As Cartman might say, ”Dude, this sucks.” The sublimely smutty ”South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” — widely hailed as one of the best musicals in years — isn’t eligible for an Oscar for its score. ”We’re getting screwed,” says cocomposer Trey Parker. So what gives?
Technically, there are three Oscar music categories: Original Song, Original Score (essentially for background music), and Original Song Score (a category designed specifically for musicals). But with the dearth of eligible musicals, Original Song Score hasn’t been awarded since 1984 — when the Artist Then Known as Prince won for ”Purple Rain” — and Oscar rules prohibit musicals from being considered for an Original Score nomination.
”Musicals are ineligible because voters have trouble distinguishing between the songs and the score,” explains Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who notes that the only other movie qualified for Original Song Score this year was ”Tarzan.” ”South Park is a great example — the songs are so striking it’s hard to conceive of someone thinking: ‘Wow! What a great underscore!”’
South Park cocomposer Marc Shaiman suggests an alternative: ”It should be simple — one category called Outstanding Original Music in a Film. That would solve everything.” Still, a nomination for Original Song isn’t out of the question. So could Celine Dion be warbling ”Uncle F—a” come March 26? ”Actually, we’re gonna submit ‘Blame Canada,’ ” says Parker. ”But in hindsight, we should have just loaded the movie with crappy Aerosmith songs. That would’ve won for sure.”