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With both Adele and Taylor Swift in the running, the Golden Globe best original song slate looks more like a rundown of artists normally found on the Billboard Hot 100. (By the way, today is Swift's 23rd birthday: Nice birthday present, Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.!)
Other than nominating “Suddenly,” a new song written for “Les Miserables” to give the musical a Golden Globe and Oscar contender, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has turned to tunes written and performed by some of the biggest names in pop music to fill the slate.
The nominees are:
*"For You"— "Act of Valor" (performed by Keith Urban)
Music and lyrics by Monty Powell and Keith Urban
*"Not Running Anymore" — "Stand Up Guys" (performed by Jon Bon Jovi)
Music and lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi
*"Safe & Sound" — "The Hunger Games" (performed by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars)
Music and lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
*“Skyfall” (performed by Adele)
Music and lyrics by: Adele and Paul Epworth
*"Suddenly)" — "Les Miserables" (performed by Hugh Jackman)
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg; Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg
The pop slant is nothing particularly new, as the Globes often tend to sway toward big pop names (some deserving, some merely selected for star power) more than songs penned by traditional film composers. (Hello, remember Madonna's "Masterpiece" won last year). In this case though, there's not a dud in the bunch.
No offense to the gentlemen, but this year’s race is between the ladies: Swift and Adele. Adele’s Bond theme, “Skyfall,” is sweeping and dramatic and pays homage to the original Bond theme. Swift’s haunting, atmospheric "Safe & Sound" is groundbreaking in that it paired the teen pop/country queen with the Civil Wars, which gave her a new depth, while creating a song that deeply resonated with "Hunger Games" fans.
A slight caveat before we totally write off the men: it’s important to remember that Bon Jovi is the only one here who has actually won a Golden Globe for best original song: he won in 1990 for the title tune to “Blaze Of Glory.”
There are some notable omissions, including any of the possible contenders from “Django Unchained,” as well as any tunes from an animated feature, such as “Learn Me Right” by Birdy and Mumford & Sons from “Brave.”
The voters also stayed away from Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” which was the biggest chart hit among the potential contenders, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fellow pop stars Florence & The Machine were also ignored for “Breath of Life” from “Snow White and the Huntsman.”
And as far as these nominations being any predictor of names we’ll see again come the Oscar nominations on Jan. 10? Don’t bet on it. For the last eight years, other than “Crazy Heart’s” “The Weary Kind,” the Golden Globe winner for Best Original Song has not even been an Oscar nominee.