Coming in with the fourth and final Best Original Song nomination, “Country Strong” rounds out the category with “Coming Home”. Personally, the film felt like a “Crazy Heart” homage with a female main cast. However, the songs were actually well written and well performed, even by Gwyneth Paltrow, who is not known for her singing skills.

The lyrics, the instruments, and even right down to the voice, the song sounds like a legitimate country song, the likes of Carrie Underwood or Sugarland, so the film finds a way to work in that respect. Though this film is no “Crazy Heart”, it does fit well into the category for Best Original Song, much as “Crazy Heart” and its soundtrack found a way.

With this being the final nominee in the category, I thought I would include the four nominees and a link to a track of each song:

Country Strong: “Coming Home”

Tangled: “I See The Light”

Toy Story 3: “We Belong Together”

127 Hours: “If I Rise”

Listening to them all in a row, my personal preferences points towards “Coming Home” and “I See the Light” as the two best written and performed songs. Randy Newman was originally my go-to pick, but after comparing the songs side by side, I really feel like the other two are more qualified. Randy Newman has had his time to shine, and though he is a master as songwriting, I feel like this award will probably go to someone else.

If “Country Strong” takes the award come Oscar Night, I cannot say I will be disappointed as it is a very beautiful sounding song and it fits the film perfectly. Whether the Academy will stray towards Randy Newman and the final “Toy Story” has yet to be seen, but I am actually hoping a different film gets to shine in this category.


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