Variety has published an interesting article concerning the Original Score category for the upcoming 2005 Oscars as The Aviator, Ray, Million Dollar Baby, Collateral and Shrek 2 will all be absent from the score category, and while there was no official comment word from committee sources was that The Aviator‘s score ran afoul of music rule B.5.(d): “scores diluted by the use of tracked or pre-existing music.”
For you award trackers and Oscar Oracle predictors this may come as a surprise as Howard Shore’s music for The Aviator has already won a Golden Globe as well as it is part of the BAFTA award race, but the Oscars are a bit more stringent on their rules. For example The Passion of the Christ will not be included in the Foreign Film race simply because it doesn’t have a foreign country to claim it, even though Aramaic isn’t exactly English.
Variety goes on to say that Shore’s half-hour of original score constitutes between one-third and one-fourth of the film’s total music, which includes classical selections and many period songs chosen by director Martin Scorsese, similar to the musical collage he fashioned for Gangs of New York.
Ray was eliminated based on music rule B.5.(e): “scores diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs.” Shrek 2 reportedly was dropped because much of the material was based on the first Shrek score. Collateral was another case of the director using a variety of music and not primarily the work of a single composer. Finally, Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby score failed to qualify because the paperwork was submitted too late for committee consideration.
The rules are made not to be broken, and unless the music of a film constitutes “a substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film” and not a group of songs or a compilation of music from various sources it will not be nominated.
Variety’s article can be found here.