Editors' Choice

Best Original Song Oscar: La La Land vs. Moana

Arin Spits / February 21, 2017

The 89th Academy Awards show is set to take place on February 26th, 2017, in Hollywood, California, at the Dolby Theatre. One of the most interesting categories for this year’s edition is the Oscar for “Best Original Song”.


Out of the 5 nominees, the two frontrunners for the Academy Award is likely going to come down to one of two choices: La La Land’s “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go”.


La La LandAudition (The Fools Who Dream)


La La Land is heading into the show with a record-tying 14 nominations and it’s no surprise that this musical had two songs nominated in this category. While some may argue that “City of Stars” will get the nod here, the way the song builds up is phenomenal. Even if you haven’t seen La La Land yet, the song is aptly named for the scene where Emma Stone is asked to tell a story – during an audition. The song was a powerful moment in the movie it’s shocking to know that it almost didn’t make it into the final version.


If you’re a dreamer, make sure you listen to this:



Moana – How Far I’ll Go


The dark horse in this category comes from none other than Lin-Manual Miranda. Yes, the same man behind the smash hit “Hamiltonwrote and composed “How Far I’ll Go” for Disney’s Moana with Samoan singer-songwriter Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. If Miranda wins the Oscar, not only will he be overthrowing the extremely well-received musical that is La La Land, he will become the youngest person EVER to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award – the grand slam of American show business (aka EGOT).


There’s two versions available, but if a La La Land song doesn’t pull out the win here, it’ll be this won that takes the hardware home. The first one is from Auli’i Cravalho and the other a more pop-sounding version with Alessia Cara. Both are great and if this song wins the Best Original Song Oscar, who could complain?




LA LA LAND – CITy of Stars


“City of Stars” is the prominent theme in La La Land and its nomination is well deserved. However, having two songs from the same movie in this category could end up doing do more harm than good. If the votes are split between this and “Audition,” Lin-Manuel Miranda could end up on stage accepting the award.



Trolls – can’t stop the feeling!


Justin Timberlake gets a nod with his song, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” for the movie Trolls. It was an instant success, debuting at number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. If merit was given for commercial success, JT would have this award in the bag. In its first week it opened with 379,000 downloads and ended the year as the best-selling song of 2016, selling 2.49 million copies. It also ended the year as the second most downloaded and streamed song on Apple Music in 2016.



Jim: The James Foley Story – The Empty Chair


Rounding out this year’s nominees is Sting. The “Every Breath You Take” singer co-wrote and composed “The Empty Chair” with J. Ralph for the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story. While the song is a good one, it doesn’t seem to measure up to the others on this list.



So after listening to these songs, who do you think should take home the Oscar for Best Original Song?


(EDIT Feb 26, 2017: Looks like I was wrong)