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Oscars 2012: Best Original Score


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Poll: Oscars 2012: Best Original Score

Which nominee WILL win?

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Which nominee SHOULD win?

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#1 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:48 PM

The 97 eligible contenders:

  • "The Adjustment Bureau," Thomas Newman, composer
  • "The Adventures of Tintin," John Williams, composer
  • "African Cats," Nicholas Hooper, composer
  • "Albert Nobbs," Brian Byrne, composer
  • "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
  • "Anonymous," Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser, composers
  • "Another Earth," Phil Mossman and Will Bates, composers
  • "Answers to Nothing," Craig Richey, composer
  • "Arthur Christmas," Harry Gregson-Williams, composer
  • "The Artist," Ludovic Bource, composer
  • "@urFRENZ," Lisbeth Scott, composer
  • "Atlas Shrugged Part 1," Elia Cmiral, composer
  • "Battle: Los Angeles," Brian Tyler, composer
  • "Beastly," Marcelo Zarvos, composer
  • "The Big Year," Theodore Shapiro, composer
  • "Captain America: The First Avenger," Alan Silvestri, composer
  • "Cars 2," Michael Giacchino, composer
  • "Cedar Rapids," Christophe Beck, composer
  • "Conan the Barbarian," Tyler Bates, composer
  • "The Conspirator," Mark Isham, composer
  • "Contagion," Cliff Martinez, composer
  • "Coriolanus," Ilan Eshkeri, composer
  • "DAM999," Ousepachan, composer
  • "The Darkest Hour," Tyler Bates, composer
  • "The Debt," Thomas Newman, composer
  • "Dolphin Tale," Mark Isham, composer
  • "Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark," Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, composers
  • "Dream House," John Debney, composer
  • "The Eagle," Atli Orvarsson, composer
  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • "Fast Five," Brian Tyler, composer
  • "The First Grader," Alex Heffes, composer
  • "The Flowers of War," Qigang Chen, composer
  • "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composers
  • "The Greatest Miracle," Mark McKenzie, composer
  • "Green Lantern," James Newton Howard, composer
  • "Hanna," Tom Rowlands, composer
  • "Happy Feet Two," John Powell, composer
  • "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • "The Help," Thomas Newman, composer
  • "Hop," Christopher Lennertz, composer
  • "Hugo," Howard Shore, composer
  • "I Don’t Know How She Does It," Aaron Zigman, composer
  • "The Ides of March," Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • "Immortals," Trevor Morris, composer
  • "In Search of God," Rupam Sarmah, composer
  • "In the Land of Blood and Honey," Gabriel Yared, composer
  • "In Time," Craig Armstrong, composer
  • "Insidious," Joseph Bishara, composer
  • "The Iron Lady," Thomas Newman, composer
  • "J. Edgar," Clint Eastwood, composer
  • "Jane Eyre," Dario Marianelli, composer
  • "The Lady," Eric Serra, composer
  • "Like Crazy," Dustin O’Halloran, composer
  • "Margaret," Nico Muhly, composer
  • "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol," Michael Giacchino, composer
  • "Mr. Popper’s Penguins," Rolfe Kent, composer
  • "Moneyball," Mychael Danna, composer
  • "Monte Carlo," Michael Giacchino, composer
  • "New Year’s Eve," John Debney, composer
  • "Norman," Andrew Bird, composer
  • "One Day," Rachel Portman, composer
  • "Puss in Boots," Henry Jackman, composer
  • "Rampart," Dickon Hinchliffe, composer
  • "Real Steel," Danny Elfman, composer
  • "Rebirth," Philip Glass, composer
  • "Red Riding Hood," Alex Heffes and Brian Reitzell, composers
  • "Restless," Danny Elfman, composer
  • "Rio," John Powell, composer
  • "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," Patrick Doyle, composer
  • "The Rite," Alex Heffes, composer
  • "The Rum Diary," Christopher Young, composer
  • "Sanctum," David Hirschfelder, composer
  • "Sarah’s Key," Max Richter, composer
  • "Senna," Antonio Pinto, composer
  • "Shame," Harry Escott, composer
  • "The Skin I Live In," Alberto Iglesias, composer
  • "The Smurfs," Heitor Pereira, composer
  • "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," Rachel Portman, composer
  • "Super 8," Michael Giacchino, composer
  • "Take Shelter," David Wingo, composer
  • "The Thing," Marco Beltrami, composer
  • "Thor," Patrick Doyle, composer
  • "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Alberto Iglesias, composer
  • "Tower Heist," Christophe Beck, composer
  • "W.E.," Abel Korzeniowski, composer
  • "War Horse," John Williams, composer
  • "Warrior," Mark Isham, composer
  • "Water for Elephants," James Newton Howard, composer
  • "The Way," Tyler Bates, composer
  • "We Bought a Zoo," Jon Thor Birgisson, composer
  • "We Need to Talk about Kevin," Jonny Greenwood, composer
  • "Win Win," Lyle Workman, composer
  • "Winnie the Pooh," Henry Jackman, composer
  • "X-Men: First Class," Henry Jackman, composer
  • "Young Adult," Rolfe Kent, composer
  • "Your Highness," Steve Jablonsky, composer
Of these, only five will be nominated. And only one will win. Well, unless there's a tie, I guess.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 24 January 2012 - 09:50 AM.


