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article imageOp-Ed: Who is the big winner at this year's Oscars? — Music

By Hugh McIntyre     Mar 2, 2014 in Entertainment
Of all the incredible work represented this year at the Academy Awards, no one item stands above the rest more than the music.
From the minute the Academy Award nominees are announced until the envelope is opened, speculation on who will win and why is all around us. Ideas about whose performance was best, which director had the most artistic vision, and which film wowed us above all others come from every critic and Joe Nobody, and no matter who their choice is, opinions are always strong.
On certain years, a few names and titles are singled out as the “winners”, whether they actually take home a trophy or not. For example, it is easy to say that 9 year old nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (nominated for Best Actress her shocking performance in Beast of a Southern Wild) was a big winner at last year’s ceremony, even though she didn’t win. She was the darling of the night, and it only helped secure her bright future.
So who is the “big winner” of the 2014 Oscars? Is it Lupita Nyong’o, and 12 Years a Slave? How about Alfonso Cuarón with his incredibly conceptual work directing Gravity? Or, first time nominees Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for their riveting turns in Dallas Buyers Club? Well, all of the above certainly will walk away with more clout and even greater potential for future work, but there’s one winner that really stands out from the rest.
Music. This year’s big Oscar winner is the music, which hasn’t taken center stage in such a way for years. The category of Best Original Song is one that people usually tune out, as they aren’t familiar with any of the people nominated. More often than not, the names called aren’t well known, so why should the masses care? The Academy knows this, and several years ago they decided to cut all performances of the recognized songs--a real blow to the music industry’s involvement in movies.
This year however, there is reason to celebrate. For the first time in history--and during the actual week of the Awards no less--the #1 album (the Frozen soundtrack) and #1 song (Pharell’s “Happy” from Despicable Me 2) are both contenders. It’s rare for even one song or score to perform well commercially, so to have several become big hits is really a special event. Since there is renewed interest in the sounds and songs that reinforce the stories being played out on the screen, this year the over one billion-strong audience will have the chance to see each of the nominated tracks performed live.
Bringing music back to the Oscars strengthens both art forms, and highlights the unbreakable bond the two have. Music doesn't need to take over the entire ceremony, but it’s importance also shouldn’t be downplayed. The teams of people who make the scores, soundtracks, and original songs behind our favorite movies deserve the recognition they have coming to them, and hopefully this won’t be forgotten in upcoming years when there aren’t so many big names on the ballot.
So, who is going to actually claim the prize this year? Only one way to find out…
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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