Herbie Hancock

Why does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences even bother awarding an Oscar for "best original song" anymore?

This year's nominees appear to fill a quota more than anything. Three of the five songs are from Enchanted. Another was technically ineligible but cleared at the last second.

Two years ago, the Academy only nominated three songs and even then, none were really worth recognizing.

In fact, since 2000, the Academy has only nominated one truly memorable original song — "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.

Not content with simply nominating negligible songs, the Academy also insists on highlighting just how negligible said songs are during the Oscar telecast.

Last year, instead of re-creating 2006's most memorable movie music moment — Jennifer Hudson's fierce rendition of "And I Am Telling You for the Last Time" in Dreamgirls — Hudson, Beyoncé and that other girl performed a medley of songs which weren't even in the original musical, songs that I doubt anyone can recall today.

I had to check to make sure I was watching "Hollywood's biggest night" and not, you know, an American Idol results show.

If ever the Academy had a reason to show a montage during the Oscar telecast, the "best original song" nominees are it.

When I think of 2007 in cinematic song, I think of:

the instrumental cello and piano cover of The Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun" in Rocket Science (above), Mastodon's intro to Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" at the beginning of Knocked Up, Linkin Park's "What I've Done" at the end of Transformers, Final Fantasy's "The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead" and Raised by Swans' "Violet Light" in Everything's Gone Green, the performance of Joy Division's "Transmission" in Control, the surreal interpretation of Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" (as covered by Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) in I'm Not There, the slow-motion funeral set to The Kinks' "Strangers" in The Darjeeling Limited, Justin Timberlake lip-syncing The Killers' "All the Things That I've Done" in Southland Tales, Ellen Page and Michael Cera covering The Moldy Peaches' "Anyone Else But You" in Juno, and Sacha Baron Cohen's rendition of "The Contest" in Sweeney Todd (below).

What don't I think of?

Enchanted, Once and August Rush.

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