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Coco (#110 of 2)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Original Song

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Song

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Song

Sufjan Stevens's nomination for Call Me by Your Name scratches an emo itch that this category hasn't truly felt since Elliott Smith's Good Will Hunting ballad “Miss Misery” was nominated two decades ago. Though some felt that Stevens's tunes were a mismatch to the surrounding soundtrack's volley between Maurice Ravel and the Psychedelic Furs, the meek “Mystery of Love” is the best song in the lineup both in and out of context, charting the impatient but hesitant undercurrent of the film's romantic leads, at the same time as it approximates their shared, vaguely pretentious cultural interests. In 1998, Smith found himself hopelessly drowned out on all sides by power pop (the eventual winner, James Horner's anthemic “My Heart Will Go On”) and cartoon showtunes. The more things change…

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Animated Feature

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature

There's no use dragging this one out, not least of which because this category contains, by most accounts, the worst film nominated for an Oscar this year: The Boss Baby. That film, which will be lucky to engender goodwill even from fans of Alec Baldwin's impersonation of Donald Trump, did well at the box office, but we dare you to find someone who's actually not embarrassed to have contributed to that gross. Last year, Eric Henderson took Ferdinand to the library for not offering tomorrow's virtue signalers a better hero. That's something that can't be said about either Nora Twomey's The Breadwinner or Lee Unkrich's Coco, two films entirely populated by individuals who our boss baby in chief is committed to keeping out of the United States. The Breadwinner focuses on an 11-year-old girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan and experiences an unusual sense of freedom by dressing as a boy in order to support her family, while Coco concerns a 12-year-old Mexican boy who mysteriously enters the realm of the dead and discovers his family's history. These good-hearted, if programmatic, cartoons are kindred spirits, but even if Coco wasn't the product of a studio whose mojo is far from tapped out, you would have to agree that in a year where Americans are especially obsessed with the problems in their own backyard, Unkrich's film enjoys the so-called home-field advantage.