(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)
Best Original Score, are you ever predictable. This year’s nominees are not diverse in terms of being films not cited in other categories – Best Picture nominees took three of the spots, while the other two contenders are from films that have nine nominations between them. Also predictably, only one first-time nominee is in the mix. Diversity was nonetheless made up for in the nationalities of the composers (four countries represented) and the locales of the nominated films – the nominees are set on three different continents and the movies’ themes resulted in Russian, Indian and Persian influences, among others, on the music.
To most of us watching this race, there were four very predictable nominees and all came through. The fifth spot was always up in the air so there were no shocking omissions. That said, I think three titles could reasonably considered “snubbed”: “Cloud Atlas” and “The Master” both received notable precursor attention. It’s also somewhat odd that “Beasts of the Southern Wild”’s great score by Benh Zeitlin and Dan Romer couldn’t score even with the film’s four big nominations. The branch kept up its tradition of only nominating one new composer.
The nominees are…