Announced last Tuesday were the four contenders for best song: “We Belong Together” from the childhood favorite Toy Story 3, “If I Rise” from the gripping 127 Hours, “I See the Light” from the fantasy-filled Tangled and “Coming Home” from the twangy Country Strong.
So who will take home that well-respected and highly desirable gold man we call an Oscar?
Alas, previous winners give no indication of the chances of this year’s nominees given their eclectic nature, eliminating the option of any kind of pattern to follow. Take for example, 2005’s “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow in contrast to 2008’s “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire a fun, fast-paced Bollywood number meant for entertainment purposes and so much for emotional depth.
But Randy Newman’s “We Belong Together” seems to be the frontrunner. It’s characterized by upbeat horns that you can’t help but hum along to and charming lyrics regarding friendship and love. In the endearing Toy Story fashion, the song states, “the day I met you was the luckiest day of my life and I bet you feel the same/ least I hope you do.”
Newman won in 2001 for Monster’s, Inc. and seeing as Toy Story 3 is likely to win best animated film, this childhood classic seems to be taking the lead.
“Coming Home” by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey does, however, seem to be a close contender given its emotionally charged and dramatic instrumentals as well as its relatable theme of returning home.
In addition, this countrified number has its own unique style with some edgier pop vibes, reminiscent of Lady Antebellum that make it appeal to the masses and give it a fighting chance for the Oscars.
“If I Rise” is calm and melodic in the typical Dido fashion but it doesn’t have much substance beneath its melancholic hymns. “I See the Light”, on the other hand, contains sweet and fantastical romance, but it isn’t anything new, especially when comparing it to the classic Disney princess movies.
With the end of Toy Story 3 and Randy Newman’s tried and trusted credibility as a songwriter, “We Belong Together” is likely to take it home. Consider that when filling out those Oscar pools.