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We had a lot of criticisms about today's announced Oscar nominations, but nothing was more of a head-scratcher than one of this year's Best Song nominees, Alone Yet Not Alone. What even is this movie?
Well, in short: It was produced and released in a limited amount of theaters by the production company Enthuse Entertainment, which apparently specializes in evangelical Christian films. It follows the story of a family that is, according to Vulture, "about a family captured by the Allegheny Indians during the French and Indian War in 1755." It was based on a book by the same name, the first draft of which was written by the author, Tracy Leininger Craven, when she was 9-years-old. It comes with a Church Study Guide on its website that promises to "guide your group into meaningful discussion." Also, and most importantly, the trailer also looks ridiculous and like something you might see on the Hallmark Channel:
And it's now an Oscar nominee.
As for the song that actually got nominated over a bunch of other, much more deserving songs? That was written by Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel, and it's sung by quadriplegic author and evangelist Joni Eareckson Tada. You can listen to that below:
So, how the hell did a sub-par song from this movie that no one's ever heard of before actually get nominated? According to The A.V. Club, Broughton has been nominated before for his score for the 1985 film Silverado, and he is apparently a former governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. And, as Deadline reports, he's still "well-liked" by the organization, so he "started making phone calls to colleagues urging them to consider the song. Call it the most grass roots of campaigns. This is sometimes how the inner workings of these groups operate. This one is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world and you can have all the consultants and publicity in the world, but what it really takes is you gotta have friends."
Lesson to learn, here? An Oscar nomination doesn't always translate to quality.