Miss Misery (song)
|Song by Elliott Smith from the album Music from the Motion Picture "Good Will Hunting"|
|Released||December 7, 1997|
"Miss Misery" is a song by singer-songwriter Elliott Smith who wrote both the music and lyrics. Featured in the closing credits and the soundtrack of the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, the song was nominated for Best Original Song in the 1998 Academy Awards. It is arguably the song for which Smith is best known.
A previous version of "Miss Misery" with different lyrics was recorded in Jackpot! Recording Studio in early 1997 and appears on the 2007 posthumous collection New Moon. The Good Will Hunting version was re-cut at Jackpot!
The 1998 music video shows Smith walking around in a white suit, being followed by a policeman. Smith is putting change in expired parking meters so the policeman cannot write up tickets. He also wore a similar suit during the 1998 Oscars.
On March 23, 1998, Smith played an abridged version of the song at the 70th Academy Awards, accompanied by the house orchestra. After the "shocking" nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Smith had to be convinced by the producers to perform the song at the ceremony, as he had not intended to do so. They informed him that his song would be played live that night, whether by him or another musician of their choosing. They also purportedly rejected his style of performing while sitting in a chair. Beforehand, he said that "Mainly I just want to go so I can wear my white suit. I always have a great time when I wear my white suit." When Madonna announced "My Heart Will Go On" the winner, she sarcastically remarked, "What a shocker!" She later revealed that she had greatly admired Elliott Smith. Afterwards, Smith described the experience as "surreal" and "ridiculous, but at a certain point I threw myself into it because it seemed to make my friends happy... I walked out and Jack Nicholson was sitting about six feet away, so I avoided that area and I looked up at the balcony in the back and sang the song."
In 1998, Smith performed the song on MTV.
Although he would play "Miss Misery" in various shows throughout his career, Smith would often avoid playing it and talking about it. It was not heavily requested compared to his other songs, and in one show he dedicated it to the audience.
- Scott Wilson (2000-11-02). "Misery Missing". The Pitch. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
- New Moon (CD). Olympia, WA: Kill Rock Stars. 2007. pp. 4. KRS455.
- Elliott Smith - "Miss Misery" on YouTube
- "Late Night with Conan O'Brien - Episode Guide". Season 5, Episode 903 - Credited as "Elliot Smith". Retrieved 2006-04-23.
- Eric Hellweg (1998-03-24). "White Suit, Blue Collar". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
- Under the Radar magazine (2003). "Better Off Than Dead, Elliott Smith Comes Clean". Archived from the original on 2006-04-08. Retrieved 2006-04-18.
- Jim Sullivan (1998-10-07). "Smith lets 'Miss Misery' sit out his Paradise set" (fee required). The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-05-30. "Smith did not even play "Miss Misery.""
- Matt Ashare (1998-04-15). "Elliott Smith". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
- Josh Chesler (1999-03-05). "Concert Review: Elliott Smith wins over Los Angeles crowd" (fee required). University Wire. Retrieved 2007-05-30. "...when he shyly dedicated "Miss Misery" [...] to the audience [...] it became obvious how both deserved and unlikely his success has been."