Will pop superstars like Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga take the stage at the Oscars next year? That possibility became more likely when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its shortlist for best original song on Wednesday.

The Rihanna song “Lift Me Up” (from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) made the cut, as did Swift’s “Carolina” (“Where the Crawdads Sing”) and Lady Gaga’s anthem “Hold My Hand” (“Top Gun: Maverick”).

Other songs on the short list include Selena Gomez’s “My Mind & Me” from the documentary about her; the Weeknd tune “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from the new “Avatar” sequel; and “New Body Rhumba,” the tune that LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy wrote for “White Noise.”

Also on the list is the “Spirited” ditty “Good Afternoon” from the songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. They’re familiar names to Oscar voters: In 2017, they won best original song for “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” A nomination next month would be their fourth in this category.

The shortlist for documentary feature included biographical studies like “All the Bloodshed and the Beauty” (about the photographer Nan Goldin) and “Moonage Daydream” (David Bowie), as well as historical examinations like “Descendant” (focused on the Clotilda, the last known ship to bring enslaved Africans to the United States) and “The Janes” (named after a collective that provided abortions in the years before Roe v. Wade).

Meanwhile. the international feature shortlist is stacked with festival favorites from around the world, including “Decision to Leave,” the South Korean noir from Park Chan-wook; “Bardo” (Mexico), directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu; and Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer” (France), based on a true story. Pakistan’s “Joyland” also made the cut: It features a relationship involving a transgender woman and was temporarily banned in that country.

In all, the academy released shortlists for 10 categories — including visual effects, score, sound, and hair and makeup — in advance of the nominations on Jan. 24. Here are the shortlists for song, documentary feature and international feature. For the rest of the categories, go to oscars.org.

“Time” from “Amsterdam”

“Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from “Avatar: The Way of Water”

“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

“This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

“Ciao Papa” from “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

“Til You’re Home” from “A Man Called Otto”

“Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”

“My Mind & Me” from “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me”

“Good Afternoon” from “Spirited”

“Applause” from “Tell It like a Woman”

“Stand Up” from “Till”

“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”

“Dust & Ash” from “The Voice of Dust and Ash”

“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing”

“New Body Rhumba” from “White Noise”

“All That Breathes”

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”

“Bad Axe”

“Children of the Mist”


“Fire of Love”

“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song”

“Hidden Letters”

“A House Made of Splinters”

“The Janes”

“Last Flight Home”

“Moonage Daydream”



“The Territory”

Argentina, “Argentina, 1985”

Austria, “Corsage”

Belgium, “Close”

Cambodia, “Return to Seoul”

Denmark, “Holy Spider”

France, “Saint Omer”

Germany, “All Quiet on the Western Front”

India, “Last Film Show”

Ireland, “The Quiet Girl”

Mexico, “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”

Morocco, “The Blue Caftan”

Pakistan, “Joyland”

Poland, “EO”

South Korea, “Decision to Leave”

Sweden, “Cairo Conspiracy”

Stephanie Goodman

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