With two wins at the 2024 Grammy Awards for their barbie heartfelt song “What Was I Made For?”, the Oscar for best original song now seems to be Billie Eilish and Finneas’s to lose.
The song, which chronicles a heartbreaking sequence from 2023’s biggest movie, in which Barbie creator Ruth Handler (Rhea Perlman) offers Margot Robbie’s titular doll some words of wisdom as she chooses between returning to Barbie Land in as a toy or be a human and experience everything that comes with it.
While Eilish and her brother largely swept awards season with the piano ballad, which is made all the more impactful by Eilish’s gently tender and emotional delivery, they have some competition in their Barbie counterpart, ” I’m Just Ken,” (performed in the film by Ryan Gosling and written by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt), which won first prize at the Critics Choices Awards. (Other nominees are Diane Warren for Flamin’ Hot“The First Inside”, by Jon Batiste and “It Never Went Away” by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson of American Symphonyand “Wahzhaze” by Scott George from Flower Moon Killers.)
“This all [awards season] I thought, “What was I doing for?” was cemented, and then there was this surprise win at the Critics Choice Awards, and I kind of started to like the idea of ’I’m Just Ken’ winning it,” said Patrick Gomez, editor-in-chief from EW, in the latest episode of The winner podcast, “but I think it probably confirms that it was just a fluke.”
He continues, “It’s tough. I always want to give more credit to a song that’s actually performed in the movie, but, even if Billie isn’t shown on screen singing that song, that song East also a big part of this movie, in a way that’s not just in the background. It’s that moment as much as the visuals. I keep wanting to give more credit to “I’m Just Ken”, but I really can’t discredit “What Was I Done For?” because ultimately it serves much the same purpose in terms of moving a story forward. ”
Also in the new episode of Reward podcast, Rustin Star and Best Actor Oscar nominee Colman Domingo reflects on his role as gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who orchestrated the March on Washington but was largely erased from the history books. Domingo spent five months researching and preparing for the role – mentally, of course, but also physically, including Rustin’s delivery and the manner and speed with which he spoke, which are more acute than Domingo’s.
“He spoke with a very slight British accent of his own design…and I have a good ear for accents and dialects, and I was like, what is this dialect? Sometimes he sounded like Katharine Hepburn, other times to Bette Davis, to others. times Queen of England. I was like, I don’t understand what this is. Until I started finding out that he made this up.” , Domingo told The Awardist. “I discovered this through a friend of his, Rochelle Horowitz, who appears in the film. He invented this because he understood that words had power, and he had the power to express himself in way to get people to listen. So I think he was really an outlier in a lot of ways. He played the lute and sang Elizabethan love songs – that’s part of his character. You’re like, oh my God, what a character to unpack. And then the challenge for me was also to make sure that he was very human and not caricatured.”
You can listen to the full conversation with Domingo on the Reward podcast, below.
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