Fiennes' Amon Goeth in Schindler's List.

Fiennes did way too good a job of acting in that. I mentioned to a coworker at the time that I thought he should win the Oscar. I was told, "You'd vote for that Nazi?"
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:20 AM on January 22, 2014 [15 favorites]


I am actually torn when it comes to deep Christian belief. I am not a believer and have never been through what is often called "the conversion experience", but I have close family who are born again and I see what great comfort and joy they take from their belief. I understand and envy the kind of peace that someone like the singer takes from her faith

The problem is that it's all fake, a show put on for the rubes, not at all a deep Christian belief. A true faith wouldn't need to shout its faithfulness at every opportunity, not have to make a spectacle of itself and most importantly, not divide the world in believers and enemies, not use faith as a weapon. I've got friends who are Christian and with them it comes out in what they do, not in how loudly they talk about their faith.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:22 AM on January 22, 2014 [26 favorites]


What could have been an interesting story of survival is diminished by the book's simplistic tone and lack of nuance. The settlers are beautiful and compassionate, while many Indians are unattractive, cruel, and troubled because they don't believe in one god. The depiction of them is beyond biased and there is no attempt to provide any historical background or explanation for their actions. It will be difficult to find an audience for this book.
Go south, young author.
posted by Flunkie at 9:23 AM on January 22, 2014


But for a lot of people, that's kind of the point, MartinWisse.
posted by Madamina at 9:23 AM on January 22, 2014




Probably not, but I'm still not seeing how this gets read as any kind of malfeasance.

Probably because it's from a movie funded and promoted by white supremacists, as a propaganda piece for their strain of theocratic white supremacy, which Broughton supported by writing a song and hiring a publicist for it. This should have resulted in a career-ending scandal, not a nomination for an award.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:27 AM on January 22, 2014 [26 favorites]


But for a lot of people, that's kind of the point, MartinWisse.

Shouting about their faith? Sure, but that doesn't mean you have to respect them. I don't know how it is for you, but to me it's quite clear the overwhelming majority of explicitly Christian culture produced today is counterfeit; this song and the movie it came from fit perfectly in this. It's neither a good song on its own terms nor convincing about its socalled faith.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:31 AM on January 22, 2014


Having recently watched "In a World", I laughed at the beginning of that trailer once the Don LaFontaine wannabe starts off with "In a land..."

It took me about a minute into the trailer to realize it wasn't a comedy.
posted by cazoo at 9:33 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm still not seeing how this gets read as any kind of malfeasance.

Yeah, I'm not seeing any accusations of malfeasance, just grumblings about line-jumping. What we don't know (or what I don't know) is if Broughton habitually does this kind of campaigning. Dude's won a butt-load of Emmys, maybe he does this every year. The curious thing here, to me, is why someone who's obviously a big player and who has a stack of awards already wants to really put himself out there for a direct-to-video radical Christian pic that no one's getting rich on and lots of people will find offensive and off-putting anyway?

Of course maybe I answered my own question above: Bruce Broughton wants an Oscar just as badly as Jesus.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:36 AM on January 22, 2014


....Yoink's mention of U2 has reminded me of an uncomfortable flip-side of this - it was actually thanks to Bono's making a few similar calls that Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's "Falling Slowly" was also put in the running; it very nearly was disqualified on a technicality, and apparently Bono was one of a couple people who called a few people at the Academy and basically said "Come on, give 'em a break." And it won, and it's a gorgeous song, and they were adorable when they accepted it, and if I rule out this guy's string-pulling I'd have to rule out Bono's too and I wouldn't want to do that because yeah.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:38 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks, cortex. (I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't read that link thoroughly, otherwise I would have found a better article. Mea culpa.)
posted by cereselle at 9:38 AM on January 22, 2014


Keep in mind that nominations are made by small subsets of the academy (directors nominate best director, musicians/songwriters nominate best song, etc.) but the winners are chosen through voting by all academy members.
Also, the quality of the film should ideally have nothing to do with nominations or awards for songs, makeup, cinematography, etc. We all know this isn't the case, but there's no reason for Taylor Swift, Beyonce or Coldplay to get nominated just because they're famous.

Anyway, I listened to all the songs and my choices are:
1. Happy
2. Ordinary Love
3. Moon Song
4. Let It Go
5. Alone But Not Alone
posted by rocket88 at 9:38 AM on January 22, 2014


...it explains how her husband has to press on her diaphragm to help her hit the high notes.

