Thursday, 30 December 2010

Oscar Talk: The Score and The Song

Original Score
Though my interest in current music has waned, I’m still a general fan of music. So, I’m one of those people that these categories aren’t extraneous. A list has recently been published – the 77 original scores eligible for the category. The obvious problem with predicting this category is that many precursors don’t feature them, so you’re sort of going in blind. I often wonder how voters judge the category, because the increasing propensity of high profile films getting a sort of de facto nod here is disturbing. At the moment Hans Zimmer’s work on Inception is being touted as the frontrunner. I’m neither here nor there on his work in the film, but that’s pretty much a shoo-in for a nom, as is Alexandre Desplat. Truly, Desplat should have been Oscar-ed by now, he has three films up The King’s Speech, The Ghost Writer and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. His work on The Ghost Writer is excellent, but I suppose the pedigree of The King’s Speech makes it a more likely contender. I’m still surprised the Globes snubbed Portman’s work in Never Let Me Go, but that film has become continually forgotten. Still, Portman’s probably the most noted female composer so I’ll assume she’ll get some love there. Then there, Rahman’s work on 127 Hours has been noted by a few precursor groups and he is a defending champion in the category, so he’s a safe bet too. I think The Social Network is a fine example of best picture support turning a film into a veritable contender in all categories but it does have a fine score, and whatever the reason for its appearance on a number of list it’s nice to see it there.

127 Hours / Inception / The King’s Speech / Never Let Me Go / The Social Network

I’m not sure if he didn’t submit, or if it was deemed ineligible – whatever the case Dario Marianelli’s score Agora is not on the list of commentating scores. I’d love for the voters to get a little less insular since there are a number of competing scores that deserve a look. Anton Sanko’s work in Rabbit Hole and perhaps Jan A. P. Kaczmarek’s Get Low could emerge as a contender. Danny Elfman’s Alice in Wonderland is a potential contender, but I still don’t have faith in that particular projection.

Original Song
I’m predicting three songs for the original song race, because it’s kind of obvious that the Academy has little interest in this category. And I suppose, in a race it’d be the one that’s most extraneous but I don’t think the category’s that incidental. In case you don’t know how it works, the 41 songs are seen on a continuing loop and ranked on a scale of 1-10. Then, the songs that have an accumulative average of 8.25 are nominated. If no songs get above that score, none are nominated – if 1 song gets above that the next two are nominated and if more than 5 get nominated, the highest five are nominated (obviously). It’s kind of obvious that this category isn’t really a priority.
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours / “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from Burlesque / “I See the Light” from Tangled /
I like Christina’s work in “Bound to You” but I don’t see two songs from Burlesque taking off. “Coming Home” from Country Song and “We Belong Together” from Toy Story III would be two I’d add if the number went to five.
Do you have any significant affinity to cinematic music this past year? Or do you agree with the extraneousness of the music branch?


Robert said...

I love these categories too. I'm personally just rooting for "The Social Network" and "How to Train Your Dragon" to make it in Best Score, because those were a couple of my favorites...and they could easily be ignored. A lot of the scores I really loved though aren't even eligible, like "True Grit", "Black Swan" and "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World". Alas!

TomS said...

At one time there was an additional category called "Best Adaptation Score". This category honored new orchestrations of established music, from classical to Broadway. Had that category still been active, we would see an exciting array of nominees.

I want to mention a score that I did not notice until my second viewing of the film, and absolutely fell in love with....Carter Burwell's "The Kids Are All Right."

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

robert the social network score is excellent, though. those opening bars were excellent.

tom yeah, rewatching TKAAR with the family this past week i noticed how nice the score was.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

oh, and tom a re-newal of the best adapted score would be so timely. i hate how the music category is always being ignored.