The 85th annual Academy Award Nominations were announced today and below is a list of the Original Score and Original Song nominations.
Some items worth noting; this is the 48th nomination for John Williams. The maestro has won five times, four for original score, “Jaws” (1975), “Star Wars” (1977), “E.T.” (1982), and “Schindler’s List” (1993). It would take a dozen of these columns to discuss the all of the John Williams’ scores that should have won Oscars but did not. Could this be the year the maestro finally returns to the Academy Award dais for the first time since 1994?
If “Lincoln” runs the table of major award it is possible. Ironically, although a fine score and one of the year’s five best to be sure, it is nowhere near the musical accomplishment William’s achieved with his two Oscar nominated masterworks from last year, “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tin Tin”.
The only real surprise among the Original Score nominees was “Skyfall”. The score is controversial among Bond soundtrack fans whom had finally begun to accept and embrace David Arnold as the John Barry heir apparent. Although Thomas Newman is an Academy favorite, no James Bond score has been nominated since “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) and it is the only one.
“Skyfall” also garnered a Best Original Song nomination for the outstanding title song performed by Adele that is disgracefully not included in the commercially released soundtrack album. “Skyfall” has an excellent chance of winning given Adele’s popularity, but this year’s field of five nominated Original Songs is exceptionally strong.
Two criminal omissions that were not nominated and happened to my top two scores of the year are “Cloud Atlas” and “The Hobbit”. Although declared eligible, Howard Shore’s symphonic masterpiece could have been hurt by the amount of material he used from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, as well as the mixed reviews of the film.
The Academy seems have a double standard when it comes to non-traditional composer. They will hand out Oscars to ex-rockers such as Trent Razor, but refuse to even nominate techno oriented composers such as Daft Punk and “Cloud Atlas” composers Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil.
My choice for Best Original Song would be the touching "Before My Time" sung by Scarlett Johansson and featuring heart breaking violin solos by Joshua Bell. For score, I would choose Mychael Danna's "Life of Pi", but will be rooting for John Williams to win to make because he deserves to stand up there again. It has been for too long since 1994.
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Anna Karenina” Dario Marianelli
“Argo” Alexandre Desplat
“Life of Pi” Mychael Danna
“Lincoln” John Williams
“Skyfall” Thomas Newman
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”
Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil