Thursday, February 4, 2010

One Category at a Time: Best Original Score

22 business days left until the Oscar ceremony gives me just enough time to analyze each category one at a time, as is my way. Starting off is my take on this year's Best Original Score lineup. Not as strong as last year's, but still quite solid.

The only unexpected nominee is The Hurt Locker because of its subtle integration into the film and its lack of melody. It's a worthy inclusion nonetheless, but I think it's fair to assume that it wouldn't be here if it wasn't a Best Picture contender. How else to explain the absence of The Informant!? Clearly they just didn't like that movie. And the Where the Wild Things Are ineligibility is a whole other clusterfuck of its own.

The other nominees are rather expected, and they are all strong works that add a lot to their respective films. Hans Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat both use creative orchestrations that make Sherlock Holmes and Fantastic Mr. Fox very memorable, but are less thematic or subtextual than the two serious contenders for this award; Avatar and Up.

You can criticize Horner all you want for being somewhat derivative, but his work is simply good enough that he can get away with that. He uses music to service the story first and foremost, making use of a simple but not-overused theme. If anyone can upset Giacchino, it's him, but I'm not counting on it. Up's music is pitch perfect for the film. It's light, poignant, catchy, and it's in a Best Picture nominee. That should be enough for Giacchino to collect his first career Oscar win.

Will win: Up
Should win: Up

Should have won: Where the Wild Things Are


Amir said...

if i was prioritizing the nominees in this category for myself, i'd go:
2-Fantastic Mr. Fox
4-Sherlock Holmes
5-The Hurt Locker

and that is not to say i didn't enjoy the music in THL, it's just, this is such a strong line-up.
Had The Informant been included though i'd put it at number 2 after Up.

The Oscar Nazi said...

I personally have a tough time ranking these nominees because, as you said, they're all very good, although I would have put The Informant! at the top if it had been nominated.

Amir said...

To be honest, my number one of the year is not really Up, it's been shut out. (Abel Korzeniowski for A Single Man)

but yeah, both that and the Informant really deserved nominations.