From 'All is Lost' to 'The Wolverine,' 114 films vying for the Best Original Score Oscar
The Academy has just announced the 114 films eligible for this year's Best Original Score Oscar, and all the usual suspects are present. That includes the five films nominated this morning in the category at the Golden Globes: Hans Zimmer for "12 Years a Slave," Steven Price for "Gravity," John Williams for "The Book Thief," Alex Ebert for "All is Lost" and Alex Heffes for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." At least the first three of those are widely predicted to score Oscar nominations too.
Most of the high-profile omissions were already known to us: though "Inside Llewyn Davis" has won several music awards from the critics, it was never going to be eligible give that the soundtrack is made up mostly of pre-existing songs. Mark Orton has received much praise for his twangy contributions to "Nebrasks," but it's been established that they aren't original to the film. "Frozen" isn't competing her either: the Academy didn't used to mind handing this award to song-dominated Disney films, but they seem to be ruled out these days. Interestingly, Craig Armstrong's Grammy-nominated score for "The Great Gatsby" is eligible; I somehow expected the Academy to disqualify it.
Also missing is two-time winner Gustavo Santaolalla for "August: Osage County," Steve Jablonsky for "Lone Survivor" (though he makes the list for three other films), former winner Rachel Portman for "Diana" (no great loss there) and Tindersticks genius Dickon Hinchliffe for "Out of the Furnace" (he's listed instead for "At Any Price"). I'm not surprised not to see Shane Carruth for his ingenious score for "Upstream Color" -- almost inseparable from its sound design -- but he'd be on my list.
The most frequently listed composer is Christophe Beck, who makes the list for four entries: "The Hangover Part III," "The Internship," "R.I.P.D." and "Runner Runner." Something tells me he won't be nominated for any of them. Zimmer, meanwhile, is in a better position, with three possibilities: in addition to "12 Years a Slave," he's longlisted for "Rush" and "Man of Steel." (He's not, however, in the mix for "The Lone Ranger," one of my favorite scores of the year -- I guess the interpolation of the William Tell Overture was the sticking point there.)
Looking at this list, the five scores I'd most like to see recognized are: Daniel Hart's inventively organic, handclap-filled "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," Win Butler and Owen Pallett's rightly lauded work on "Her," Ilan Eshkeri's spare, chilling strings on "The Invisible Woman," Rick Smith's chattering electronica in "Trance" and Zimmer's aforementioned (but divisive) work on "12 Years a Slave." (Or perhaps Clint Mansell for "Stoker" -- I've never been very good at counting to five.)
Check out the full list on the next page and tell us who you're rooting for.