What a short, strange trip it’s been for Alone Yet Not Alone.
Just two weeks ago, the world was largely unaware of this evangelical Christian film. Then, it shockingly scored a Best Original Song nomination for its title track, proving that it was, at least, more popular than Lana del Rey’s snubbed Great Gatsby anthem (and former category favourite) ‘Young and Beautiful’.
Now comes news that the Academy has rescinded Alone Yet Not Alone‘s Best Original Song nomination, citing composer Bruce Broughton’s questionable tactics in securing that very nod.
As we noted at the time of the nominations announcement, Broughton is a former governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. That alone, of course, doesn’t make him ineligible for an Oscar win.
However, the Academy‘s official press release on the matter notes his grassroots campaign, in which he emailed members of the voting branch asking that they to recognise his song, calling it “inconsistent with the Academy’s promotional regulations” and gave “the appearance of an unfair advantage.”
Broughton released this statement to THR following the decision: “I’m devastated. I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”
Only five other films have had their Oscar nominations revoked in the ceremony’s 86 year history.
The first was Stout Hearts and Willing Hands, which, in 1931, was disqualified from the Short Subject – Comedy category. (There is no documentation explaining the snub.)
It wasn’t until 1968 that another film received the same dishonour. Young Americans, a Documentary nominee, was excluded after it was discovered it had played in October of 1967, making it ineligible. What made it worse is that it came after being announced as the victor at the ’68 ceremony, so the prize instead went to runner up Journey Into Self.
The Godfather‘s iconic score, by Nino Rota, was discovered to have been based in part on Rota’s score for 1958 picture Fortunella. Rather than technically have its nomination revoked, the music branch had a revote, and thus the film was excluded from the 1972 Oscars on account of that.
In 1992, A Place in the World was kicked out of the Foreign Language Film race when it was revealed its submitting country, Uruguay, hadn’t sufficient artistic control. (It was entirely produced in Argentina.)
Most recently, Tuba Atlantic was denied its Live-Action Short Film nomination in 2011 because it had been shown on Norwegian television in 2010. The good news, at least, was that the nomination wasn’t removed until after the ceremony (where they lost anyway). Unlike the Alone Yet Not Alone team, at least they got to go to the Oscars.
The remaining 2014 Best Original Song nominees include ‘The Moon Song’ from Her, ‘Happy’ from Despicable Me 2, ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen, and ‘Ordinary Love’ from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.