I can understand how that might work, but I thought they didn't believe in birth control.
posted by Floydd at 9:40 AM on January 22, 2014 [14 favorites]


HEYOOO
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:42 AM on January 22, 2014


Isn't this nom basically because the Academy is an idiot club for idiots?

I think you mean "popularity contest for the popular kids."


And then it explains how her husband has to press on her diaphragm to help her hit the high notes. Which... mildly interesting fact, but the song itself is supposed to be up for an award, not the story behind it.

Even more removed from the singer, the award is for the song writers, not performers.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


If every person who works on a film has to believe deeply in the film's message, there would be far fewer people employed in film. I don't know Broughton's religious beliefs, and don't much care. Groupthink on movie sets is uncommon. William Ross also scored Ladder 49, My Dog Skip and Tin Cup--what are we to infer from those films? He likes golf and firetrucks?
And the author's ties to white supremists is one thing, but did the Vision Forum produce the film? Who put up the money?
posted by Ideefixe at 9:47 AM on January 22, 2014


Just saw this article pop up on Facebook, so I guess some people are very pleased with the nomination.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:49 AM on January 22, 2014


Kinism is the belief that the God-ordained social order for humanity is "tribal and ethnic," and focuses on man's duty to "love one's own kind".

My imaginary WWJD bracelet just told these people to fuck off.

But onto a Academy Awards and best song nominees derail, it was super weird when they were doing the nominations and they announced "Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton" for the U2 song. What was especially odd about this is that when U2 was nominated in the past, the nomination was for "Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:53 AM on January 22, 2014


Probably because it's from a movie funded and promoted by white supremacists, as a propaganda piece for their strain of theocratic white supremacy

That's a different issue, though. If your claim is that the Oscars should rule movies in or out of eligibility according to some kind of "political acceptability" test based on the political associations of the people involved in backing the film then all I can say is that that will be very hard to implement in a way that won't look rather Orwellian. I was commenting solely, however, on the FPP's implicit claim that there is something scandalous in the song's composer advertising his song to fellow Academy members.
posted by yoink at 9:55 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Who cares about this stuff anymore?

I do...but only as a trivia geek. Oscar winners and nominees are a popular source for movie trivia questions, and even if a question isn't directly about the Oscars, sometimes knowing them can help tease out an answer.

No, can't think of any other reason I would care.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:03 AM on January 22, 2014


Biggest Oscar travesty was Ordinary People over Raging Bull.

You can't argue with a Pachelbel's Canon body-blow.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:06 AM on January 22, 2014


It's all been a charade since Uncle Fucka got snubbed.
posted by delfin at 10:07 AM on January 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


The movie Alone Yet Not Alone has been called racist because of its portrayal of Native Americans, but that’s not really accurate. It’s actually reflecting the idea that Christian culture is superior to Native American culture; that other types of culture are hostile to real Christianity, and that real Christianity can and must eventually take over these other cultures.
Guh! That, right there, is so goddamned racist that it is the FUCKING DEFINITION OF RACISM.

It's like - if someone served you shit sandwich and when you pointed out it was a shit sandwich, they replied "no, it's just poop on bread. Totally different".
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:14 AM on January 22, 2014 [40 favorites]


Which just goes to show, even Jesus wants an Oscar.

Yep, He's been pissed since getting snubbed with 5 nominations in 1966 and no wins, and again in 1973 with another snub. Plus 1989. And 2005.

Come to think of it: could God make an Oscar that He Himself could not win?
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:16 AM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


> "To this growing list I would like to add - Bill Murray losing out on "Best Actor" for Lost In Translation."

Bill Murray should have won an acting Oscar five years earlier for his performance in "Rushmore".
posted by spock at 10:17 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hell, he should have won for Ghostbusters.

And Stripes.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:21 AM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


The movie Alone Yet Not Alone has been called racist because of its portrayal of Native Americans, but that’s not really accurate. It’s actually reflecting the idea that Christian culture is superior to Native American culture; that other types of culture are hostile to real Christianity, and that real Christianity can and must eventually take over these other cultures.

Guh! That, right there, is so goddamned racist that it is the FUCKING DEFINITION OF RACISM.


No, it's not. Christianity isn't race-dependent, no matter what definition of 'race' you're adopting. To argue that your religion is the Best Religion and that everyone ought to adopt it is certainly ethnocentric and bigoted, but it's not "racism." In fact, it's a commonplace to observe that racism was far less prevalent in Islamic cultures than Christian ones, but that didn't mean that Islamic cultures had any less commitment to the notion that their religion was the One True Religion.
posted by yoink at 10:23 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't they usually remedy that kind of thing with a lifetime achievement award?
posted by box at 10:23 AM on January 22, 2014


My imaginary WWJD bracelet just told these people to fuck off.

