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THE 75TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS | SHORT TAKES / Original
song

The best of the rest

March 24, 2003

"Lose Yourself"

Eminem, Jeff Bass, Luis Resto

In one of the evening's biggest surprises, the original song award went to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from the film "8 Mile," in which the rapper played a character whose background was similar to his own.

Luis Resto, who was co-credited with the song, accepted the Oscar on behalf of Eminem ("who couldn't be here," he said without further explanation) and co-writer Jeff Bass. He praised Eminem -- whom he referred to by his given name, Marshall Mathers -- as "a good man, with a good heart" who "has symphonies in his head."

Equally unusual was the fact that "Lose Yourself" was the only one of the five nominated songs that was not performed on the show. Eminem long ago made clear he wouldn't attend, and speculation had been rampant in the music world about who could perform such a personal musical statement. Oscar executives apparently decided no one else could.

Presenter Barbra Streisand was clearly surprised when she opened the envelope, and when Resto -- wearing a Boston athletic jersey under his sports jacket -- made his way to the aisle, he had to climb over five-time Oscar winner John Williams. It was a brief but telling juxtaposition of film-music tradition versus current pop-music trends.

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