I was actually beginning to believe Cliff Martinez‘s score for Drive may actually have a shot with all the love it has received in the precursor awards, but last night the Academy announced the list of 97 scores eligible for Best Original Score at the 2012 Oscars and, oops, what do you know, both Drive and Attack the Block didn’t make the cut. The only other score I had on my current list of predictions for the category to not make the cut was Howard Shore‘s music for David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Why? Well, I would assume somewhere inside there the rules for requirement weren’t met.
As per the Academy, “To be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.”
My assumption here is that the “scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music” rule is the number one reason for Drive‘s omission and the same can probably be said about the score for The Muppets, which also didn’t make the cut. As for A Dangerous Method, I have to assume there was something less than original about it, but I can’t be too sure.
Alexandre Desplat would have also had four contending scores had his score for A Better Life been deemed eligible, but I have to assume he most likely ran into originality troubles as well. However, his score, rushed as it was, for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of my favorites of the year and now that Martinez has seen his score for Drive pushed aside I will continue to bang the drum for his score for Contagion, which if you haven’t listened to recently you can find right here. Easily one of the best of the year.
Personally I also believe the Chemical Brothers‘ score for Hanna to be one of the year’s best, though that one just seems like it stands a very small chance considering some of the competition. My current predictions for the category look like this:
I will need to retouch my predictions (find those right here) now that two have been declared ineligible, but I’m unlikely to change my top five, though it’s hard to leave Trent Reznor and Atticus Rosss score for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo off the list. However, I just saw the film a second time last night and the use of music during the introduction of Lisbeth scene at the very beginning of the film still bothers me. It’s such an excessive and unnecessary use of music, but it’s not like the Music Branch of the Academy is going to go watch all 97 films again to make their determination in this category.
How it works, is that a Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be sent with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.
I have included all 97 eligible scores directly below. The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The Adjustment Bureau, Thomas Newman, composer
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams, composer
African Cats, Nicholas Hooper, composer
Albert Nobbs, Brian Byrne, composer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
Anonymous, Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser, composers
Another Earth, Phil Mossman and Will Bates, composers
Answers to Nothing, Craig Richey, composer
Arthur Christmas, Harry Gregson-Williams, composer
The Artist, Ludovic Bource, composer
@urFRENZ, Lisbeth Scott, composer
Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Elia Cmiral, composer
Battle: Los Angeles, Brian Tyler, composer
Beastly, Marcelo Zarvos, composer
The Big Year, Theodore Shapiro, composer
Captain America: The First Avenger, Alan Silvestri, composer
Cars 2, Michael Giacchino, composer
Cedar Rapids, Christophe Beck, composer
Conan the Barbarian, Tyler Bates, composer
The Conspirator, Mark Isham, composer
Contagion, Cliff Martinez, composer
Coriolanus, Ilan Eshkeri, composer
DAM999, Ousepachan, composer
The Darkest Hour, Tyler Bates, composer
The Debt, Thomas Newman, composer
Dolphin Tale, Mark Isham, composer
Donâ€™t Be Afraid of the Dark, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, composers