Whenever I see WWJD apparel, my first thought is always, "What would Jesus drink?" or "Who wants Jack Daniels?"

Just sayin'.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:27 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


William Ross also scored Ladder 49, My Dog Skip and Tin Cup--what are we to infer from those films?

He's not taking money from white supremacists to score a propaganda piece is my immediate takeaway.

If your claim is that the Oscars should rule movies in or out of eligibility according to some kind of "political acceptability" test based on the political associations of the people involved in backing the film then all I can say is that that will be very hard to implement in a way that won't look rather Orwellian.

Oh, look, a slippery-slope argument - so let's tilt it back the other way. Disney should re-release Song Of The South on blu-ray, since the art is so neatly divorced from the message, and Birth of a Nation should be honored at next year's Oscars for being so influential to subsequent film-makers.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:29 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


No, it's not. Christianity isn't race-dependent, no matter what definition of 'race' you're adopting.

In theory you are right. In practice, it doesn't work out that way. There is a reason the story uses Native Americans and not, say, Catholics as the bad guys.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:30 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I classify this Oscar nomination in the same way I classify phenomena like They Might Be Giants, deep-fried beer and the complete works of Tom Green -- it pleases me that they're out there doing their thing the way that they want to do it, but I'd rather that they not be encouraged to do it where people like me can see or hear it.
posted by delfin at 10:36 AM on January 22, 2014


The racism is in making Native Americans the bad guys and white people the good guys, not in making white Christians the good guys.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:37 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait... conventional wisdom is Let it Go is good? Pardon, this is really a shock.

Listening to it its drek, Don't get me wrong - it is musically well written complex drek, but it is drek. I'm not sure which reality television show is going to absolutely abuse the snot out of the song once they are being sent from the show - but it is the kind of semi-heatfelt sounds like the quasi-inspirational song that those shows love.

Ok, so I just can't get over this. I'm now listening this for the second time in a row because I'm trying to figure out what exactly I'm missing. As I said, don't get me wrong - there's a lot of good stuf going on in this. It is evident that someone with actual chops wrote it. But its trying too hard to be good, its like ... this is the song the codependent interpretive dance classmate picks for the talent show. I mean, I even get that it is topical, that we've spent the past 20ish years turning a functional education system into a stress mill of perfection and this is close to an anthem for the prosaic and prozaced Gen Y / Millennials hell bent on getting into Harvard only to have 2008 either make sure that you find out that now only the rich can go to those schools (oh, and now the second tier schools also cost as much as Harvard) or that a degree the Anthropology of Earthworms might not make them as career capable in a down-turned economy. I mean - don't get me wrong - every generation gets wake up calls, but the way in which Gen Y's and Millennials started with getting things not starting having to shop everything from a yard sale to have your dreams crushed AS you were achieving adulthood - wow that I think is the ultimate kick in the pants. The DotCom bubble didn't f-over any where near as many people.

Ok, I'm now on my third listen to it... So let me get at what I hear that is actually wrong with the song...
Ok musically it is good, but it is as likely to go on rotation on my (hypothetical) iPod as the National Anthem. (Sorry Francis Scott Key.) Ok the music is good, the runs are fantastic. It will definitely get some American Idol time... but... ah that's it. The music and the performance outclass the lyrics. This is close to Celine Dionne's My Heart Will Go On in complexity. Near, far, wherever you are / I believe that the heart does go on / One two buckle my Shoe.

The wind is swirling howling like this swirling storm inside / Coudn't keep it in / Heaven knows I've tried / Don't let them in / Don't let them see / Be the good girl you always have to be.... Rythmically i can't slap any mother goose in place ... ok, time to YouTube... "let it go parody"
JACKPOT! This parody has me listening for when it's going to go awry and the
Oh another- and Star Trek Themed Now we definitely have some clever wordsmitthing even if they overdo the make it so line.
and for the last meta commentary on the film Let it Go lamenting the goodbye of traditional animation in favor of 3D - the girl singing is tonal deaf but the lyrics are better.

I dunno. Kids... my lawn... ah fine... you can hang out here.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:42 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Christianity isn't race-dependent, no matter what definition of 'race' you're adopting.

But oh boy, some of the definitions of "Christianity" out there sure are race-dependent.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:42 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


The racism is in making Native Americans the bad guys and white people the good guys, not in making white Christians the good guys.

