New Rules for “Best Song” Academy Award

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The Oscars have been announcing all sorts of changes in the past couple of weeks. They’re expanding the Best Picture nominee list from 5 to 10, they’re taking the honorary Oscar presentations out of the telecast, and they’re toughening up the rules for Best Song contenders.

On the Best Song front, the Academy will require that at least one song must achieve a minimum score of 8.25 on a scale of 6 to 10 as voted on by member’s of the academy’s music branch.

Okay, I don’t really get it either, but I applaud them for trying to improve the quality of the nominees.  According to Bruce Boughton, head of the music branch of AMPAS, “There’s been a lot of talk about the songs in films, the lack of memorability compared to songs in the past, the almost forgetability of them… This is an attempt to really make the songs as good as possible.”  Good for them.

I actually find the Best Song winners of late to be far more interesting than when the category was dominated by songs from animated films. Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt and Tarzan all took home Oscars for Best Song the 1990s. What’s up with that? Recent winners include “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire, “Falling Slowly” from Once and “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth.

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