Song Of The Day 2/24/2016: Aimee Mann – “Wise Up”


Next Best Original Songs – By the way, one bit of housecleaning: Treble just published a neat article to which I contributed, about their list of the 50 best movie songs of all time. It's comprehensive and passionately written and hopefully will be the cause of a couple of bar brawls this evening, if you read it the right way. Don't bill us.

Magnolia is a movie I keep going back and forth about. There's a lot of dissent about it amongst friends, except in that most agree it's best thing to happen to frogs since Budweiser commercials. (Or Frogs.) I was a big fan of P.T. Anderson's Boogie Nights, so I saw Magnolia the day it came out and loved it. I saw it again the very next night (the only time in my life I've ever done that) and wasn't entirely sure I was right about it. I've seen it again at least twice since then with the intent of figuring out how I definitively feel about it. I still don't know. I know what happens in it. I understand the connective storyline about fatherhood and unexplainable synchronicity. I especially relate to the tragicomic nature of aging Whiz Kid Donnie Smith (i.e., could you please stop placating me about the two times I won the local Rhino Musical Aptitude Test and give me a vocation-appropriate paying job?). But the jury's out on whether I'll recommend it. Well, no, I'll definitely recommend it, but I won't take responsibility for it. Besides, Anderson made a perfect movie with There Will Be Blood so we don't even have to have this discussion if we don't want to.

ANYWAY, astute readers will note that Aimee Mann's Magnolia song "Save Me" was in fact nominated for Best Original Song. Which was weird and a little bit wrong, because anybody who's seen Magnolia knows that the very powerful "Wise Up" was far and away the most integral song in the movie. This is because, in another slice of magical realism that doesn't involve frogs, all the main characters in the film suddenly start singing it together from different locations. So its being overlooked in favor of "Save Me" at the Oscars made no sense. Maybe a frog fell on the ballot.

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