Madonna Out, Elton John In: Best Song Oscar Contenders + George Clooney Movie Wins More Awards

Madonna W.E. director: Masterpiece ineligible for Best Song OscarMadonna W.E. director. Best known as a pop singer and all-around provocateuse (except, perhaps, when she shied away from taking on George W. Bush following the start of the Iraq War), Madonna has been a sporadic movie actress since the mid-1980s. More recently, she has turned to directing: the poorly received Filth and Wisdom (2008) was her first effort; W.E., better received but a resounding box office flop, is the follow-up. Madonna's name may have helped to earn a Golden Globe nomination for the film's pop ballad “Masterpiece,” but unfortunately for all involved, “Masterpiece” has been deemed ineligible for the Best Original Song Oscar.

Elton John in, Madonna out: Best Original Song Oscar longlist

Thirty-nine songs from eligible movies are in the running for nominations in the 2012 Oscars' Best Original Song category. Madonna's Golden Globe-nominated “Masterpiece,” from W.E., is nowhere to be found on the longlist as it has been deemed ineligible (see further below), but Elton John was included for “Hello Hello,” from Gnomeo & Juliet.

In fact, as it's usually the case, kiddie flicks dominate the list, with Gnomeo & Juliet, Rio, Happy Feet Two, Winnie the Pooh, and The Muppets featuring multiple contenders.

Also worth noting, several of the songs are not in English, e.g., Sohan Roy's thriller DAM999, with three entries on the list, is in Hindi and Malayalam; “Já Não Estar,” from Miguel Gonçalves Mendes' biographical documentary José and Pilar, is in Portuguese; and “Coeur Volant,” from Martin Scorsese's Hugo, is in French.

The original songs and their respective movies are listed below in alphabetical order by film.

Oscar 2012 Best Original Song longlist

“The World I Knew,” African Cats.

“Lay Your Head Down,” Albert Nobbs.

“Star Spangled Man,” Captain America: The First Avenger.

“Collision of Worlds,” Cars 2.

“Dakkanaga Dugu Dugu,” DAM999.

“DAM999 Theme Song,” DAM999.

“Mujhe Chod Ke,” DAM999.

“Rainbird,” Dirty Girl.

“Keep On Walking,” The First Grader.

“Where the River Goes,” Footloose.

“Hello Hello,” Gnomeo & Juliet.

“Love Builds a Garden,” Gnomeo & Juliet.

“Bridge of Light,” Happy Feet Two.

“The Mighty Sven,” Happy Feet Two.

“Never Be Daunted,” happythankyoumoreplease.

“Hell and Back,” Hell and Back Again.

“The Living Proof,” The Help.

“Coeur Volant,” Hugo.

“It's How We Play,” I Don't Know How She Does It.

“When the Heart Dies,” In the Land of Blood and Honey.

“Já Não Estar,” José and Pilar.

“The Keeper,” Machine Gun Preacher.

“Life's a Happy Song,” The Muppets.

“Man or Muppet,” The Muppets.

“Pictures in My Head,” The Muppets.

“Summer Song,” The Music Never Stopped.

“Imaginary Friends,” Olive.

“Sparkling Day,” One Day.

“Taking You with Me,” Our Idiot Brother.

“The Greatest Song I Ever Heard,” POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

“Hot Wings,” Rio.

“Let Me Take You to Rio,” Rio.

“Real in Rio,” Rio.

“Shelter,” Take Shelter.

“Gathering Stories,” We Bought a Zoo.

“Pop,” White Irish Drinkers.

“Think You Can Wait,” Win Win.

“The Backson Song,” Winnie the Pooh.

“So Long,” Winnie the Pooh.

Up to five nominees & no more than two songs per film

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' press release, on Jan. 5 the Academy's Music Branch “will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the Music Branch in Los Angeles. Following the screenings, members will determine the nominees by an averaged point system of voting.”

How does that average point system work? Well, the release adds the following:

“If no song receives an average score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nominees in the category. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiving the next highest score shall be the two nominees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees. …

“Under Academy rules, a maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film. If more than two songs from a film achieve a score of 8.25 or more, the two songs with the highest scores will be the nominees.”

For those Music Branch members unable to attend the screening, a DVD copy of the song clips will be made available by mail.

And finally, the Academy adds that in order to be eligible…

“…a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.”

This last rule explains why Madonna's “Masterpiece” was deemed ineligible for the Best Original Song Oscar.

