Monday, April 20, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Original Score

I'm still getting over the vexation of watching A.R. Rahman (talented composer though he is) winning both music categories and watching guys like Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, and James Newton Howard all go winless again. Maybe this year the Academy can honour someone who's overdue instead of the flavour of the month.

With that optimism in mind, I'm taking a chance on Danny Elfman to earn another nomination this year for The Wolf Man. It's worth noting that Elfman is never nominated for his music for dark films, and that if even if the movie is really good, that may still not be enough for the stingy Academy to take notice. If not that, then maybe Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock would be more up their alley.

Another possible repeat nominee could be Alexander Desplat (the rightful winner of last season's Oscar) who will be scoring Stephen Frears Cheri. The Frenchman's musical style should fit this film like a glove, with just enough European flavour to pique the interest of voters. Desplat has a slew of projects for 2009, and one hopes he'll earn a nomination for at least one of them.

If foreign flavour is what the academy likes, then Alberto Iglesias could have a spot on next year's ballot for Pedro Amoldovar's Broken Embraces, which looks like a rich and noirish experience that will allow Iglesias more range than his previous works like The Kite Runner and The Constant Gardener.

After earning a much deserved nomination two years ago for Ratatouille, Michael Giacchino is back to score the lastest Pixar adventure Up. Pixar has a stellar history in the music categories, but the only film of theirs not to earn a music nomination was The Incredibles in 2004, scored by Giacchino. But now that he's got a nomination under his belt, the music branch will take more notice of his work than they did in 2004.

Finally, I'm confident enough in the craftsmen of Michael Mann's Public Enemies to predict Elliot Goldenthal, who won his Oscar for Frida seven years ago. I'm not 100% comfortable with this because the music of Mann's films have never struck a chord with the Academy's music branch. All the same, my early radar detects a lot of love for this film in the craft categories.

Predicted Five
Broken Embraces
Cheri
Public Enemies
Up
The Wolf Man

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