Music from politically-themed films were top Oscar winners Sunday.
Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla took home his second Oscar in as many years for his score for “Babel,” a tale of the globalization of pain and suffering, while Melissa Etheridge’s global warming anthem, “I Need to Wake Up,” took home the gold at the 79th annual Academy Awards for best original song.
Santaolalla, who won the Oscar last year for his haunting score for “Brokeback Mountain,” said he was proud to work on ”Babel,” which addresses the theme of global miscommunication after a random shooting in one country has tragic consequences for four families around the world.
“In our soul rests, I think, our own true identity beyond language, countries, races and religions. I’m so proud to have worked on ’Babel,’ a film that helped us understand better who we are and why and what we are here for,” he said.
Also vying for best score were modern American composer Philip Glass for his work on “Notes on a Scandal,” Thomas Newman for “The Good German,” Javier Navarrete for “Pan’s Labyrinth” and Alexandre Desplat for “The Queen.”
Etheridge’s song, “I Need to Wake Up,” beat out three separate nominations in that category from “Dreamgirls,” and Randy Newman’s “Our Town” from the animated film, “Cars” was also nominated.
Etheridge’s win was the second big victory of the night for ”An Inconvenient Truth,” the big-screen adaptation of former Vice President Al Gore’s slide-show lecture about the perils of global warming, which won the Academy Award Sunday for documentary feature.
After thanking various people involved in making the film, and, “my incredible wife, Tammy, and her four children,” Etheridge thanked Gore.
“Mostly I have to thank Al Gore for inspiring us, inspiring me and showing that caring about the Earth is not Republican or Democrat. It’s not red or blue. We are all green. This is our job now, we can become the greatest generation, the generation that changed, the generation that woke up and did something and changed,” she said.
An honorary Oscar was also given to Italian Ennio Morricone, who has composed the scores of more than 400 films including “Cinema Paradiso” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”