OSCARS: How Academy's Most Obscure Nominee – Maybe EVER – Managed To Beat Out Taylor Swift, Coldplay And Celine Dion: Video

Of all today’s Oscar nominees the one that caused the most head-scratching among pundits and critics was Alone Yet Not Alone.

Say what?

The nominees for Best Song which mostly went to expected contenders like U2 for Mandela‘s “Ordinary Love”, Pharrell Williams for Despicable Me 2‘s “Happy”, Frozen‘s “Let It Go”  from the writers of alone-yet-not-aloneBook Of Mormon, and Karen O and Spike Jonze for The Moon Song”  from Her. But it was the first title read off by Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs that really raised eyebrows. “Alone Yet Not Alone” from, you guessed it, Alone Yet Not Alone with music by Bruce Broughton and lyrics by Dennis Spiegel. (You can hear it in a clip at the bottom).Has anyone actually heard of this film? Or the song which is a musically low key , quite spiritual hymn (hear it below). Probably not. Certainly not Taylor Swift or Coldplay or Celine Dion or Lana Del Rey who were among the artists in contention for a nomination this year but lost out to this. Somehow it snuck in and completed a 7-day qualifying run in September, but, according to the website for the movie, its national release won’t happen until March 14th. It is a Christian film or “faith based” as they are known now. There isn’t a single review of the movie on Rotten Tomatoes (a first for any Oscar-nominated movie in memory). The distributor is listed as Enthuse Entertainment. IMDB describes it as a historical drama based on a true story recounting the “faith and courage” of a German-American immigrant family as they face hardships and loss during the French and Indian war. The music score for the film is by William Ross, who is also conductor of the Academy Awards orchestra this year (as he was last year) and Broughton is a former Governor and former head of the Academy’s music branch.

Related: OSCARS: 75 Original Songs In Contention

bb_portrait3So how did this obscure, yet-to-be-released film starring  Kelly Greyson, Ozzie Torres, Jenn Gotzon, and Clay Walker land a prized Best Song nomination? According to well-placed sources, Broughton hired veteran film music publicist Ray Costa to try and get attention for the song and press releases were written but it gained no real editorial traction during the campaign. So, as a former Governor and head of the music branch he is obviously well-connected and well-liked within the organization and I am told he started making phone calls to colleagues urging them to consider the song.  Call it the most grass roots of campaigns. This is sometimes how the inner workings of these groups operate. This one is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world and you can have all the consultants and publicity in the world, but what it really takes is you gotta have friends. Enough of them obviously paid attention and Broughton landed his second-ever Oscar nomination having been previously nominated just once in 1985 for his first major movie, the stirring western score for Silverado. He is also an 10-time Emmy Winner. Here is the song in its entirety:

  1. That’s an amazing story. Wow. I was wondering what the hell that song was. Pretty crazy that something like that can happen in today’s media-tracked awards landscape.

    1. Celine Dion is certainly not sweating out this one! Celine does not need accolades to tell her how good she is. As all of the music world knows, she is the best voice this earth will ever hear! No artist out there can hold a candle to the respect she gets for having kept a clean lifestyle; not getting caught in the drug or sexuality part of the business. If more artists emulated her, maybe they would go farther in their careers.

  2. Absolutely ridiculous. Cannot believe that INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS was snubbed in this category in favor of this nonsense.

    1. Unfortunately “Please Mr. Kennedy” wasn’t eligible for Best Song as it was deemed an homage to an older song.

  3. Maybe they need to change the rules so that a movie, if not having a full wide release, at least is in a higher number of theaters before the end of the calendar year to be eligible. This is clearly more a 2014 release, which is why no one has heard of it.

    1. Television’s always been more appreciative of his talent than movies (witness his 10 Emmys, all deserved).

  4. Call it nepotism or call it chutzpah, but good on this guy. Brings to light just how silly these awards all are in the first place.

  5. Great piece Peter. This sums up just about everything that is wrong with the Academy. It’s not merit — not in the slightest.

  6. Very similar to what an artist, Al Walser, did with the Grammy’s. Interesting how much these professional awards can be affected by a hustling insider. It’s certainly not good for the Academy, who now has lost an opportunity for some extra star wattage with music fans.

