Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Disqualified: "Alone Yet Not Alone" is, Well, Not Alone

If you keep track of Oscar news like I do, then you've probably already heard the news that "Alone Yet Not Alone," a Best Original Song nominee (discussed here) from the film Alone Yet Not Alone, has been disqualified by the AMPAS Board of Governors. It has been revealed that the song's composer, Bruce Broughton, has used his influence as a former member of the Board of Governors to email the music branch to remind them of his submission, which the Board considers a violation of campaign ethics. As Brad Brevet of Rope of Silicone notes, it's interesting that this was considered the violation, and not the fact that the film's Oscar-qualifying run did not have appropriate advertising, which is also a violation of eligibility rules. The song's nomination spot will not replaced, meaning that the remaining four nominees ("Happy," from Despicable Me 2; "Let It Go," from Frozen; "The Moon Song," from Her; "Ordinary Love," from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) will be the only nominees in the category.

This isn't the first time that a nomination has been rescinded; in fact, it has happened several times in the Academy's history. The most recent example came in 2012, when it was revealed that Tuba Atlantic, a 2011 nominee for Best Live-Action Short, had been shown on Norwegian television in 2010, placing it out of the eligibility period for 2011. Other notable disqualifications include:

- 1992: Uruguay earned a Best Foreign Language Film nomination for A Place in the World, but before voting began it was revealed that the film was actually an Argentinian production, and was judged to not have had sufficient Uruguayan artistic control. It was removed from the final ballot and not replaced; France's Indochine won the Oscar.

- 1972: Nino Rota's score for The Godfather was initially nominated, but was disqualified upon the discovery that portions of the score - including the main theme - were re-used portions of Rota's score for the 1958 film Fortunella. The nomination was replaced by John Addison's score for Sleuth; Limelight won the Oscar, with a score by Charlie Chaplin, Raymond Rasch, and Larry Russell.

Only once has a film ever won an Oscar, only to have it rescinded:

- 1968: Young Americans was announced the winner of Best Documentary feature in April 1969. A few months later, it was revealed that the film had played in 1967, which immediately disqualified it from contention for the 1968 awards. Young Americans was struck from the official list of nominees and winners, and the Oscar was given to the film that received the second-most votes, Journey Into Self. 1968 was also the year that Barbara Streisand (Funny Girl) and Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter) tied for the Best Actress Oscar, so overall it was a pretty dramatic ceremony.

It's disappointing that the nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone" isn't going to be replaced; it would have been great to see a song from The Great Gatsby take its place. What would you replace it with?

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