Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Hardest Category to Predict Is...

Best Original Score

Seriously it's difficult this year. Howard Shore's The Aviator has been declared ineligible. The always nominated John Williams has two scores to choose from this year --so will it be Harry Potter or The Terminal (which miraculously despite not being well loved may end up being the pre-fall film with the most nominations aside from The Collateral)?

So you figure John Williams gets once spot... but where do the others go?
The scores receiving the most pre-Oscar attention seem to be Sideways, Finding Neverland, and The Incredibles but ALL of those scores are from composers who've never been nominated and that particular branch of the Academy isn't known for being particularly 'welcoming' in terms of lots of fresh faces. They're kind of clique-ish. If you doubt me just consider John Williams 41 nominations. They don't really search outside their favorites much.

So, who will it be? I'm stumped.

11 comments:

Nick Davis said...
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Nick Davis said...

Why is the Aviator score ineligible?

I'm obviously partial, but I don't see how you get around the Birth score, and since they did nominate Girl with a Pearl Earring last year, Desplat isn't a total newbie.

Among their regulars, maybe James Newton Howard for Collateral (or even The Village)? I'm sure Kaczmarek's probably in. He's been around forever, as had Howard Shore before LOTR finally got AMPAS to notice him.

I have this suspicion that something really dreadful might happen, like James Horner for Troy or Vangelis for Alexander.

Ash said...

Thomas Newman, Thomas Newman, Thomas Newman.....I maybe do have a bias but I think they will nominate him, aside from John Williams he is one of the most academy respected composers with big names literally clamouring to work with him (Ron Howard, Mike Nichols, regular Sam Neill, ) and many other composers immitating him. So I think we will se a nom for him in addition I have no doubt that John Williams work in The Terminal will be honoured along with Jan AP Kazmarek for Finding Neverland, Santolla's work in The Motorcycle Diaries and in a surprise nomination Angelo Badalamenti will be nominated for A Ver Long Engagement. However runners up would have to include Rolfe Kent,(Sideways) and Michael Giachhinio for his Incredible work (however he loses cred as he regularily works in video games and tv both things the academy for sme reason looks down on)

adam k. said...

I think the Sideways, Neverland, and Incredibles scores will all make it... the exclusiveness has to end sometime... and of course John Williams will make it... I think the last spot could be Passion of the Christ (hasn't that composer been nommed many times before? and wasn't the soundtrack wildly popular?). Or maybe Thomas Newman, who does seem to get nominated for everything lately (would this be his third nomination in a row? he got one for Nemo... and Perdition...). Sorry to inform Nick that in another shocking display of bad taste, the academy did not nominate Girl With A Pearl Earring's score. Only the HFPA did. So Desplat is technically still a newbie.

Nick Davis said...

Gah. My bad, Adam. Proof that Oscar is more fun when you have selective amnesia. (Hey, David Lynch beat Ron Howard, right you guys?)

Anonymous said...

I'm rooting for a surprise nominaton for Alexandre Desplat, who may again be snubbed for his second job as composer. His score for "Birth" is so unique, so beautiful and telling, that I can't imagine why those who are supposed to know what they're doing in their respective categories seem to shrug off the truly great/original and insist upon nominating the safe/usual.

NATHANIEL R said...

My theory on why people choose safe work over truly original and inspired may be a little alarmist and crappy arm-chair psychology --but I believe it: I think that as groups of voters go, there is a self protective streak if someone is truly genius, it can be a little offputting in that if you acknowledge mindblowing work, it's tough to see yourself as always worthy of the prize. Let's take directors for example. If you're a director and your idea of a top achievement is Ron Howard's directorial ability, well then...That's a goal you can reach. Someday you could win too. If you give David Lynch the prize you probably know in your heart of hearts that that's an unattainable level unless you have "the gift." Sally Field, a good actress has two Oscars. Julianne Moore has, I think most actors recognize, a once-in-a-generation gift. She doesn't win Oscars.

Just my theory.

Ash said...

So So true Nathaniel, I totally agree. I think you might be on to something with your genius issue/I too can be Ron Howard issue. And its funny because this sort of thinking transcends film awards and seems to inhabit everything in the public and sometimes private arena...we have become a society obsessed with mediocrity (why else would George win a second term) I mean if the Academy truly valued genius Scorcese would have multipe oscars already and he wouldn't have to keep making events (As Ms Darghis likes to say in the Times) imagine the noms if thats what the academy was into (remember that year when the oscar went indie? Hollywood had a multiple heart attack when that happened and blackmailed the oscars into never never never ever doing that again) Anyways with regards original score: no John Debney has never been nominated before, his notable films have been Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty so not much respect or cred for Mr Debney (and its a rotten score)

Anonymous said...

Nate-

In response to your reply to my comment concerning the score to Birth, I really do see what you're saying and haven't really thought about things in such a way. You're absolutely right. Julianne Moore, for instance, who was your example. I've only seen her in Far From Heaven (I'm 16 and have conservative parents, thus not allowing me to easily see Boogie Nights or Magnolia too easily..) and The Hours, and after witnessing her work in the former, my response was simply, "Wow." She was amazing! Heart stopping, truly. Yet...I don't know, even though I understand and support your theory, I'm still angered work like Moore's in "Heaven" constantly gets snubbed. Constantly!! What happened to the good old days of films like "Cries & Whispers" (a masterpiece, in my mind) recieving Best Picture nods? *shakes head* Sometimes, even though I do understand some of the reasons why this happens, I feel I'll never quite grasp the often idiotic mindsets of some people who should, like I said, know better..

-David

adam k. said...

A little late, but I also totally totally agree... although I think sometimes it goes beyond not wanting to acknowledge genius to just not understanding the genius. Most people, even most film people will look at A Beautiful Mind and think, "gosh, that was really good" and look at Mulholland Drive and think "whatever, this is weird, I don't get it". Weird films sometimes earn nominations for being weird, but they don't win, cause though deep down people may know the stuff is great, they would rather vote for something they understand... less threatening... nominating something is like acknowledging the greatness without really acknowledging the greatness. Then there's the issue of the "greats" being taken for granted, too. Which is another reason why Kate Winslet and Julianne Moore can be nominated every year and never win. "There'll always be another time!" people think. But they know Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, etc. will never be that good again. Plus, hey, we're beautiful and kinda talented and could be that good given the chance... so let's vote for them. Ugh. What's really annoying is that this kind of thinking also spills into the indy spirit awards and stuff... witness Mulholland being shut out of top categories (because it's too genius-y), and Hedwig only being nominated, while the "hip" Memento wins, and Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter being shut out (when they are the real genius of Thirteen) while Nikki Reed wins prizes. It's the same thing. Ugh.

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