Last year's “Alone Yet Not Alone” shenanigans were a nice reminder that the Academy's Music Branch can certainly march to its own drum (no pun intended), for better or worse. So you never can tell how the Best Original Song Oscar race will turn out, and the highest of profiles isn't necessarily a guaranteed pass. Nevertheless, this year's race – already marked by contenders from popular music such as New Radicals' Gregg Alexander (“Begin Again”) and the legendary Patti Smith (“Noah”) – has just picked up a trio of heavy hitters.
I'm told that two of the final films still to be revealed this season, Ava DuVernay's “Selma” and Angelina Jolie's “Unbroken,” feature original tracks that mainly play over the closing credits. “Glory” from the former comes courtesy of John Legend and Common, while “Miracles” from the latter is performed by Coldplay. “Miracle,” I'm told, begins over “Unbroken's” post-narrative epilogue (images of the real Louis Zamperini, etc.) and continues into the credits. I'm not sure what other context “Glory” might have outside of the credit roll.
Both songs join others like “Everything is Awesome” from “The LEGO Movie” (a favorite in some quarters) and “The Last Goodbye” from “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in a category that is certain to remain at least somewhat nebulous until the nominations are revealed. But keep an eye on the tunes from musical “Beyond the Lights,” which are featured in the context of the film. That is always a plus given the way this category has been decided in recent years (with branch members viewing clips of the eligible tracks as they are featured in the respective films).
The Academy will reveal the official list of eligible Best Original Song contenders in early December.