Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Oscars for Rahman?

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

20 comments:

billybil said...

How's your back today, Nate?

NATHANIEL R said...

i'm vaguely mobile. I'm sitting at the computer in short doses.

thanks for asking

Rob said...

Two is a lot, granted. But the score is certainly memorable and would be my pick. We don't have a huge choice in the song catergory. Rather a shame about Springstien though.

Actually I've loved some of the recent winners, Finding Neverland, Brokeback Mountain and Atonement.

I've always been somewhat irritated that they withdrew the second score catergory in 1999.

Rob said...

Yeah ! Hope you're feeling better.

Without wishing to decend into hero worship. TFE pretty much makes Awards season for me.

Will there be another podcast before the Oscars ? They have been just brilliant - I've been chuckling away on the bus on the way to work these past couple of months....

Alex in Movieland said...

I was quite happy they're withdrew that second score category back then. It made Oscar nominees from movies like The Preacher's Wife, My Best Friend's Wedding, The First Wives Club, Patch Adams, etc.

now, getting back to Slumdog. I'm counting on the responsability of the voters. I can easily see them going for Jai Ho (I really don't like the Wall E song unfortunately). But I'm hoping for a bit of a surprise in the original score category: let's say... hmmmm... WALL E.
and if they won't go for Newman's 10th nom, they might go for JNH's 8th.

Rob said...

Maybe they just got the 'catergory wrong' - They have had "comedy/ musical score", "Original song score" and "adapted score" in the past.

If there is an award for adapted screenplay, why not adapted score ?

Rob said...

Maybe they just got the 'catergory wrong' - They have had "comedy/ musical score", "Original song score" and "adapted score" in the past.

If there is an award for adapted screenplay, why not adapted score ?

Ryan said...

Oh my gosh Nathaniel (glad to here your feeling better)...

I’ve been meaning to get your (or anyones) opinion on Clint Mansell’s score for THE WRESTLER. I know he wrote only about 10 minutes of original music, but talk about perfection.

Its musical sparity, with those few ambient synthetics amidst other percussive and guitar euphonies, was so powerfully haunting and beautifully commented on the atmosphere/ emotions of the characters. Consider the scene with The Ram dancing with his daughter- both the moment and score walk a fine line between overt sentimentality and raw power. But I think Mansell keeps it from lapsing toward the former with the choices he made with the sustained E-boy guitar yielding a brief put poignant, poetic note to express this rare moment of bliss in The Ram’s life.

It brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it.

The original score category is my second fav techy behind cinematography. And I truely belive Mansell’s work warranted a nomination. What do you guys think? Should time really be a critical factor here?

And in terms of the actual nominees, I’m so rooting for Newman to win that overdue Oscar he richly deserved back in '99 for "American Beauty".

Paul said...

I think they'll vote for Desplat to make up for other awards that Benjamin Button is going to lose (nope, I don't think it's winning cinematography; I somehow think it's Pfister and Benjamin is going to be left with make-up, art direction and score awards) and for his superior work he wasn't nominated for (Santaolalla's Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain", though deserved as far as I'm concerned, had a lot to do with his snub for "Motorcycle Diaries").
I'm pretty sure that Deakins and Newman will have to wait a couple of years before winning.

Paul said...

I think they'll vote for Desplat to make up for other awards that Benjamin Button is going to lose (nope, I don't think it's winning cinematography; I somehow think it's Pfister and Benjamin is going to be left with make-up, art direction and score awards) and for his superior work he wasn't nominated for (Santaolalla's Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain", though deserved as far as I'm concerned, had a lot to do with his snub for "Motorcycle Diaries").
I'm pretty sure that Deakins and Newman will have to wait a couple of years before winning.

(...) said...

i don't see rahman, with or without my beloved m.i.a., awarded with two oscars. even i won't surprise if lose both categories. the oscars voters are extremely conservative in their choices in music, especially in score (they have taken more risks with the songs).
probably, this is a bad news for newman because "wall·e" music is also an electronic-oriented score.

but i have a good feeling for newman. he will win something. as how it looks now, song is his best shot (the split vote for the slumdog tunes will help a lot).

... and i never suffered a post-no springsteen nomination depression. yeah, is a good tune but nothing spectacular or too special to be angry.

Katey said...

I really see Rahman canceling himself out and Peter Gabriel taking it, which thrills me, because I just love love love that Wall-E song.

The Slumdog score is fine but not that special, and Thomas Newman has done great work for Pixar twice now (the Finding Nemo score is flat gorgeous). I'll be pulling for him.

FenixPahedi said...

I sincerely think that Slumdog will only win one of the two categories. It will be probably Score for Rahman and Song for Newman. I think that besides Springsteen's song, the most beloved one was Wall-E's Down To Earth.

adam k. said...

Thomas Newman co-wrote "Down to Earth", and I'm pretty sure he'll be winning his first oscar for that. It's kind of a shame, because now he may never win one for an actual film score, but alas. I really can't see them choosing one Slumdog song over the other. I suppose people like "Jaiho" more, but I personally think they're both about equally catchy/good, albeit in different ways.

Score for Rahman and Song for Gabriel/Newman seems by far the easiest way to divvy out the awards. Desplat could win score in order to give Button more of a haul, and to reward Desplat's already amazing and prolific career, but I think voters will be going with hearts and voting Slumdog in most of its categories.

I think Button takes 3 (vis FX, art direction, makeup), WALL•E takes 3 (sound FX editing, song, animated, Dark Knight takes 2 (Heath, sound), and Slumdog takes 6 (everything it's nominated for, other than the above).

Pablete said...

Springsteen's and Sally Hawkins' snubs were the most terrible ones in many years.

This should not surprised us. The original song and foreign film categories do not usually match with what people are expecting.

Some of the greatest comedic performances by a female lead have not achieved the same success at the Oscars that they did among the critics' awards. Marilyn Monroe ("Some Like It Hot"), Nicole Kidman ("To Die for"), Renee Zellweger ("Nurse Betty") and Sally Hawkins ("Happy-Go-Lucky").

Besides, regarding the snubs of Hawkins, Scott-Thomas and "Gomorrah", the Academy do not want to hand the golden statues to more Europeans. The Academy made us , Europeans, feel extremely proud last year, and its members have had enough!

In relation to Original Song, I really miss "Gran Torino"'s by the genius Clint Eastwood. I should be my second favourite original song of 2008, right after Springsteen's and before A.R. Rahman's "Jai Ho". "Slumdog Millionaire" has the best overall soundtrack of the year, though.

Ashley said...

Original Score is like my pet....and Thomas Newman is my eternal composer love---I'm a ridiculous superfan of the guy--so I'm really pulling for him---his main competition in the score category is Desplat as I don't believe Academy members are ready to go for Rahman at all....we shall see.

Anonymous said...

Milk's score is perfect. I hope it wins.

BBats said...

I feel that the academy will go for a Rahman song and use Original score as a partial make-up gift for either Newman or Desplat.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Nat, I console myself on Bruce's (aka God) snub by the thinking that Bruce could have come up with a song like "The Wrestler" any day of the week whether or not the film existed. "Down to Earth", on the other hand, wouldn't have existed in any way shape or form otherwise.

er, make sense?

Yeah. I think Rahman will win the score category. Someone said recently that the more foreign your name sounds the more likely you are to win original score. Which is both funny and true. "Down to Earth" will win for song, I reckon but the "Jai Ho" number is going to bring the house down (the cast are surely already rehearsing for their Oscar performance).

NATHANIEL R said...

Hmmm. i wish i believed you all but I"m betting it's a Slumdog fest all night. lots of statues including two for Rahman.