Best Original Score is an Oscar category I can never quite get in tune with. Either I think the Academy's preferred choices are too overpowering (and therefore memorable, sure, but not helpful to the film) or I don't remember them or I love them but Oscar doesn't notice them (see the works of Angelo Badalamenti). But this year, I'm pretty good with their choices.
First and foremost, I'm relieved that Thomas Newman's completely overbearing repetitive score for Revolutionary Road wasn't nominated and that his great score for WALL•E was instead. He's now been nominated for 10 Oscars and he has yet to win. Danny Elfman, a beloved composer -- especially to Tim Burton or Oingo Boingo fans -- is also waiting for his first win, though the fine score for Milk probably won't do it for him. He has Bridget Fonda at home to comfort him so he's probably not complaining.
The Online Wall Street Journal has a good piece up about all of the contenders, tipping Slumdog for the win (of course) but can I say again how angry I am that Bruce Springsteen was skipped for his song from The Wrestler. I haven't gotten over it, have you? With Springsteen blocked, Slumdog's A. R. Rahman, who nabbed three (!) nominations his first time out, could well win two music Oscars in February. I liked the score and the songs just fine (definitely my favorite elements of the movie) but that's total overkill if you ask me.
Not that overkill is anything new for Slumdog Millionaire's awards run.
related pages: Oscar's aural categories (vote here on your favorite score) and my own Score and Song nominees