Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and Diane Warren are all safe bets in a year when no Oscar nominee for Best Original Song is a phenom.
This article contains the IndieWire prelims Best Original Song forecast for 2023 Oscars. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season and repost previous versions (like this one) so readers can keep up with changes in how the race for the Oscars has changed. For the latest update on the favorites from the 95th Academy Awards, check out our Oscars 2023 Predictions Hub.
We’ll be updating these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks. January 24, 2023. Final voting will take place March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 95th Oscars TV show airs Sunday, March 12 and streams live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.
The state of the race
For a movie year so engrossed in blockbuster hits, you’d think there would be more buzzing soundtrack cuts to help shake up the Oscar race for Best Original Song. Thank the lord for “Top Gun: Maverick,” which gave us a new Lady Gaga anthem.
Even though it didn’t have as much chart success as its average single, “Hold My Hand” is still the favorite for the award given its ties to Oscar history. Not only did Gaga just win Best Original Song in 2019 for “Shallow,” but the original “Top Gun” also won the award in 1987 for the song “Take My Breath Away.” Even though “Hold My Hand” isn’t a phenomenon in the same way as the aforementioned songs (both went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100), the track lives up to the hype surrounding it.
Yet, the song which is Lady Gaga’s biggest competition in this category had a bigger impact on her film which became a phenomenon. The “Naatu Naatu” sequence in the Tollywood blockbuster “RRR” has been cut and widely shared on social media, serving as the best advertisement for Americans to go see the action-packed three-hour historical epic this summer. Though the Oscars usually overlook India’s vast film industry, “Naatu Naatu” scratches a similar itch to 2009 Best Original Song winner “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” and even has the exuberant dance number readily available on YouTube. , where it has over 21 million views.
Another buzzing dance sequence comes at the end of Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise” with “New Body Rhumba,” marking LCD Soundsystem’s first song in five years. It shouldn’t be counted in the race for Best Original Song, especially when extra points are usually awarded for music incorporated into the film itself.
Gilbert Flores for Variety
Meanwhile, one of this year’s honorary Oscar winners has a suitor of her own: Diane Warren is in the conversation, even though the film she composed for has been seen by very few. world. She’s had 13 nominations in this category, including seven in the past decade, so if another song loses momentum during awards season, this could be the year it actually wins. However, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell could just as easily beat it two years in a row – they’ve gone from winning the Oscar for a Bond theme to composing this year’s earworm nominee “Nobody Like U”, a return to the boyband era written for the adorable Pixar film “Turning Red”.
In terms of snubs, it’s hard to say if Taylor Swift will receive her first-ever Oscar nomination for “Carolina,” written for this summer’s biggest hit “Where the Crawdads Sing.” But it’s surprising that one of the most decorated musicians working today, and the only woman with three Grammys for Album of the Year, has been overlooked by the Academy for so long. She’s regularly made music for film and even won a Grammy for best song written for visual media, but “Carolina” just didn’t hit audiences the way her music offcuts usually do, so this would be a bit odd for it to be the soundtrack that ultimately brings it to the Dolby Theater.
Finally, we still haven’t gotten a taste of the soundtracks for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, “Babylon” and “Avatar: The Way of the Water”. All three of these films are from filmmakers who have projects with Best Original Song nominations. The latter two directed the films that won the Oscars, so consider that another category that Ryan Coogler, Damien Chazelle and James Cameron could revise with the release of what could become their most ambitious films yet.
Candidates for the shortlist are listed in alphabetical order. No movie will be considered a favorite until we see it.
“Naatu Naatu” – Kaala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani & Rahul Sipligunj (“RRR”)
“It’s a Life” – David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski (“Everything, Everywhere, All At Once”)
“Hot Girl” – Charli XCX & George Daniel (“Bodies Bodies Bodies”)
“Vegas” – Doja Cat (“Elvis”)
“Love Isn’t Love” – Billy Eichner & Marc Shaiman (“Bros”)
“Nobody Likes You” – Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (“Turning Red”)
“Stand Up” – Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II & Jazmine Sullivan (“Till”)
“Time” – Giveon Evans, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, Daniel Pemberton and Jahaan Akil Sweet (“Amsterdam”)
“Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
“Not Alone” – Joe Jonas (“Devotion”)
“On My Way (Marry Me)” – Jennifer Lopez (“Marry Me”)
“I’m Not Worried” – OneRepublic (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
“Paper Airplanes” — Ruth B. (“A Jazzman’s Blues”)
“At the Automaton” – Mel Brooks (“The Automaton”)
“We Are Art” – Annalaura di Luggo & Paky Di Maio (“We Are Art: Through the Eyes of Annalaura”)
“Ciao Papa” – Guillermo del Toro, Alexandre Desplat and Roeban Katz (“Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro”)
“Brasília Bella” – Luis Guerra, Dan Mirvish and Caro Pierotto (“18 1/2”)
“Heartbeat” – Shawn Mendes (“Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile”)
“New Body Rhumba” – James Murphy (“White Noise”)
“Dust & Ash” – J. Ralph (“The Voice of Dust and Ash”)
“(You Made It Feel Like) Home” – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (“Bones and All”)
“Turn Up The Sunshine” – Diana Ross and Tame Impala (“Minions: The Rise of Gru”)
“Caroline” – Taylor Swift (“Where the Crawdads Sing”)
“Applause” – Diane Warren (“Say It Like A Woman”)