It appears Brad Smith’s “Help Yourself” and “Up in the Air” from Jason Reitman’s upcoming, and likely Best Picture nominee Up in the Air, are ineligible for Oscars because they violated arbitrary AMPAS rules. These rules at first seem reasonable and then completely idiotic when you realize that it basically pushes out all music which doesn’t fit a preset mold. If you want your song in consideration for an Oscar, be sure not to make it the 2nd music cue in the closing credits. Just a couple years ago “Once” had to fight its way into the category and it ended up winning Best Song. Take a moment to let that sink in: the song which won Best Song was originally ineligible and thus tossed out despite being the Best Song as eventually chosen by voters. Its crap like this and in other categories (Best Foreign Film is also a mess) which make the Oscars a joke to serious film fans. Hit the jump for more details on Smith and to listen to one of the songs you won’t be hearing at this year’s Academy Awards.
I also have to mention that Brad Smith sent these songs to Up in the Air director Jason Reitman with a homemade introduction you’ll hear in the film over the credits (but you have to stick around past the first song). The guy isn’t some indie star but a guy who took a chance to get his song into a major movie. The song will be utilized heavily in the marketing campaign and is eligible for other awards, but this ruling is basically the Academy saying, “Fuck you,” to anyone who’s not already an established artist despite their talent.
For those just tuning in, here’s a brief synopsis for Up in the Air:
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he’s met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.