A year ago it seemed as if it could be the end of the "original song" category. It has been at least a decade since a nominated song has been a popular hit (the last one has to be Eminem's "Lose Yourself", right?). Last year we only got two nominees and one of them was a head-scratching song from Rio. The other, and thankfully the winner, was "Man or Muppet" written by the hilarious Bret McKenzie for The Muppets (one of my favorite movies from last year). But while I was happy to see The Muppets take an Academy Award, the category seemed incredibly out of place. Songs aren't an essential part of moviemaking, so awarding them at the Oscars isn't particularly necessary. Especially if you're going to have two random nominees.
This year, however, the rules changed and we get not only five full nominees, but also a pretty big hit in Adele's "Skyfall". Adele, in case you don't know, is the british superstar that managed to have a worldwide hit album in an age where having a hit album is virtually impossible. She appeals from hipsters to soccer moms so she surely will appeal to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Also, she is an awards magnet, having swept the Grammys last year and already won a Golden Globe for "Skyfall".
What about the other nominees, you ask? Well, if anything is going to defeat Adele (and it is highly unlikely) it would be "Suddenly", an act written for the movie adaptation of Les Misérables. The most probable outcome, though is that like the original song written for another Best Picture nominee (Chicago) it will lose to the far bigger hit and better song ("Lose Yourself").
Will Win: "Skyfall"
Should Win: "Skyfall", although the category is pretty dull. Where is the lovely "Big Machine" from Safety Not Guaranteed or the soulful "Who Did That To You" from Django Unchained?