The 2012 Academy Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 5:30 a.m. PST in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The 2012 Oscar ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

Mysteries of Lisbon Ricardo Pereira Clotilde Hesme: Period drama won 3 Golden GlobesMysteries of Lisbon with Ricardo Pereira and Clotilde Hesme. Adapted by Carlos Saboga from Portuguese author Camilo Castelo Branco's 1854 novel, Raoul Ruiz's sprawling, 272-minute period drama Mysteries of Lisbon (2010) – shown in some countries as a TV miniseries – follows several intertwining stories involving, among others, a priest (Adriano Luz), a handsome assassin (Ricardo Pereira), a countess (Maria João Bastos), a maid (Joana de Verona), a friar with a past (Carloto Cotta), and a seductress (Clotilde Hesme). There are affairs, betrayals, out-of-wedlock babies, dark secrets, cosmic coincidences, and countless twists and turns.

Satellite Awards: 'Mysteries of Lisbon' & 'Soul Surfer' among unusual winners

Alexander Payne's The Descendants was the International Press Academy's Satellite Award winner for Best Film of 2011. Additionally, this Hawaiian-set dysfunctional family tale starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley earned Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

As often happens with the funky Satellite Awards, there were also a series of surprise winners. These included the following:

  • Best Foreign Language Film Mysteries of Lisbon / Mistérios de Lisboa, a sprawling tale directed by the recently deceased Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz. All but ignored by U.S. film critics groups this awards season, Mysteries of Lisbon has been luckier in Canada – the Toronto Film Critics Association also selected it as the year's best – and, unsurprisingly, in Portugal, where it won three Globos de Ouro (Golden Globes): Best Film, Best Actor (Adriano Luz), and Best Actress (Maria João Bastos).
  • Best Director Nicolas Winding Refn, who has been usually bypassed elsewhere in favor of Hugo's Martin Scorsese and The Artist's Michel Hazanavicius. A couple of exceptions have been the Houston Film Critics Society and the Austin Film Critics Association.
  • Best Score for Sean McNamara's Christian drama Soul Surfer.
  • Best Editing for John Michael McDonagh's comedy thriller The Guard.
  • Best Costume Design for Water for Elephants, Francis Lawrence's period circus drama starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.

Note: Initially, this post stated that the International Press Academy was a splinter group from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. See IPA member Mirjana Van Blaricom's clarification in the comments section.

And see immediately below the list of the Satellite Awards' winners and nominations in the feature film categories.

Satellite Awards: Winners & nominations

Best Film
The Artist.
* The Descendants.
The Help.
Midnight in Paris.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
War Horse.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Kid with the Bike.
Las Acadias.
Le Havre.
Miss Bala.
Mozart's Sister.
* Mysteries of Lisbon.
A Separation.
13 Assassins.
The Turin Horse.

Best Actress
Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur.
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs.
* Viola Davis, The Help.
Vera Farmiga, Higher Ground.
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady.
Charlize Theron, Young Adult.
Emily Watson, Oranges and Sunshine.
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn.
Michelle Yeoh, The Lady.

Best Actor
George Clooney, The Descendants.
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar.
Michael Fassbender, Shame.
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard.
* Ryan Gosling, Drive.
Tom Hardy, Warrior.
Woody Harrelson, Rampart.
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Brad Pitt, Moneyball.
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn.
* Albert Brooks, Drive.
Colin Farrell, Horrible Bosses.
Jonah Hill, Moneyball.
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method.
Nick Nolte, Warrior.
Christopher Plummer, Beginners.
Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Christoph Waltz, Carnage.
Hugo Weaving, Oranges and Sunshine.

Best Supporting Actress
* Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life.
Elle Fanning, Super 8.
Lisa Feret, Mozart's Sister.
Judy Greer, The Descendants.
Rachel McAdams, Midnight in Paris.
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs.
Carey Mulligan, Shame.
Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus.
Octavia Spencer, The Help.
Kate Winslet, Carnage.

Best Director
Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.
John Michael McDonagh, The Guard.
Steve McQueen, Shame.
Alexander Payne, The Descendants.
* Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive.
Martin Scorsese, Hugo.
Steven Spielberg, War Horse.
Tate Taylor, The Help.

Best Animated or Mixed Media Film
* The Adventures of Tintin.
Kung Fu Panda 2.
The Muppets.
Puss in Boots.

Best Documentary
American: The Bill Hicks Story.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams.
The Interrupters.
My Perestroika.
One Lucky Elephant.
Project Nim.
* Senna.
Under Fire: Journalists in Combat.

Best Original Screenplay
Paddy Considine, Tyrannosaur.
Rene Feret, Mozart's Sister.
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.
* Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life.
John Michael McDonagh, The Guard.
Steve McQueen & Abi Morgan, Shame.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Steven Moffat and Joe Cornish & Edgar Wright, The Adventures of Tintin.
Glenn Close & John Banville, Albert Nobbs.
* Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants.
Tate Taylor, The Help.
Steve Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball.
Lee Hall & Richard Curtis, War Horse.

