Simon Vozick-Levinson
January 22, 2009 AT 11:30 PM EST

The first thing that jumped out at me from this morning’s Oscar nominations: The Best Original Song category has only three nominees. Two of those are from Slumdog Millionaire, which seems like a bit much. And none of them are Bruce Springsteen’s brilliant, Golden Globe-winning title tune from The Wrestler, as some of you have already noted over at Annie’s Oscar snubs post. For shame, Academy!

I can’t figure out what’s going on here. I don’t think it’s an eligibility issue, since The Wrestler itself got two acting nods. And aside from being totally great on its own terms, “The Wrestler” is an emotional ballad by a mainstream boomer icon — just the kind of song you’d think would appeal to a ton of Academy members. (You can hear it below if you haven’t yet.) It’s certainly comparable to Springsteen’s masterful “Streets of Philadelphia,” which took home a Best Song Oscar in 1994. Even putting aside my love of the Boss, how bizarre of the Academy not to fill out this category with a full five nominees, as it’s done in most previous years. Truthfully, the Oscars telecast needs compelling music performances far more than Bruce needs another statuette on his shelf. So the real losers here are all of us in the TV audience, wouldn’t you say?

More on the Oscars and Bruce Springsteen:
EW Gallery: The Biggest Oscar Snubs Ever
EW Gallery: Rare Springsteen Photos Unveiled
The E Street Band ranked high on readers’ Concert Bucket List
Anticipating Springsteen’s new album, Working on a Dream
Springsteen’s Magic was EW’s Album of the Year 2007

addCredit(“Jason Merritt/Getty Images “)

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