We don’t yet know who’s going to be up for Best Original Song at the Oscars next year. We won’t know for a few weeks. But today, we have a better idea. Last night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the shortlists for many of the categories at next year’s Oscars. Those categories include Best Original Song and Best Original Score. So now we know some of the people who might at least potentially be nominated for Oscars, and we know some of the people who definitely will not be.
As Billboard points out, the one big snub that will get all the attention is “Beautiful Ghosts,” the song that Taylor Swift co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the movie Cats. Make no mistake: This song exists for no other reason than to win an Oscar. It’s a tough year for Taylor Swift at the various awards shows. (“Beautiful Ghosts” was nominated for a Best Original Song Golden Globe; it’s the only Golden Globe nominee that did not make the Oscar shortlist.)
The shortlists for both categories include 15 potential nominations. When the Academy announces the nominations next month, that list will be winnowed down to five. Right now, the list of potential nominees in Best Original Song includes Thom Yorke, who was not nominated for a Best Original Song Golden Globe. Yorke’s “Daily Battles,” from the Motherless Brooklyn soundtrack, remains in contention. (Last year, Yorke was shortlisted for “Suspirium” from Suspiria, but he wasn’t nominated.)
Beyoncé is also a potential winner thanks to “Spirit,” from the Lion King soundtrack. The Lion King actually has two songs in contention, since Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Never Too Late” is also in there. And Elton John is competing with himself; his Bernie Taupin collaboration “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from the soundtrack of the Elton biopic Rocketman, also made the longlist.
Pharrell Williams, Dillon Francis, and Paul Williams are all in contention, too. And so is the team of Mary Steenburgen, Caitlyn Smith, and Kate York. The three of them wrote the gorgeous country song “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” for the indie film Wild Rose. Harriet star Cynthia Erivo is nominated for co-writing “Stand Up,” the song she sang on the film’s soundtrack. If she wins, she’ll have an EGOT.
Other than the Taylor Swift/Andrew Lloyd Webber team, notable snubs include Regina Spektor’s “One Little Soldier,” from Bombshell, and the Ariana Grande/Miley Cyrus/Lana Del Rey team-up “Don’t Call Me Angel (Charlie’s Angels),” from Charlie’s Angels.
Randy Newman made the longlist for both Best Original Song and Best Original Score — the former for “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” from Toy Story 4, and the latter for his work on Marriage Story. Varied resume for Randy Newman this year! Potential Best Original Score nominees also include Hildur Guðnadóttir, Nicholas Britell, and Randy Newman’s cousin Thomas Newman. John Williams could be up for his 47th nomination for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, and Michael Abels’ great score for the horror blockbuster Us also made the shortlist. Past winners and Waves composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were passed over. Also not recognized: The Haxan Cloak for Midsommar and Robbie Robertson for The Irishman.
Here’s the Best Original Song longlist:
• Naomi Scott – “Speechless” (from Aladdin, written by Alan Menken, Benj Pasek, & Justin Paul)
• Pharrell Williams – “Letter To My Godfather” (from The Black Godfather, written by Pharrell Williams & Chad Hugo)
• Chrissy Metz – “I’m Standing With You” (from Breakthrough, written by Diane Warren)
• Paul Williams & Charles Fox – “Da Bronx” (from The Bronx, USA, written by Paul Williams & Charles Fox)
• Idina Menzel – “Into The Unknown” (from Frozen 2, written by Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez)
• Cynthia Erivo – “Stand Up” (from Harriet, written by Joshuah Brian Campbell & Cynthia Erivo)
• Dillon Francis – “Catchy Song” (Feat. T-Pain & Lay Lay) (from The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, written by Dillon Francis, Alaya High, Jon Lajoiem & James Rushent)
• Elton John – “Never Too Late” (from The Lion King, written by Elton John & Tim Rice)
• Beyoncé – “Spirit” (from The Lion King, written by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Timothy McKenzie, & Ilya Salmanzadeh)
• Thom Yorke – “Daily Battles” (from Motherless Brooklyn, written by Thom Yorke)
• Woo-sik Choi – “A Glass Of Soju” (from Parasite, written by Jung Jaeil & Woo-sik Choi)
• Elton John & Taron Egerton – “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (from Rocketman, written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin)
• Kathyrn Bostic – “High Above The Water” (from Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, written by Kathryn Bostic)
• Randy Newman – “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” (from Toy Story 4, written by Randy Newman)
• Jessie Buckley – “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” (from Wild Rose, written by Caitlyn Smith, Mary Steenburgen, & Kate York)
And the Best Original Score shortlist:
• Alan Silvestri, Avengers: Endgame
• Theodore Shapiro, Bombshell
• Alex Weston, The Farewell
• Marco Beltrami, Ford V. Ferrari
• Christophe Beck, Frozen 2
• Michael Giacchino, Jojo Rabbit
• Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
• Nicholas Britell, The King
• Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
• Randy Newman, Marriage Story
• Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn
• Thomas Newman, 1917
• Alberto Iglesias, Pain And Glory
• John Williams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
• Michael Abels, Us
The Oscar nominations will be announced 1/13. The Academy Awards show goes down 2/9.