Soundtrack Scene: Mister and Pete, Mandela, and Dallas Buyers Club

Correction: Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “City of Angels” *is* ineligible for Oscar consideration.

Just to set the record straight, “Please Mr. Kennedy” from the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which I once deemed the arguable front-runner of the Original Song race, probably won’t be eligible for Oscar consideration. I still see some predicting it as a contender, but its chances of making the eligibility list are slim because…

Does the likely dismissal of “Please Mr. Kennedy” open up the category for respected music acts to dominate?

Alicia Keys for Mister and Pete

I expected George Tillman Jr.’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete to feature at least one original song: It features performances from Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks, and Alicia Keys exec produced the film. Gravity, Captain Phillips, and even the lovely but small Enough Said hog the box office and the major-category Oscar conversation right now, but Mister and Pete might find some space in the original song category.

Keys also co-wrote the score with Mark Isham and co-wrote “Better You, Better Me” for the film. The inspirational R&B song plays over the end credits.

Mister and Pete failed to spark buzz at Sundance earlier this year, and it made $254,279 at the weekend box office when it should have made closer to $1 million, so major Oscar attention would come only with an uphill climb, despite an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63/100 on Metacritic, and raves for Hudson’s performance. However, the music branch might want to nominate a respected artist like Keys.

U2 signs on for Mandela

Legendary alt-rock group U2 contributed “Ordinary Love” to Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. A new trailer, set to drop later today, will mark the song’s debut.

Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 points out that U2 wrote the Oscar-nominated “The Hands That Built America” for Gangs of New York, another film distributed under Harvey Weinstein’s guidance. The fluidity of this year’s Original Song race could work to U2’s advantage this year.

Dallas Buyers Club Soundtrack

The Airborne Toxic Event’s “Hell and Back” went up on iTunes on Tuesday. A fusion of Lumineers-style simplicity and some modern synths, it might fit the film well, but is it too modern for Oscar to appreciate?

Meanwhile, “City of Angels” appeared on Thirty Seconds to Mars’ last studio album, LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS, but was it written specifically for Dallas Buyers Club? A post on the alt-rock band’s Facebook page suggests that it wasn’t, but you never know. Tegan and Sara’s “Shudder to Think” is an old, previously unreleased track, says the alternative duo’s Sara Quin, so that’s not happening.
EDIT: “City of Angels” is ineligible

From Film Music Reporter, tracks on the soundtrack that might be eligible for the Original Song Oscar include…

“After the Scripture” by Manchester Orchestra
“Following Morning” by The Naked and Famous
“Life of the Party” by Blondfire
“Main Man” by Portugal. The Man
“Ready to be Called On” by My Morning Jacket
“Stayin’ Alive” by Capital Cities (likely a cover of the Bee Gees hit, but who knows?)

New Original Song possibilities

“Better You, Better Me” from The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
“Hell and Back” from Dallas Buyers Club
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom



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