When Diane Warren lost the Best Song Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, the accomplished songwriter set a dubious record. At 0-for-12, she’s the woman who has the most nominations without a win in Oscar history.
“I mean, there’s been a couple times when you’re kind of bummed,” says Warren, who earned her first nomination 33 years ago for the infectious power ballad “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” (performed by Starship for the 1987 film Mannequin) and who lost most recently when the H.E.R.-crooned “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah beat out Warren’s “Io Si (Seen)” from the Sophia Loren-starring The Life Ahead.
But nothing’s gonna stop Warren from staying upbeat about the whole thing.
“I’m like, ‘Hey, I hold a record in something!’ So I’ll take it,” she says. “It means I’ve been chosen 12 times by the greatest composers and songwriters in the world, which make up the music branch of the Academy. So I can’t complain about that.
“Someday maybe I’ll win, or I’ll keep going back. I’m happy to keep being invited to the party.”
Warren, who has been nominated for four consecutive years and six of the last seven, has made an art form out of writing music and lyrics for films, and she is right back at it with the release of Four Good Days.
The drama follows a heroin addict (Mila Kunis) attempting to get and clean and reconcile her relationship with her anguished mother (Glenn Close) after 10 years of lies, theft and ill-fated stints in rehab.
Warren wrote the uplifting closing credits track “Somehow You Do,” performed by country legend Reba McEntyre.
“It’s a great movie, and it’s a harrowing movie. Ultimately it’s what’s going on in this country and it’s a true story,” says Warren, who wrote the song during the pandemic, between the film’s premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and its April 2021 release. “And what struck me was the hope in it. Because it does end hopefully, where a lot of cases, it doesn’t, sadly. But in my song I wanted to capture the hope and the resilience and the strength of the human spirit. That no matter what you’re going through, you can get through it. Some way, somehow, you do.”
While Warren has not yet met Kunis, she crossed paths with Close at the Oscars, where the Hillbilly Elegy nominee also fell short once again.
“She lost her eighth Oscar, I lost my 12th. So together we have 20 straight losses,” Warren laughs.
Warren raves about the duo’s performances in Four Good Days, calling them “astounding.”
“Glenn Close is always brilliant and I think she’ll be nominated for a ninth time,” she says. “And Mila is stunning; you don’t know that’s Mila Kunis, she’s amazing. I think they’ll both get nominated for Oscars for this.”
At this rate she’ll be right there with them, just happy to be nominated, but hoping for that elusive win.
Four Good Days is now playing in theaters, and premieres on video on demand May 21.
Watch Mila Kunis and Glenn Close discuss the difficulties of shooting the film:
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