I'm not saying that the film is not racist (so far as I can tell none of us have seen the film; I seem to recall that we are all usually pretty scornful about people condemning movies they haven't seen). I'm saying that it's false to say that the "definition of racism" is "the idea that Christian culture is superior to Native American culture; that other types of culture are hostile to real Christianity, and that real Christianity can and must eventually take over these other cultures."

Neither racism nor ethnocentrism nor religious bigotry are admirable positions, but it's unhelpful to get them confused.
posted by yoink at 10:44 AM on January 22, 2014


A) Because it correlates suspiciously perfectly with skin colour and the right of the white population to dominate the people who already live there.
B) The whole thing appears to be a bit of an apologia for the resultant ethic cleansing, genocide and the seizing of a continent.

This is why it is important to establish that the natives were Bad Guys who were unhappy and confused in their heathen ways before the settlers saved the village by destroying it.
posted by jaduncan at 10:47 AM on January 22, 2014


What if it is a good song and can stand on its own merits?

If that were the case, Broughton wouldn't have had to get on the phone to members of the Academy talking it up because they would have heard it already.


Not necessarily. I don't begin to imagine that "good" is any guarantee of the Academy being aware of something's existence. As has been mentioned already, there's all kinds of hustle going on behind the scenes in the lead up to the Oscar noms. It's how the system works.

But to be clear ...

*pours syrup out of headphones*

this particular song is not at all good. I'm sure Jesus is embarrassed, and his father too ... even if the performer is severely disabled. Indeed, I'm guessing they had their money on the U2 song but now this other Christian offering will split the vote, so now it's certain something secular will win.

Satin works in strange ways.
posted by philip-random at 10:48 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


He's not taking money from white supremacists to score a propaganda piece is my immediate takeaway.

On the flip side, I would encourage people to take ALL THE MONEYS from white supremacists, and leave them with jack shit.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:48 AM on January 22, 2014


No, it's not. Christianity isn't race-dependent, no matter what definition of 'race' you're adopting.

I'm sorry, what? My race isn't just the way I look, it's also my cultural background and heritage. A form of Christianity that supposedly allows me to be on equal footing with white people (in practice hahahaha no) so long as I assimilate, denounce my culture and history as "savage" in contrast to "good [white] Christian values", and act subservient and demure and "white" kind of is fucking racist even if it technically lets me in.
posted by Conspire at 10:49 AM on January 22, 2014 [15 favorites]


The problem is that it's all fake, a show put on for the rubes, not at all a deep Christian belief. A true faith wouldn't need to shout its faithfulness at every opportunity, not have to make a spectacle of itself and most importantly, not divide the world in believers and enemies, not use faith as a weapon. I've got friends who are Christian and with them it comes out in what they do, not in how loudly they talk about their faith.

But I'm saying that I have family who I am close to - my mother - and she is not loud about their faith but for whom it has been a great comfort through difficulties that most people would blanch at. It's not a show. Her church is at once one of the most welcoming and caring places I have ever been. After my mother had a stroke, her church members visited and called to follow up. They run programs for homeless and marginalized people. They have a food pantry, and programs for parents of special needs children. They really do put their money where their mouth is.

And she also subscribes to magazines put out by Focus on the Family, a hate group that attacks the rights of people like me. (I still don't know how my mom deals with me being bi, since I happen to be married to a man).

This is what I meant by torn - I have seen the love and the hate. It's not as simple as dismissing it all as a show. Many loudly devout religious people (not just Christians) are, in fact, just as devout as they are loud. Even many of the leaders really are sincere - they sincerely believe something that you, and I, might not agree with, but they aren't faking it. The fakes are easy to deal with, but the sincere ones have the power of their sincerity behind them. We have to take their belief sincerely if we want to ever change the intolerance and other ideas that we find abhorrent (like the idea that women exist to serve men).
posted by jb at 10:49 AM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Satin works in strange ways.

He's a smooth operator.
posted by yoink at 10:49 AM on January 22, 2014 [16 favorites]


> "To this growing list I would like to add - Bill Murray losing out on "Best Actor" for Lost In Translation."

Bill Murray should have won an acting Oscar five years earlier for his performance in "Rushmore".


Oh, hell, we're going to end up having the kind of situation like where Scorcese finally won for something relatively "meh" because people felt really stupid not having awarded it to him for things like Raging Bull, aren't we? Where Bill Murray finally gets the Oscar when he's 75 for playing a curmudgeonly grandpa in some rom-com?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:50 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Garfield 6: Groundhog's Monday
posted by cortex at 10:53 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, what? My race isn't just the way I look, it's also my cultural background and heritage.