Best Original Score
Michael Giacchino, Super 8.
Cliff Martinez, Drive.
Alexandre Desplat, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
John Williams, War Horse.
James Newton Howard, Water for Elephants.
* Marco Beltrami, Soul Surfer.

Best Original Song
“Bridge of Light,” Happy Feet 2.
“Gathering Stories,” We Bought a Zoo.
“Hello Hello,” Gnomeo & Juliet.
* “Lay Your Head Down,” Albert Nobbs.
“Life is a Happy Song,” The Muppets.
“Man or Muppet,” The Muppets.

Best Cinematography
Bruno Delbonnel, Faust.
* Janusz Kaminski, War Horse.
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life.
Newton Thomas Sigel, Drive.
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist.
Robert Richardson, Hugo.

Best Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
* Hugo.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Super 8.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
War Horse.

Best Film Editing
* The Guard.
War Horse.
The Descendants.

Best Sound
* Drive.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Super 8.
The Tree of Life.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
War Horse.

Best Art Direction
* The Artist.
Mysteries of Lisbon.
Water for Elephants.

Best Costume Design
Mysteries of Lisbon.
The Artist.
Jane Eyre.
* Water for Elephants.

Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry
Mitzi Gaynor.

Nikola Tesla Award in Recognition of Visionary Achievement in Filmmaking Technology
Douglas Trumbull.

Auteur Award
Peter Bogdanovich.

Humanitarian Award
Tim Hetherington (1970–2011).

Best Ensemble, Motion Picture
The Help.

Best First Feature
Paddy Considine, Tyrannosaur.

The Descendants trailer, with George Clooney and Shailene Woodley. Alexander Payne's family tale was the Florida Film Critics Circle's Best Picture choice, but Martin Scorsese was chosen Best Director for Hugo while Michael Fassbender – instead of George Clooney – was their Best Actor pick.

Florida Film Critics awards: 'The Descendants' & other critical favorites

Alexander Payne's The Descendants, a dysfunctional family tale starring George Clooney, topped the Florida Film Critics Circle Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash), and Best Supporting Actress (Shailene Woodley).

Pedro Almodóvar's gender-bending drama The Skin I Live In, starring Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya, was the Best Foreign Language Film, while Martin Scorsese was the Best Director for the period fantasy adventure Hugo, a costly box office disappointment.

Michelle Williams & Michael Fassbender

Two Oscar favorites, Michelle Williams and Michael Fassbender, won, respectively, Best Actress for Simon Curtis' My Week with Marilyn and Best Actor for Steve McQueen's Shame.

Williams' portrayal of Marilyn Monroe during the making of Laurence Olivier's The Prince and the Showgirl has been one of the U.S. film critics groups' top picks this awards season. In Shame, Michael Fassbender plays a troubled New Yorker with an unusually high sex drive.

Critics' fave Albert Brooks was the Florida Film Critics' Best Supporting Actor for Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller Drive, starring Ryan Gosling.

And finally, the Best Original Screenplay mention went to another critical favorite, Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, a recreation of Hollywood's transition from silent to sound films. Inspired by A Star Is Born, Singin' in the Rain, and other American cinema classics, the (nearly all) dialogue-less, black-and-white French-Belgian production stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo.

See below the full list of Florida Film Critics winners.

Florida Film Critics winners

Best Picture: The Descendants.

Best Foreign Language Film: The Skin I Live In.

Best Actor: Michael Fassbender, Shame.

Best Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn.

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive.

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, & Jim Rash, The Descendants.

Best Original Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist.

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life.

Best Documentary: Project Nim.

Best Animated Feature: The Adventures of Tintin.

Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes.


Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.

W.E. image: Optimum Releasing / The Weinstein Company.

Mysteries of Lisbon image: Alfama Films.

The Descendants image: Merie Wallace / Fox Searchlight.

“Madonna Out, Elton John In: Best Song Oscar Contenders + George Clooney Movie Wins More Awards” last updated in July 2018.

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1 Comment to Madonna Out, Elton John In: Best Song Oscar Contenders + George Clooney Movie Wins More Awards

  1. Mirjana Van Blaricom


    Thank you for your piece on the Satellite Awards for 2011. I would like to clarify that we are not a splinter group from HFPA. The only person who left that association was me, their former two-time president who was instrumental in signing their NBC deal for them. We are a larger, global association, which means domestic and foreign press. We hope in the future you can see this is an entirely new venture.

    Best Regards,

    Mirjana Van Blaricom