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The Oscars Power Ballad Playlist

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In this weekly column, MC/DJ Hesta Prynn pairs pop culture stories with an original playlist.

Oscar-nominated films have theme songs written by people like Randy Newman, Alan Menken or Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sure, we get a Three 6 Mafia or an Eminem from time to time, but only for every six Broadway standards and rarely in the Best Picture category. Wouldn't these dramas go down smoother if our heroes walked to Mötley Crüe or G 'n' R? In honor of the 85th Academy Awards, I've served up my top five Best Picture noms with their '80s power-ballad theme songs.


1. Lincoln: "Something to Believe In" - Poison

Perhaps the most awesome power ballad in the genre, this smash hit from Poison would easily elevate the never-ending Lincoln from Most Boring to Most Awesome. I want to see montages of Daniel Day-Lewis contemplating the questions of the time over Bret Michaels's parting words, "Sometimes I wish I didn't know now, the things I didn't know then."

2. Les Misérables: "Love Bites" - Def Leppard

This film couldn't be more depressing. Its title literally translates to "the miserable." Poverty, unrequited love, the song every high-school girl sang for every musical theater audition ever - they're all in there. Instead of "On My Own" I'd love to have seen Eponine bust out this heart-wrenching Def Leppard jam.

3. Silver Linings Playbook: "Keep On Loving You" - REO Speedwagon

The lyrics in this song are a bit "off" and one might say that the songwriter was "not all there" when he wrote it. Maybe sort of like someone you would take out a restraining order against, kind of sort of exactly like Bradley Cooper's character in this film. This song plays during his episode searching for his wedding video in the attic, when he melts down and attacks his parents.

4. Zero Dark Thirty: "Without You" - Mötley Crüe

"Without You" is the codependency anthem, and Jessica Chastain's character and Osama Bin Laden are Zero Dark Thirty's Carrie Matheson and Sgt Brody. "Without you in my life I'd slowly wither and die/ But with you by my side you're the reason I'm alive." Clearly this song is meant to play at the end as she flies home in the helicopter wondering what to do with the rest of her life.

5. Django Unchained: "Love of a Lifetime" - Firehouse

My personal favorite of the group, Django Unchained is at heart a love story. The epic Western set in the antebellum South certainly boasts the most emotionally healthy couple of all of the nominees. I'd like to hear this song played when Django bursts in on Broomhilda at the Candie plantation after she believes him to be dead.

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