.

Academy Snubs Bruce for 'The Wrestler'

Why he won't be going home with a gold statue

February 19, 2009
Bruce Springsteen holds his trophy for winning Best Original Song-Motion Picture for 'The Wrestler' at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
Bruce Springsteen holds his trophy for winning Best Original Song-Motion Picture for 'The Wrestler' at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

The biggest Bruce Springsteen controversy of the season has nothing to do with Walmart. Springsteen fans are shocked that his stunning song "The Wrestler" (from the film of the same name) didn't get an Oscar nod — despite the fact that he won a Golden Globe for the tune. Instead of selecting five nominees (as in most other categories), the Academy chose only three: Peter Gabriel's "Down to Earth" from WALL-E and two from Slumdog Millionaire.

"The Wrestler" may have been a victim of the Oscars' complex nominating rules. The Academy's music branch watched all 49 eligible songs in a clip reel provided for them. Then they rated the tunes on a scale of 6.25 to 10 — and only the movies with averages of 8.25 or better made the cut. That system seems to give an edge to certain films. "A song that has a performance aspect is going to do better than one that doesn't," says Oscar nominee Danny Elfman's agent, Richard Kraft. "It's hard to compete with the music video at the end of Slumdog, while in 'The Wrestler,' you've got the names of key grips scrolling by."

This story is from the February 19, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com