The 86th Annual Academy Awards: Best Original Score

27 Jan

Best Original Score

In the interest of being thorough about the Academy Awards, I have decided to dededicate a blog entry for every category.  The news media will focus on the top five categories, eventually I will too, but these posts are in the interest of examining every single category, even those that send you to the fridge during the show.  Today: Best Original Score.

  • John Williams for The Book Thief
  • Steven Price for Gravity
  • William Butler and Owen Pallett for Her
  • Alexandre Desplat for Philomena
  • Thomas Newman for Saving Mr. Banks

The easiest indicator on who is going to win the Oscar for Best Original Score is to pick out which single film will dominate the Oscars in any given year.  The problem this year is that the predictions are so erratic that it is tough to nail it down.  So let’s do this by process of elimination:

John Williams, on his 49th nomination, probably won’t win his 6th Oscar here.  The Book Thief was not well-received and has no other nominations and is therefore lucky to be in this category.  Doesn’t seem likely

Alexandre Desplat’s evocative score for Philomena really just seems to be pulling up the rear.  In a possible tie with The Book Thief, it’s the less known and least seen of the nominees.  Doesn’t seem likely.

Thomas Newman’s eloquent work on Saving Mr. Banks is lucky to be here, plus the film doesn’t have the dominant power to pull an upset here.

Steven Price’s work for Gravity really doesn’t come into play until the film’s third act, but it is a powerful piece of work.  If I must pick a winner, would be my easy pick.

If an upset happens, it may go in favor of William Butler and Owen Pallett – otherwise known as Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire who created a most unusual score for Spike Jonze’s her.  If the voters are in the mood for something new and different, this could be the film’s only award.

Yet, the odds falls between two distinctly different pieces of work, Steven Price’s score for Gravity and the quiet, tender refrains of William Butler and Owen Pallett (otherwise known as Canadian Indie Rockers Arcane Fire) for her.  Price is the easy bet, especially since there’s a Gravity sweep, but her is the year’s most likely darkhorse.

Who Will Win?: Gravity
Who Should Win?: her
Darkhorse?: her



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Posted by on 01/27/2014 in Blog


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