The 86th Annual Academy Awards will air on March 2 (that's tonight), and will be hosted by the ever hilarious and avid music lover, Ellen DeGeneres.
While the event predominantly celebrates achievements in film, extraordinary film and music teams are also recognized for their collaborations with two categories: Original Song, and Original Score.
The nominees, as we mentioned several weeks ago, include some of music’s most distinguished composers and progressive songwriters, such as John Williams, Thomas Newman, U2, Pharrell, and Karen O. Although, if you’re not familiar with some of the prospective winners, then stay tuned to MSC over the next few days for all the details, and make your predictions on our Oscars poll!
To get you pumped as we are, each day leading up to the big night we’ll post pieces on one of the nominees in each music category, and Sunday we’ll reveal everyone’s predictions before the show! Today’s last Original Song nominee is “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom!
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson
Man, this year’s nominees are really great-- don’t you think? We’ve got a happy song, an inspirational song, an indie folk song, and a heart-wrenching emotional ballad.
The weeks following Nelson Mandela’s death were rough for everyone, the world lost one of its greatest men, but precisely eight days after his passing The Weinstein Company released its biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Madiba is played by London-born African actor, Idris Elba, and the film is based on Mandela’s autobiography. Mandela’s biography chronicles -- according to Google -- the President’s “early life, coming of age, education, and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.”
The music for Mandela was coordinated by Dale Blignaut with the help of the music supervision team at Mama Dance Music Solutions, and played a big part in the film. Although, as you can read here, finding and licensing the right music was quite a challenge!
Given the emotional context for this film, we can only think of one band suited to write the show’s canonistic theme -- U2. Although, rather than tell you what we think this song means or does for the film, we’d rather share Mrs. Mandela’s own words:
“This song,” Winnie Mandela reported to Idris Elba for the Huffington Post, “carries our thirst for freedom and peace and unity on its wings. A great voice like that of Nelson Mandela, is never silenced.”
Elba added that, “To hear this song is to understand why some oppressors fear music as much as they fear their people’s cries in the street. Music, such as that which U2 contributes to the world, and wrote for our film, can move mountains and continue our evolution towards freedom and unity. Through ‘Ordinary Love’ Bono and U2 captured the passion of a yearning people.”
P.S. If you’ve ever wondered why Mandela often went by “Madiba,” you can read USA Today’s story here, and U2 are also set to perform their song on Sunday -- ready the tissues!
There you have it! This year’s nominees for best original song; be sure to cast your votes on our Oscar poll, and tune into the big event tonight!