"Race" is lines of descent. It is a biological concept. "Racism" is a belief in biological determinism: that if you are born to people of such and such a background, you are biologically determined, by your line of descent, to have certain characteristics. Arab Shiites who hate Arab Sunnis are not "racists"--they are ethnocentric religious bigots. French Catholics who slaughtered French Protestants were not "racists"--they were entirely happy to welcome converts as completely equal co-religionists and fellow Frenchmen. They did not believe that the Huguenots were "tainted" by their descent; they believed only that they had been led astray by false teachings.

Now, it is certainly the case that the vast majority of those who attempted to impose Christianity on the Native Americans were both religious bigots AND racists. That is, they believed both that their religion was the sole path to salvation and that it was their obligation to convert the peoples of the world to share their faith AND they believed that the Native American peoples were inherently inferior, biologically, to European peoples. But those are two distinct sets of beliefs, neither of which need imply the other. And it is important to keep them straight. Even among the early missionaries in North America, there were those who were religious bigots but were not racist. And there have been plenty of racists who were not religious bigots.
posted by yoink at 11:06 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


The "kinism" thing reminds me of nothing so much as the "races" in D&D: humans, orcs, elves, dwarves, and whatnot. Weird to see humans divide themselves along such lines.
posted by SPrintF at 11:13 AM on January 22, 2014


why someone who's obviously a big player and who has a stack of awards already wants to really put himself out there for a direct-to-video radical Christian pic that no one's getting rich on and lots of people will find offensive and off-putting anyway?

Maybe the Scientologists aren't the only ones with a bunch of pre-stamped envelopes ready to mail to the tabloids full of blackmail material.

It would explain a lot, really.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:15 AM on January 22, 2014


No, it's not. Christianity isn't race-dependent, no matter what definition of 'race' you're adopting.

You should be arguing with this guy.
posted by straight at 11:17 AM on January 22, 2014


You should be arguing with this guy.

I learned a new word today:

Kinism

Do. Not. Like.
posted by philip-random at 11:31 AM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


No, it's not. Christianity isn't race-dependent, no matter what definition of 'race' you're adopting.

Well, we're talking about a group of white supremicists who call themselves Christian, and warp Christianity around until it looks like it forms the basis for their white supremicist beliefs, so I'm comfortable with calling it racism, yeah.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:37 AM on January 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


Well, at least this will take the heat off the Hugos for a bit.
posted by jscalzi at 11:40 AM on January 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


"Race" is lines of descent. It is a biological concept. "Racism" is a belief in biological determinism: that if you are born to people of such and such a background, you are biologically determined, by your line of descent, to have certain characteristics.

Hm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(human_classification)

"Race is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, in the 17th century, people began to use the term to relate to observable physical traits."

Well, I'm sure Wikipedia is known for its liberal left-wing social justice bent, so it's not as if that's reliable.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/race#race-2

"a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group:"

That's weird, I thought the English Oxford Dictionary was written by powerful rich white men? Maybe we need to go directly to the scientists.

Lee, Sandra SJ; Mountain, Joanna; Koenig, Barbara; Altman, Russ (2008). "The ethics of characterizing difference: guiding principles on using racial categories in human genetics". Genome Biol. 9 (7): 404. doi:10.1186/gb-2008-9-7-404. PMC 2530857. PMID 18638359.

"We caution against making the naive leap to a genetic explanation for group differences in complex traits, especially for human behavioral traits such as IQ scores"


Oh.


Quite frankly, the bioessentialist definition of race is such an antiquated concept that belongs in the 1930s, and one so frequently used by white supremacists to justify bigotry and discount racial movements, that it's quite surprising to see it parroted as fact here on metafilter.
posted by Conspire at 12:02 PM on January 22, 2014 [20 favorites]


Huh. I had no idea that Pharrell song was actually written for Despicable Me 2.

But seriously, this is all crazy speculation based on the idea that the song from the Disney movie isn't going to win. Of course the song from the Disney movie is going to win. Because duh.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:07 PM on January 22, 2014


> "Of course the song from the Disney movie is going to win."

On the other hand, that's exactly what I thought the year "Falling Slowly" from "Once" won.
posted by kyrademon at 12:18 PM on January 22, 2014


Of course the song from the Disney movie is going to win.

