1992 was not only a banner year for movies, it was also a banner year for movie music – more than the Academy Award category for Best Song could adequately capture with only five nominations. They were:
“Beautiful Maria of My Soul” from The Mambo Kings – Music by Robert Kraft; Lyrics by Arne Glimcher
“Friend Like Me” from Aladdin – Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Howard Ashman (posthumous nomination)
“I Have Nothing” from The Bodyguard – Music by David Foster; Lyrics by Linda Thompson
“Run to You” from The Bodyguard – Music by Jud Friedman; Lyrics by Allan Rich
“A Whole New World” from Aladdin – Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Tim Rice)
That’s all – five songs covering three movies from the year. What else could have been nominated? Below is one idea:
This Is My Life marked the directorial debut of esteemed screenwriter Nora Ephron; she and her sister, Delia, co-adapted the story from Meg Wolitzer’s novel, and it marks the rare leading role for Julie Kavner. She plays a single mother of two daughters who experiences her first break as a professional comedienne, and the subsequent effects this change has on the three of them.
The movie also re-teamed the Ephrons with friend Carly Simon, who had contributed music to the Heartburn soundtrack. While working on the film, Nora called Simon, now an Oscar-winning musician thanks to Working Girl’s “Let the River Run,” and asked her to write something similar to hers and Delia’s experience.
“It’s ‘our story’,” she had said. “It’s about the tricky business of raising children and maintaining a solid career, without the benefit of a live-in father. The result is a tender song that Simon said was inspired by her children, Ben and Sally Taylor.
The whole soundtrack is worth a listen, and a second song, “The Show Must Go On,” which opens the film, made the rounds in audition circles for years afterward. I t was even featured in the opening of the 1996 Tony Awards.
This is part of an ongoing series in which I look back at some of the forgotten movie music of 1992