#2 Ryan H.

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 07:18 AM

Of these, only five will be nominated. And only one will win. Well, unless there's a tie, I guess.

You'd be hard-pressed to find five worthy nominees on that list. What a lousy year for film scores.

#3 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:51 AM

Vote!

#4 Joel C

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:32 PM


Of these, only five will be nominated. And only one will win. Well, unless there's a tie, I guess.

You'd be hard-pressed to find five worthy nominees on that list. What a lousy year for film scores.

Really? Did you listen to the Williams scores? I found them to be quite good, especially War Horse. It's easy to forget how much is digital music is used as supplemental material in the score today, and Williams is 100% pure orchestral goodness. As far as it goes for purely acoustic writers in Hollywood, I think most people would still find him at the top of the list.

#5 Ryan H.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:48 PM

Williams is running on fumes at this point. WAR HORSE looks pretty fine given this year's output, but in the long-term POV, it's nothing particularly spectacular.

#6 Joel C

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:52 PM

I guess it kind of depends on your criteria for a good score.

Or "spectacular".

#7 Ryan H.

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:59 PM

I'm pretty picky when it comes to film scores. It's a dying art, sadly.

#8 Joel C

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:02 PM

For me, William's skill isn't in his innovation as much as in his emulation. For reference, compare the theme from Superman to Erich Korngold's theme for King's Row. I've heard the score for War Horse compared to some of Vaughan Williams' work, and in consideration of the lush, tranquil style of RVW, there are some real moments where JW rises above. There are certainly some rough spots, but I think overall the score deserves the nomination.

Edited by Joel C, 30 January 2012 - 11:40 PM.


#9 Joel C

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:08 PM

I'm pretty picky when it comes to film scores. It's a dying art, sadly.

Heh. I just spent five months trying to get started in the business, after graduating with a degree in composition. I went in hoping to find work in more traditional modes of acoustic writing (orchestration, live recording, conducting), and was sorely disappointed by overwhelming change toward the electronic score and mockup stuff. I'm willing to give a little in compositional height to support those in the biz who still write out-and-out, fully-orchestrated acoustic film score.

#10 Overstreet

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:43 PM

Joel, for what it's worth, I enjoyed Williams' War Horse score more than anything he's done in a long, long time. And I say that as someone who thought he was "running on fumes" way back in 1989 when Last Crusade came out. Sure, it's big and lush and anthemic, but that seems suited to the material. And I didn't hear any of his previous themes recycled.

Edited by Overstreet, 30 January 2012 - 11:44 PM.


#11 Joel C

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:09 AM

I didn't hear any of his previous themes recycled.

This is an interesting thought indeed. I think he got a lot of flack for the theme for Harry Potter for this very reason. Interestingly enough, I think most composers recycle their work at some point, but because of the immediate and demanding nature of film scoring, there's less time to bring subtlety to the process, and consequently often more obvious in the film score than in concert music. See much of James Horner's early work for a much more dramatic example of this.

I think people rarely realize how much Williams draws from past composers, especially Korngold, but also the likes of Max Steiner and Alfred Newman. His "signature" sound is straight out of the golden era of film composition back during the 30's and 40's. His great gift was reviving that work for a modern audience—though, as this video somewhat painfully points out, perhaps to closely to the original scores at times.

It's part of the reason I find the score for War Horse intriguing. It seems almost out of character for him, even though he is still drawing from a previous 20th century composer (Vaughan Williams). The opening few bars (jump to about 15 seconds in) are literally copied and pasted from the beginning of Vaughan William's "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis". While this could be seen as blatant plagiarism, I tend to think that John Williams, being the very perceptive composer that he is, is almost nodding in respect to the vast shadow that RVW casts over early 20th-century English classical music—something the latter Williams could certainly not escape in his efforts for War Horse. I find this kind of heightened awareness of the score quite meaningful. The orchestration, while not always incredibly complex, is so beautifully balanced and rich—something one could also say of much of RVW's music.

As they say, if you're going to borrow, why not borrow from the best?

Edited by Joel C, 31 January 2012 - 10:36 AM.