Monday, January 21, 2008

"Oil!" and Oscar Don't Mix

This news from The Envelope also reported by Red Carpet District will enrage many music enthusiasts who think that Jonny Greenwood deserved not only an Oscar nomination but the gold statue itself for There Will Be Blood's memorable score. It was disqualified due to a rule they have about "scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music."

Other scores deemed ineligible at this, the last minute: Zodiac, Enchanted and Into the Wild

Someone really ought to inform the Academy that 35 minutes of original (and brilliant) recordings shouldn't be disqualified unless they are also planning on taking back that Oscar they gave to Babel just last February. Didn't it have even less original music than that? How was Babel's music (which I was a fan of) not "diluted" by pre-existing music? It most certainly was. Gustavo Santaolalla was cribbing liberally from his own work and including the work of other great composers including Ryuichi Sakamoto (whose pieces within that Oscar winning score seem to be everyone's favorites). And that was just 11 months ago.

Why don't the same rules apply for all? The Oscar foreign film branch catches a lot of flak for their sometimes outdated rules but at least they're 90% consistent in their rulings, give or take a Lust, Caution disqualification.


Anonymous said...

What can I say, the Oscars have always had it in for white people.

J.D. said...

They must really want to be destroyed, don't they?

MichaelMcl said...

Damn... Greenwood's out?!

I figured they'd find a reason to reject music by a British pop artist, and I wondered if they'd pull out the excuse that it's derived from a concert work. I think the truth would have to be closer to the fact that the Academy's nominating members don't think highly of the unconventional spotting in the film, and a disqualification was a good excuse to take the issue out of voting hands.

Thanks for bringing up that BABEL thing. BABEL had 15 minutes of original music when you take out the reprisals of 21 GRAMS, 'Iguazu' and Sakamoto's prominent cues. There are about 80 minutes of non-Santaolalla music in that film, just for a reference.

Sadly ZODIAC is also disqualified from voting this year, despite David Shire's excellent work in rendering the nooks and crannies of that film.

Nathaniel, don't know if you got this email, but I sent you the list of International Film Music Critics Association nominations the other day. THERE WILL BE BLOOD only got a nod for 'Breakthrough Composer' from us, an unfortunate consequence of the fact that most of our European members have neither heard the music nor seen the film. But beyond that, the exclusion of YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH and JESSE JAMES, and the comedy category, we have some good nominations this year between the 40 of us:

- The Opinionated Australian

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, Nathaniel. I am surprised that they are using this against him.

Persoanlly, though, I thought Greenwood's music for the film was brilliant in spots, and irritating in others. However, despite that, I think it deserves a nomination just for its boldness.

Jason Adams said...

Now I know what Chapter 53 will be in my book, Why The Oscars Suck: Suck It, Oscars!

Anonymous said...

What can I say, the Oscars have always had it in for white people.
OH PUH_LEASE. It's ashame about Greenwood.

Anonymous said...

Marshall, well I guess after 80 years it's about darn time, they have it out for some other group.

If they let Babel in than Greenwood should've been in.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen There Will Be Blood yet, but maybe I'll see it Friday.

Nathaniel: I replied to you in the Bafta Noms thread. I didn't see your response earlier :-)

adam k. said...

I knew they'd find a way to disqualify this. It was always meant to go the way of, say, The Fountain score.

But that truly is blatant hypocrisy re: Babel. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Oh no. That score was one of the best parts of that film, or at least one of the components that made it so tense and memorable. It's just one bad decision after another with these guys. Booo.

russtifer said...

Ugh, absolutely ridiculous. Thanks for commenting on this Nat, especially making the apt Babel comparison. Soooooooo frustrating.

Glenn Dunks said...

I predicted the music branch would snub Greenwood's score anyway so I can't say I'm surprised. They've never particularly warmed to first timers and especially for something as (apparently) un-traditional as the TWBB score is.


zee I read everything. The BAFTA post is still raking in the comments. boy did that discussion refuse to die

MichaelMcl said...

Oh, and Nathaniel - are you sure you don't want to sneak Alberto Iglesias back onto the short list for music from THE KITE RUNNER? If that gets left off, Oscar isn't Oscar. ;)

- The Opinionated Australian

Robert said...

Wow. Well done AMPAS. When you find ways to disqualify the most interesting, progressive potential noms in a category, you don't have to look like old-fashioned old farts when you dont nominate them.

Anonymous said...

I am supremely pissed about this too, but there is a distinction between this score and Babel.

While Santolalla may have wrote very similar pieces to his earlier work and used a lot of instrumental songs written by others, the score for There Will be Blood simply takes portions of his previously composed work, "Popcorn Superhet Receiver," and mixes it with his original stuff.

The good news about this is that at least Into the Wild can't be nominated either.

Catherine said...

Fuck. Off.

Seriously, I am so enraged. I think I was rooting for Greenwood to get a nom above everyone else (in any ategory). The man's something of a genius and the score to TWBB is amazing. Fuckfuckfuckfuck.