  7. Bruce Broughton should be ashamed of himself…..literally a movie that NO ONE has seen gets a nomination because he called his friends!?! Inside Llewyn Davis is far more deserving for a best song nomination…….

    I agree with Andy – disgusting, pathetic and utterly ridiculous…..You just can’t take the Academy Awards seriously, that’s for sure. To also ignore Blackfish in the documentary category, and see Jonah Hill beating out Daniel Bruhl for a supporting actor nomination is beyond belief.

    1. why should he be ashamed? this is a private society that decides who wins and no democratic ballot of all people of the US. people tend to take this academy far to personal. this is not about YOUR choice. it is the academy’s. and the main point why most other songs were snubbed is, that they were not PART of the movie. adding a generic song at the end credits is not a challenge. give the fact that this is a movie award this argument weighs much more than the overall popularity.

  8. Qualifying runs should be eliminated. You’re either fully released within the calendar year or you’re not. Simple as that. And it should be made more available than in just the big cities. I say at least 40% of markets to qualify for an Oscar at all and 60% to qualify for Best Picture.

    That will at least get more people interested in the proceedings. The awards are becoming way too insider.

  9. I implore you all to watch the trailer of this film if you want a good laugh.

    I don’t know which brilliant tagline I enjoyed more – imprisoned, yet not enslaved or abducted, yet not abandoned.

  10. Regardless, Bruce Broughton is a very talented composer who has composed music for movies, television, and theme park rides. He’s a truly great guy who has put in his dues. He won’t win, but deserves the nomination much more than Taylor Swift.

    1. a great guy????? i am an AMPAS member and a nominee a few years ago and it would NEVER have occurred to me to use my friends to get nominated. It was a scummy thing to do so he can’t be that great. and shame on this branch for voting in a song simply because a friend was involved. i guess i’m an idealist but i vote for the piece not the person who was involved with it.

  11. The Taylor Swift thing is baffling. You can’t get mad at them for nominating an obscure song over the Taylor Swift song when the Taylor Swift song was in the CREDITS of a movie no one’s actually seen.

  12. Does this mean we don’t have to see Taylor Swift at a major awards show!!! Would liked to have seen Lana Del Rey get in. I don’t particularly care for her music, but she took her stage name from Lana Turner, who rocks in my book! The Moon Song is awesome though, hope it wins (I know Let it Go is a “lock”)

  13. Not really that surprising of a nomination, Broughton is an extremely well respected composer among his peers and the song did receive some traction on a few niche film music sites that I would assume a large number of music branch members do visit.

  14. The song is okay, but not great. I saw the trailer for the film last Fall season and it is completely laughable. The narrator of that trailer goes way overboard and I just started laughing. The movie might get some attention from the Oscar nomination, but I don’t think audiences will flock it. The Native American vs. the English settlers is just so cliche and tiresome. But, there are audiences who like to watch victory over stereotyped “savages.” By the way – That brunette who prays that she won’t steal, doesn’t look like she’s been living in the forest. Her hair looks like it was worked on by a hair stylist from L’Oreal. Praise the Lord for fine and managing hair. LOL!!!!

  15. It’s a nice enough song, but outside of the U2 song, everything else is much better, musically (though for some reason that doesn’t seem to affect voting in this category…).

  16. The movie trailer does make me cringe, but the song itself is actually quite a bit better than a lot of songs nominated in the past.

  17. Maybe the whole premise of how OSCAR Nominees and Voting is done should be looked at? Ever think of that? To the critics who whine foul on this over the mainstream names that didn’t get nominated- get over yourself. Mainstream names don’t always mean the best material. As for the rules about the amount of release and if totally released deeming anything eligible in a calendar year- again maybe the whole premise need be looked at. Either way good on ALONE for the nod!

  18. I don’t have a problem with a ‘little film’ getting nominated but the story of *how* it got nominated is an embarrassment to the academy. We all know there is campaigning involved but the full on nepotism of “former Governor calls his AMPAS buddies to get them to nominate his song” is not a terrible narrative, especially when, going by the trailer, the movie has some really racist undertones.

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