All posts under Academy Award

97 Scores Vie for Oscar

Academy Awards

At 97, this year’s slate of Academy Award-eligible film scores is mighty hefty. And yet even with this many scores, there are still some glaring omissions. Hans Zimmer took himself out of the running so RANGO, KUNG FU PANDA 2 and SHERLOCK HOLMES are ineligible. Howard Shore’s A DANGEROUS METHOD reinterprets Wagner so it’s no surprise to see it missing. Arguably the biggest omission is Cliff Martinez’s score for DRIVE, which has garnered numerous precursor critical awards so far. The five nominees will be voted on from the list below….

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39 Songs Eligible for Best Song Oscar

Oscars

Back in the summer, I posted on Facebook how excited I was to find two songs from films that I thought should be up for this year’s Academy Award. And those two songs–“Star Spangled Man” (CAPTAIN AMERICA) and “So Long” (WINNIE THE POOH)–will now vie against 37 others for Oscar’s five nomination slots. As usual, there are a lot of songs and films on this list I have not heard or seen. And an eligibility list is certainly no indication of quality. It just means these 39 songs have passed…

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On a High and Windy Hill

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Following the success of Dimitri Tiomkin’s title song for HIGH NOON, whose popularity prior to the film’s release marketed it to box office bucks (and no doubt helped him win the Oscar), producers scrambled to add songs to films, whether they warranted them or not. Popular songs like “Moon River” (BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S), “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” (BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) and “The Way We Were” undoubtedly assisted Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach and Marvin Hamlisch, to name three, to double wins on Oscar night. Only twice…

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9 Oscar-Nominated Scores That Deserve (Re)discovery

joan-of-arc-ingrid-bergman

With the 2010 Academy Awards just weeks away, this month’s “9 on the 9th” post covers some real “lost in the shuffle” Oscar-nominated film scores. With over 75 years worth of scores to choose from, I had to set myself some ground rules. The main rule was no CD’s. Sure, a CD does not necessarily guarantee discovery by general film music fans, but the odds improve significantly. LP releases were eligible. These scores are not necessarily my “favorites” per se, as in other posts, though I heartily recommend them all. Instead,…

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2010 Academy Award Music Nominees

theoscars

Today is one of the most important days of the year for me–the Oscar nominations. Sure, it’s ridiculous, but after 35 years, it’s hard to break such a well-entrenched obsession, I mean tradition. I was all set to spit fire if John Powell wasn’t nominated…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here are the music nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards: BEST ORIGINAL SONG “Coming Home” from COUNTRY STRONG (Music and Lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey) “If I Rise” from 127 HOURS (Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyrics…

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How to “Predict” the Oscars

crystalball3

It’s less than a week away from the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations and two comments under my 77 Film Scores Eligible for Oscar post got me thinking. Rather than write long-winded comments, I thought I’d write a long-winded post instead. (Why can I expend so many more words on shallow awards trivia than other, potentially more meaningful subjects? Oy.) After nearly 35 years of obsessively following the Oscars, three things happen (at least they did to me): You learn a lot about film (editing, sound, art direction, etc.)…

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77 Film Scores Eligible for Oscar

Oscar Statue

Those who have followed my posts since this time last year may have noticed that I didn’t write about the endless array of precursor critic awards leading up to the Oscar nominations. Frankly, I got bored and decided to forgo it this season. (I can hear the collective hurrah from here.) Ultimately, for those of us who care about all this awards madness, it all comes down to the Academy’s list. The Academy always posts a press release about the eligible songs, but never the scores. Thankfully, Jon Burlingame over…

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CD Review: Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

Few films are as majestic or engrossing as David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. With a running time of nearly four hours, the film is filled with indelible cinematic images, memorable set pieces, and a spectacular, star-making performance by Peter O’Toole. For us film music fans, it’s all about the music and few films scores make the immediate impact that Maurice Jarre‘s does. Now a new recording from Tadlow Music corrects the numerous inconsistencies of previous recordings and brings this fantastic score to new light. The original soundtrack album, woefully incomplete (as…

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Born Free

Born Free

Sometimes the historical success of a film rests solely on its music, at least with us film score fans. Such is the case with BORN FREE. Based on naturalist Joy Adamson’s bestselling book, the film chronicles the African adventures of Joy (Virginia McKenna) and her husband George (Bill Travers), including bringing up a lioness cub. Because of the film’s episodic nature, it lacks much of a dramatic drive. But John Barry’s Oscar-winning song and score enrich the African vistas. Barry’s innocent, childlike approach to the score was far different than…

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Frida

Frida

Elliot Goldenthal always seems to produce his best work when he’s collaborating with his real life partner, director Julie Taymor. And such was the case with his Oscar-winning score to FRIDA (2002). Selma Hayak lustily portrays the tortured life of painter Frida Kahlo in the captivating biopic, from Frida’s humble beginnings, her marriage to legendary revolutionary painter Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), and her affair with Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush). Hayak’s performance is marvelous and matched by Molina’s. Goldenthal’s evocative score perfectly captures Frida’s pain-filled life, reflected in her paintings. Goldenthal described the…

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