Actually, Disney hasn't won that many Best Original Song Oscars lately, despite being in contention almost every year and often with multiple songs. At least one Disney song was nominated every year 2006-12 and they won only twice in that time span. They're no longer the powerhouse they were twenty years ago.
posted by troika at 12:29 PM on January 22, 2014


What if it is a good song and can stand on its own merits?

The song is really bad, though.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:35 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


1979. Steve Lawrence and Sammy Davis Jr. present "Not Even Nominated."

You could do a whole other number called "Not Even Mentioned in 'Not Even Nominated'."

You can start with this or this.
posted by stargell at 1:02 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I first heard Let It Go in the film iteself, and the whole sequence - especially where it falls in the character's progression - is just breathtaking. The movie is a bit of a mess, and doesn't follow the expected traditional narratives at all. By the time of the song it seems to be bringing you to the point where you think wait, Elsa is the bad guy?!? (because up till then there is no bad guy yet), and you're still rooting for her as they're all calling her a monster. And then this song hits, and the combination of her emotional catharsis and the magic she's capable of - it's just plain gorgeous. I can't even fathom appreciating this song out of context, as a song, because it does such a good job within the film, in the Broadway tradition of a song that works as a way to enhance the theater.

I never really pay attention to the 'best song' awards category, because so often it's just a song that plays over the credits at the end, so it's just product placement and who cares who wins. If the category was born out of recognizing the song that best helped a film tell a story, then Let It Go should be a lock (though in that case it's outright bizarre that Inside Llewyn Davis songs were excluded). But if it's just a contest of what's the best song, then Happy is pretty awesome. Not sure if I would go so far as to say this year I care about the outcome of the award, but I'm definitely more interested than I can ever remember being.

Great thread. I totally remember Joni's book. I don't think I ever read it, but it was pretty much everywhere back when I was in school and camp - so weird to hear more of the backstory on her - makes me wonder how much of her original fame came from the same sort of religio-political string-pulling.
posted by Mchelly at 1:23 PM on January 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


At least with the Golden Globes people are honest enough to just buy awards outright, instead of this shady backroom dealing.
posted by ckape at 1:39 PM on January 22, 2014


> "... though in that case it's outright bizarre that Inside Llewyn Davis songs were excluded ..."

They weren't eligible. It's weird to me that people keep treating this as a snub.
posted by kyrademon at 1:40 PM on January 22, 2014


the bioessentialist definition of race is such an antiquated concept that belongs in the 1930s

Well, yeah. Nobody is arguing that the "bioessentialist" view of race is correct, just that it's what was widely promulgated for so long (at least in the US, where it was a justification for slavery from the colonial period onwards and even showed up in the Eugenics movement) that it's basically what defines and underlies racial supremacism, at least of the kind that exists in the US.

Anyway, the American Anthropological Association (not exactly noted right-wingers) in its official statement on "race", sums it up pretty well:
In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. [...] Today scholars in many fields argue that "race" as it is understood in the United States of America was a social mechanism invented during the 18th century to refer to those populations brought together in colonial America: the English and other European settlers, the conquered Indian peoples, and those peoples of Africa brought in to provide slave labor.
So yes, it's an antiquated, pseudoscientific concept basically created in order to justify a power structure which was demarcated by physical traits (principally, but not limited to, skin color), and demonstrably devoid of any actual basis in fact, as any number of genetic or statistical studies have demonstrated. That it was ever taken seriously in Western science should be cringeworthy in the extreme and serve as a warning for the future (lookin' at you, evo-bio folks).

However, broadening "racism" out to include basically any offensive behavior or treatment against a group of people, however that group is defined, which seems to be how it is used in some current contexts, is both imprecise and not especially useful in terms of having a conversation. Often there are more precise terms available for the behavior in question; e.g. "Hindu chauvinism" is probably a better term for some of the ideology of the hard-right in India, since trying to talk about "Hindu racism" is likely to just get you drawn into an argument about how they're 'not really racists' etc. Which is true, in the sense that their ideology isn't grounded or related to the bioessentialist view used to justify slavery and segregation in the US, and more importantly, arguments used against racism in the US are unlikely to be convincing to someone whose superiority complex comes from some other set of beliefs. Going down that path is just going to lead to a lot of talking-past-each-other.

