Sunday, 25 December 2011

Incoherent Oscar: Music

Umm, hello there. Excuse the dry brief dry-spell. But, I have returned with rambling Oscar prognosticating for your reading…pleasure? Er…
The music category is notorious one that has appeared as something more than abstruse to a number of predictors. On some level, like with most of my Oscar predictions, I revel in the wrongness of my choices and look forward to moaning when they surprise us more often than not with outstandingly bland choices, particularly in the original song race. But, already, I’m getting ahead of myself.


MY GUESS: “Lay Down Your Head” Albert Nobbs; “Star Spangled Man”; Captain America; “Love Builds a Garden” from Gnomeo and Juliet; “Couer Volant” from Hugo; “Pictures in My Head” from The Muppets;

THEN AGAIN, PERHAPS: “The Living Proof”; The Help; “Bridge of Light” from Happy Feet 2; “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets; “So Long” Winnie the Pooh

MORE POSSIBILITIES: “Hello Hello” from Gnomeo ansd Juliet; “Collision of Worlds” from Cars 2; “When the Heart Dies” from In the Land of Blood and Honey; “Shelter” from Take Shelter

This really is the category I take part in random guesswork most for, because there is no telling what they’d go for. They don’t go for end credits’ song, unless they do (see “Jai Ho” and “We Belong Together”). They go for songs from musicals unless they don’t (see Hairspray and Burlesque). They go for songs that serve as character bios until they don’t (see “The Wrestler” from The Wrestler). So, really, nothing is assured and with that I offer my predictions. A review of The Muppets is forthcoming. The music is lovely (although I wasn’t very fond of the actual film). I don’t think that it is assured of overloading this category as many seem to think, but The Muppets is my blindspot so maybe more are as receptive to its apparent nostalgia than I.

It’s all fair game, really, but I presume that Hugo will be loved, Gnomeo and Juliet will be the song which makes it on solely on the song and not the film. I feel as if they may respect Albert Nobbs for its history and throw it a few nods and The Muppets and Captain America do seem to be good bets. I’m predicting the win for Captain America mostly because I feel that the AMPAS may be feeling foolish about giving that Oscar to Randy Newman over Menken last year…as they should. Anything from the second tier could easily replace my predictions, though, as is wont in these uncertain times.


MY GUESS: The Artist (Ludovic Bource); Hugo (Howard Shore); Jane Eyre (Dario Marianelli); The Ides of March (Alexandre Desplat); War Horse (John Williams)

THEN AGAIN, PERHAPS: The Tree of Life (Alexandre Desplat); Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Alberto Iglesias); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross); Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Alexandre Desplat)

MORE POSSIBLITIES: The Adventures of Tintin (John Williams); Moneyball (Thomas Newman); The Help (Thomas Newman); Super 8 (Michael Gaicchino)

Were this to be the actual line-up, with the exception of Bource it’d be a list of some of the most noted composers in the industry so it’s both a possibility and unlikely. The thing about the score branch is that like the original song branch they always fall into this sometimes bizarre inclination to (arbitrarily, it often seems) adjudge what is and what is not eligible. Shore’s work on Hugo like Desplat’s in The Tree of Life makes use of additional unoriginal music to complement their own scores (the latter a bit more than the former, I believe). I can’t be sure which, if any, might be deemed eligible or ineligible. And, still, I think Hugoseems like a more than assured bet – even though it’s quite possibly not. I go with Williams simply because he’s an iconic composer and they’re not loath to honouring greats just for being that. I haven’t seen War Horse or heard the score, though, so I can’t say if a win as I predict will be deserved.

I think that, probably, the inclusion of The Artist, The Ides of March and Jane Eyre are less sound. The first I predict just because it does seem possible that The Artist may sweep, and I feel they must honour the ever ubiquitous Desplat for something and even though I think Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close could surprise it doesn’t seem poised for a nomination here. Marianelli is a winner for Atonement, and his work on Jane Eyre is impressive like so much of the film’s technical aspects, but I do wonder if Oscar shall remember the film. And, will defending champions Reznor and Ross turn up again? It seems possible, but not very likely. I like the five I predict, but they seem like such an unusually safe bet I’d not be surprised if the actual nominees are quite different.

UPDATED ADDENDUM: The list of eligible scores has been released (full list here) and The Tree of Life is indeed not on the list.

Musically speaking, the AMPAS is even more difficult to predict. Still, what notes would you cast your weight behind?

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