Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song – Having ‘Naatu Naatu’ from ‘RRR’ Is Just What the Academy Awards Ceremony Needs

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Oct. 7, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Original Song

Song art cover for Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick.”

CATEGORY COMMENTARY:

RRR” is a global sensation, even breaking through to mainstream audiences thanks to American distribution by Variance Films. There are plenty of wonderful numbers from the film but the awards campaign team has decided to push the track “Naatu Naatu”

At a recent public screening of the film at the TCL Chinese Theatre, where Academy members and guild voters were also in attendance, megafans of the epic stood up, and started to sing along and dance when the “Naatu Naatu” scene was playing. The infectious musical numbers and likable filmmakers are making their rounds. The buzz continues to build.

Also in play this year are songs from some of the biggest musicians in the world notably music superstar Lady Gaga, who pens the anthem “Hold My Hand” from the box office juggernaut “Top Gun: Maverick.” While she’s coming off her shocking snub in best actress for “House of Gucci,” the music branch has never been shy about their love for “Mama Monster.” Shown by her two previous noms in this category — “Til’ it Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground” (2015) and the Oscar-winning “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” (2018), for which she was also nominated for best actress.

Taylor Swift performs and wrote the song “Carolina” from Sony’s “Where the Crawdads Sing,” something that could factor into the awards conversation. She’ll have double visibility this season with her short film “All Too Well” with Sadie Sink, which is vying for Oscar attention for best live action short.

Billie Eilish and Finneas walked away with the statuette in this category last year for the James Bond song “No Time to Die” from the film of the same title. The musical-sibling duo are looking like solid bets to return again with the delightfully charming “Nobody Like U” from Pixar’s “Turning Red,” which is picking up steam for best animated feature.

And never count out the power of Diane Warren, who will be receiving an Honorary Oscar this year. She’s back with another track “Applause” from the documentary “Tell It Like a Woman” from Samuel Goldwyn Films.

There are still more songs to be tracked and the chart below is not complete, with eligibilities and submissions subject to change.

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Predicted Nominees Are:
Rank Film Song Title Distributor
1 “RRR” “Naatu Naatu” by Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj Variance Films
A fictitious story about two legendary revolutionaries and their journey away from home before they started fighting for their country in the 1920s.
2 “Turning Red” “Nobody Like U” by Billie Eilish and Finneas Pixar
A 13-year-old girl named Meilin turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited.
3 “Top Gun: Maverick” “Hold My Hand” by Lady Gaga Paramount Pictures
After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.
4 “Where the Crawdads Sing” “Carolina” by Taylor Swift Sony Pictures
A woman who raised herself in the marshes of the Deep South becomes a suspect in the murder of a man with whom she was once involved.
5 “White Noise” “New Body Rhumba” by LCD Soundsystem Netflix
Dramatizes a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.
Next in Line
6 “Tell It Like a Woman” “Applause” by Diane Warren Samuel Goldwyn Films
Stories of women, both in front of and behind the camera.
7 “Everything Everywhere All at Once” “This is a Life” by David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski A24
An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, in which she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
8 “Till” “Stand Up” by Jazmine Sullivan and D’Mile Orion/United Artists Releasing
In 1955, after Emmett Till is murdered in a brutal lynching, his mother vows to expose the racism behind the attack while working to have those involved brought to justice.
9 “The Automat” “At the Automat” by Mel Brooks A Slice of Pie Productions
Documentary centers on the vending machine popularized in the 20th century that offered fresh cooked meals in a commissary-style eatery.
10 “Devotion” “Not Alone” by Joe Jonas Sony Pictures
A pair of U.S. Navy fighter pilots risk their lives during the Korean War and become some of the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.
Other Top-Tier Contenders
11 “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” “Heartbeat” by Shawn Mendes Sony Pictures
12 “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” To be announced Apple Original Films
13 “Bros” “Love is Not Love” by Marc Shaiman and Billy Eichner Universal Pictures
14 “The Woman King” “Keep Rising” by Jessy Wilson and Angelique Kidjo Sony Pictures
15 “Amsterdam” “Time” by Drake, Giveon Evans, Jahaan Akil Sweet and Daniel Pemberton 20th Century Studios
16 “Marry Me” “On My Way (Marry Me)” by Ivy Adara, Leroy Clampitt and Michael Pollack Universal Pictures
17 “Let Me Be Me” “Feels Like Me” by Gin Wigmore Greenwich Entertainment
18 “A Jazzman’s Blues” “Paper Airplanes” by Ruth B. Netflix
19 “Bodies Bodies Bodies” “Alice” by Amandla Stenberg A24
20 “Bones and All” “(You Made It Feel Like) Home” by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross MGM/United Artists Releasing
All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)
“A Jazzman’s Blues” “Paper Airplanes” by Ruth B. Netflix
“Amsterdam” “Time” by Drake, Giveon Evans, Jahaan Akil Sweet and Daniel Pemberton 20th Century Studios
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” “Alice” by Amandla Stenberg A24
“Bones and All” “(You Made It Feel Like) Home” by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross MGM/United Artists Releasing
“Bros” “Love is Not Love” by Marc Shaiman and Billy Eichner Universal Pictures
“Devotion” “Not Alone” by Joe Jonas Sony Pictures
“Elvis” “Vegas” by Doja Cat Warner Bros.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” “This is a Life” by David Byrne, Ryan Lott and Mitski A24
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” To be announced by Guillermo del Toro Netflix
“Let Me Be Me” “Feels Like Me” by Gin Wigmore Greenwich Entertainment
“Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” “Heartbeat” by Shawn Mendes Sony Pictures
“Marry Me” “On My Way (Marry Me)” by Ivy Adara, Leroy Clampitt and Michael Pollack Universal Pictures
“RRR” “Naatu Naatu” by Kala Bhairava, M. M. Keeravani, Rahul Sipligunj Variance Films
“Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” To be announced Apple Original Films
“Tell It Like a Woman” “Applause” by Diane Warren Samuel Goldwyn Films
“The Automat” “At the Automat” by Mel Brooks A Slice of Pie Productions
“The Voice of Dust and Ash” “Dust & Ash” by J. Ralph Matilda Productions
“The Woman King” “Keep Rising” by Jessy Wilson and Angelique Kidjo Sony Pictures
“Three Thousand Years of Longing” “Cautionary Tale” by George Miller and Augusta Gore MGM/United Artists Releasing
“Till” “Stand Up” by Jazmine Sullivan and D’Mile Orion/United Artists Releasing
“Top Gun: Maverick” “Hold My Hand” by Lady Gaga Paramount Pictures
“Top Gun: Maverick” “I Ain’t Worried” by One Republic Paramount Pictures
“Turning Red” “Nobody Like U” by Billie Eilish and Finneas Pixar
“We Are Art: Through the Eyes of Annalaura” “We Are Art” by Annalaura di Luggo and Paky Di Maio Annydi Productions
“Where the Crawdads Sing” “Carolina” by Taylor Swift Sony Pictures
“White Noise” “New Body Rhumba” by LCD Soundsystem Netflix

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: “No Time to Die” by Billie Eilish and Finneas from “No Time to Die” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)

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Variety’s unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year’s awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes — Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety’s leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.

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