*"The Weary Kind," by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett, from Crazy Heart
"Almost There," by Randy Newman, from The Princess and the Frog
"Down in New Orleans," by Randy Newman, from The Princess and the Frog
"Loin de Paname," by Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas, from Faubourg 36
"Take It All," by Maury Yeston, from Nine
Of all the awards, this is the one with the severest degeneration in quality. Consider that in 1936, two of the three nominees were Jerome Kern's "Lovely to Look At" and Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek," both superb and enduring ballads, and they lost to another immortal, Harry Warren and Al Dubin's jazzier "Lullaby of Broadway." Now could someone please hum "Loin de Paname"? Anyone? If you know "The Weary Kind," it's probably because the song has accompanied every Jeff Bridges trot up to make an acceptance speech. It won the Golden Globe for Best Song and will win again here, if only so someone can say, "And the Oscar goes to ... T-Bone Burnett." Another oddity: Just three months ago, the Ryan Bingham who seemed sure to cop an Oscar was the character played by George Clooney in Up in the Air. Someone should write a country song about that.
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