A lot of Christian Dominionists seem to be racist as individuals, but it's hard to say whether Christian Dominionism as an ideology is actually racist. It seems to be basically run-of-the-mill fundamentalist religious chauvinism, basically Wahhabism if you ran a couple of find/changes against it. That doesn't make it any less dangerous, though. Actually, I tend to think that religious chauvinism is a lot more toxic than classical cloaked-in-science bioessentialist racism and consequent racial supremacy ideology, because at least racial theory is demonstrably wrong.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:52 PM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


My prediction now is that the Karen O performance is going to be the highwater mark for "just don't get it" remarks from retirement-age viewers at this year's telecast.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:54 PM on January 22, 2014


"... though in that case it's outright bizarre that Inside Llewyn Davis songs were excluded ..." // They weren't eligible.

Yeah, this is true. I do wonder who was the judge of that, though. All of the articles I've read have just say that the Academy ruled them ineligible on the basis that they were too similar to existing songs, but nothing about the determination process. That's a decision that a person has to make. I'm curious, now, as to who that person/those persons were.

my tinfoil hat is ready
posted by troika at 2:10 PM on January 22, 2014


My favorite example of "Best Song" ineligibility is "Come What May," from Moulin Rouge. It was the only original song (and the central theme) to the musical which stood a very good chance of winning best picture that year, but was ineligible because Luhrmann had originally written it thinking it might be used for Romeo + Juliet and then didn't use it.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:33 PM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I gathered from reading about Vision Forum, Christian Dominionism and Kinism this evening is that Christian Dominionism runs the gamut from not noticeably race oriented to advocacy of black enslavement. Vision Forum were at one end - they were criticized for re-printing old literature that now seems unacceptably racist, but not for ties to living racists - and that tribal theocracy site is at the other with the rest of the Kinists. They all believe that Christians have the right and duty to rule the US, but each side would hasten to exclude the other from that authority.

Nice comment thread, by the way. There must be what, three different conversations going on, completely independently?
posted by topynate at 2:37 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


> "All of the articles I've read have just say that the Academy ruled them ineligible on the basis that they were too similar to existing songs, but nothing about the determination process."

Most of the songs were pre-existing folksongs; in fact, many of them were using exactly the same arrangements and versions of the lyrics that the real-life people the characters were loosely based on did.

The only song which was arguably original was Please Mr. Kennedy, and I honestly think it's reasonable to make the ruling that, although there are differences, it's a version of the ~50 year old song titled Please Mr. Kennedy which had the same chorus and general melody.
posted by kyrademon at 2:41 PM on January 22, 2014


My favorite example of "Best Song" ineligibility is "Come What May," from Moulin Rouge. It was the only original song (and the central theme) to the musical which stood a very good chance of winning best picture that year, but was ineligible because Luhrmann had originally written it thinking it might be used for Romeo + Juliet and then didn't use it.

This is actually close to the reason "Falling Slowly" was going to be disqualified; it was originally written for a Swell Season album, I believe.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:45 PM on January 22, 2014


Really? Huh. I thought Swell Season didn't become a thing until after the movie, and that it was just The Frames prior to that. Color me edumacated.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:48 PM on January 22, 2014


This is mentioned above, but it's the sincerity of the Dominionists that terrifies me.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:37 PM on January 22, 2014


WWWMS?!?*

*What Would Walter Monheit Say?!?
posted by mazola at 3:38 PM on January 22, 2014


"Nice comment thread, by the way. There must be what, three different conversations going on, completely independently?"

This thread is awesome. I could give a hoot about Dominionism, but thanks to this FPP and comment thread I've listened to all the Oscar nominated songs, plus Please Mr. Kennedy, Not Even Nominated, and an incredible barber shop quartet singing Little Patch of Heaven.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:05 PM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


"Nice comment thread, by the way. There must be what, three different conversations going on, completely independently?"

This thread is awesome. I could give a hoot about the Oscar songs, but the Dominionism and Kinism stuff is really interesting.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:18 PM on January 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


i actually think tommy lee jones was better than ralph fiennes this year.

i also am fascainted when christian's shadow hollywood slides into the sunlight for a little bit, because people forget it exists.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:31 PM on January 22, 2014


Really? Huh. I thought Swell Season didn't become a thing until after the movie, and that it was just The Frames prior to that.

