The committee that hands out Oscars has narrowed down a year's worth of film soundtracks and end-credit music into a fifty-nine track "short list" of songs that will be eligible for Best Original Song at the 80th Academy Awards. Eddie Vedder, who contributed solo tracks to the Sean Penn film Into the Wild, and Sondre Lerche, who recorded the Dan in Real Life soundtrack, both have three songs on the list. Vedder will most likely get some definite Oscar nod love, as his "Guaranteed" was nominated for Best Song at the Golden Globes this morning (he's also up for Best Original Score at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's January 13th ceremony).
August Rush leads all films with four potential nominations, with John Legend's "Someday" the favorite of that bunch. Other interesting inclusions: Roger Waters' "Hello (I Love You)," which we're assuming is not the Doors' song (original music only is considered) from The Last Mimzy, plus there's the Flaming Lips' oddball "I Was Zapped by the Super Lucky Rainbow" from Good Luck Chuck and "The Tale of the Horny Frog" from The Heartbreak Kid, and Rufus Wainwright's "Another Believer" from Meet the Robinsons.
Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger will once again vie for an Oscar statuette, as two of his Wham!-inspired contributions to Music and Lyrics are on the short list. Schlesinger almost took home the Academy Award in 1997 for penning the song "That Thing You Do!" from the film of the same name, but Madonna's "You Must Love Me" from Evita pulled an upset victory. The upcoming Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story also had three songs on the list, meaning that it's likely John C. Reilly will have to appear as Cox to perform in front of millions of people Oscar night.
So how does the Academy pick five finalists from this enormous list? The whole thing sounds very complex: On January 15th, they'll screen clips featuring each song in random order, and then vote. Though a better question may be what happens to the Oscars if the Writer's Strike keeps going?