Oscar This: Everything isn’t awesome: How rules ruin the Oscars’ Best Song category

This year’s Oscar nominations are announced on January 15. In anticipation of the conventional wisdom the Academy will likely uphold, we’re highlighting unlikely candidates—the dark horses we’d love to see compete on Oscar night.

Even casual students of the Oscars probably develop pet distastes among the Academy’s many awards categories. There’s the tendency in the Best Cinematography category to award the prettiest shots of mountains, rather than more evocative work; the propensity to equate Best Visual Effects with Most Special Effects; or the recent insistence that technical nominees should be chosen primarily from a narrow field of Best Picture contenders, rather than a broader spectrum of movies.

Among these petty but distinct injustices, the Best Original Song category barely registers—not because its nominees are typically any good, but because they’re so wrongheaded so often that it doesn’t seem worth lobbying or …

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