I just checked Wikipedia to confirm that....it sounds like it was actually a little bit of both. The album got recorded and Swell Season got formed during the time they were working on the movie, and technically the song was written for the movie - but the album got finished and released before the film did, and that was the technicality. The Academy relented because the song ultimately had originally been written for the movie, and the album didn't get too much exposure before the film came out after all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:35 PM on January 22, 2014


"Happy" is annoyingly catchy, but I feel obligated to root against it because of Pharrell's involvement with the excrement that is "Blurred Lines." Harumph. "Moon Song" is a bit too high and annoying for my tastes, but I think it'll be my contrarian pick for the night. (Not even my strong contrarianism can get me to touch the creepy captivity narrative vehicle with a ten-foot pole, though).
posted by TwoStride at 5:25 PM on January 22, 2014


Let It Go sounds like it could have been written by Jim Steinman for Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell III album.
posted by rocket88 at 10:46 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, The Swell Season album came out before the movie. I remember because I got the album before the movie, and watched the movie on the strength of the album. Falling Slowly probably shouldn't have qualified, but I have to admit I'm glad some quiet phone calls were made to get it nominated. It's a truly lovely song from a sweet and quiet little movie, and was far more heartfelt than the usual Academy fare.

But let's all take a moment to remember the time "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" got nominated for an Oscar and won. Truly, it was a glorious moment watching Three 6 Mafia perform that for the Academy. I love it when anything shakes up the staid and predictable nature of the Oscars.
posted by yasaman at 11:28 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


This doesn't surprise me all that much. When I finally got into copyediting fiction, some of the first books I worked on were romances or other adventure type tales that always involved whites being captured by Indians (very occasionally being rescued by them). And they are so depressingly, obliviously, almost earnestly racist, even when they are trying for a positive spin -- fetishizing the culture and all. After a few years I really began to understand that while most publishers won't deal with fiction that negatively portrays any other ethnicity, it's totally still open season on American Indians.

And on my own shallow Oscars issues, the fact that a piece of shit like Lone Ranger got nominated not just for makeup, as mentioned above, but for special effects when Pacific Rim didn't? Well, this is the first time in more than 25 years, but I don't think I'm gonna be having my annual Oscars party.
posted by emcat8 at 12:46 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let It Go sounds like it could have been written by Jim Steinman for Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell III album.

I hope you mean that as a compliment.
posted by litleozy at 10:49 AM on January 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Academy has rescinded the nomination, slamming Broughton for being dickish ("[u]sing one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage").
posted by John Shaft at 3:52 PM on January 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


Wild! And, I think, a good move on the Academy's part. They're not replacing it with anything else, so it's now a four song race.
posted by troika at 4:17 PM on January 29, 2014


Harvey Weinstein scoffs, "Amateur."
posted by Etrigan at 5:06 PM on January 29, 2014


Truly, it was a glorious moment watching Three 6 Mafia perform that for the Academy. I love it when anything shakes up the staid and predictable nature of the Oscars.

Resulting in host Jon Stewart's best line of the evening: "For those of you keeping score, that's Three 6 Mafia: 1 Oscar, Martin Scorcese: 0 Oscars."
posted by PenDevil at 7:25 AM on January 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Truly, it was a glorious moment watching Three 6 Mafia perform that for the Academy.

I could have done without the interpretive dance going on at the same time, though.

(Nothing against the song as such, mind, I just dislike interpretive dance as a rule.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:39 AM on January 30, 2014


I was curious as to whether a nomination had ever been rescinded before. I found the answer in this Rope of Silicon post. Nominations have been rescinded four other times. In two of those four cases, the nomination was rescinded after the awards were given; in one of those two, the announced winner was later found ineligible, and the Oscar was withdrawn and given to the film with the next-highest number of votes.

Additionally, there are four cases where a nomination has been "withdrawn" or "replaced" (possibly under pressure from the Academy). Most notably, the Best Original Score nomination for The Godfather was withdrawn when it was found that its love theme was taken from the 1958 film Fortunella. Despite this, The Godfather Part II was nominated for and won Best Original Score, even though it used that same theme.

The post also notes that there was a more objective reason "Alone Yet Not Alone" should have been disallowed from contention, even though that reason was not cited by the Academy:
"... it did have an Oscar-qualifying run took place at Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino, where it screened once daily at 9:55 p.m. from Nov. 15 through Nov. 22, but in order to be eligible the distributors must also purchase advertising prior to the film's one week run... There was no such advertising."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:11 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the withdrawal is some pretty weak sauce. As this LATimes piece notes, all he did was email a minority of the relevant members of the academy and ask them to give his song a listen. It also notes that all the other composers of all the other songs were also emailing the relevant members of the academy asking them to listen to their songs. I guess there's a kind of "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion" logic to it, but I'd also be willing to bet that much the same thing has been done hundreds of times before by people who also held positions in the Academy--it's just that nobody cared because they were working for films with big publicity machines behind them so nobody thought to ask "gee, I wonder how this little-known film managed to get this Oscar nod?"
posted by yoink at 10:20 AM on January 30, 2014


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