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Thursday
Dec 17 2015

Oscar's Eligible Original Scores for 2015

Thomas Newman has 12 nominations but has never won.Can this be the year?The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (our much obsessed over AMPAS) has released the list of this year's original score contenders.The music branch is one of the most controversial laden in the Academy and they regularly make rulings that make people crazy.This year the most high profile scores that have been disqualified due to pre-existing material areThe RevenantandLove and Mercy.Now,a lot of films use pre-existing material  -- particularly if they part of franchises like this year'sCreed,Star Wars: The Force Awakens,The Man From UNCLE,which are all eligible -- it's just a question of "how much?"pre-existing they use.And that's where the annual controversies spring from,as when AMPAS letBabelslide (despite a score that had much much less original music than pre-existing music) and it won the category!

In a strange turn of events given Oscar darling Alexandre Desplat's typical yearly work load,he's not even the most eligible contender this year with only two scores.

The complete list of eligible scores (and more info) is after the jump.I've highlighted 15 my favorites but which areyourooting for?


Most Original Scores: Newman,Beck,Howard,Elfman,Horner (RIP),and Giacchino all have three or four eligible scores.

When...John Williams is nominated forStar Wars: The Force Awakens(it's not a question -- they never pass him by) it will be his 50th nomination;he has a stronger work-to-nomination ratio than even Meryl Streep.Will sentiment prevail giving him a long awaited sixth win?He last won forSchindler's List(1993).

Buzzy but Never Nominated: Will this notoriously insular Academy branch will respond to any of these men: Daniel Pemberton had a breakout year withSteve JobsandThe Man From UNCLE;Dan Romer,who memorably scoredBeasts of the Southern Wilda few years ago has another Beastly movie as calling card --Beasts of No Nation;Oscar love has eluded the acclaimed Carter Burwell for years but couldCarolorMr Holmeschange that?

THE LIST

Adult Beginners,Marcelo Zarvos,composer
The Age of Adaline,Rob Simonsen,composer
Altered Minds,Edmund Choi,composer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,Mark Mothersbaugh,composer
Anomalisa,Carter Burwell,composer
Ant-Man,Christophe Beck,composer
Beasts of No Nation,Dan Romer,composer
The Big Short,Nicholas Britell,composer
Black Mass,Tom Holkenborg,composer
Bridge of Spies,Thomas Newman,composer
Brooklyn,Michael Brook,composer

Burnt,Rob Simonsen,composer
By the Sea,Gabriel Yared,composer
Carol,Carter Burwell,composer
Cartel Land,H.Scott Salinas and Jackson Greenberg,composers
Chi-Raq,Terence Blanchard,composer
Cinderella,Patrick Doyle,composer
Coming Home,Qigang Chen,composer
Concussion,James Newton Howard,composer
Creed,Ludwig Goransson,composer

The Danish Girl,Alexandre Desplat,composer
The Divergent Series: Insurgent,Joseph Trapanese,composer
Dukhtar,Peter Nashel,composer
The End of the Tour,Danny Elfman,composer
Everest,Dario Marianelli,composer
Ex Machina,Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow,composers
Far From the Madding Crowd,Craig Armstrong,composer

Fifty Shades of Grey,Danny Elfman,composer
5 Flights Up,David Newman,composer
Frame by Frame,Patrick Jonsson,composer
Freedom,James Lavino,composer
Furious 7,Brian Tyler,composer

The Good Dinosaur,Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna,composers
Goosebumps,Danny Elfman,composer
Grandma,Joel P.West,composer
The Hateful Eight,Ennio Morricone,composer
He Named Me Malala,Thomas Newman,composer
Hot Pursuit,Christophe Beck,composer
Hot Tub Time Machine 2,Christophe Beck,composer
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,James Newton Howard,composer
The Hunting Ground,Miriam Cutler,composer
I Smile Back,Zack Ryan,composer
I'll See You in My Dreams,Keegan DeWitt,composer
In the Heart of the Sea,Roque Baños,composer
Inside Out,Michael Giacchino,composer
The Intern,Theodore Shapiro,composer
It Follows,Disasterpeace,composer

Jalam,Ouesppachan,composer
Jurassic World,Michael Giacchino,composer
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet,Gabriel Yared,composer
Kingsman: The Secret Service,Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson,composers
Krampus,Douglas Pipes,composer
La Jaula de Oro,Jacobo Lieberman and Leonardo Heiblum,composers
The Lady in the Van,George Fenton,composer
The Last Witch Hunter,Steve Jablonsky,composer
Learning to Drive,Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks,composers
Legend,Carter Burwell,composer
Little Accidents,Marcelo Zarvos,composer
The Longest Ride,Mark Isham,composer

Mad Max: Fury Road,Tom Holkenborg,composer
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,Daniel Pemberton,composer

The Martian,Harry Gregson-Williams,composer
Max,Trevor Rabin,composer
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,John Paesano,composer
Meru,J.Ralph,composer
Minions,Heitor Pereira,composer
Mr.Holmes,Carter Burwell,composer
Mistress America,Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips,composers
My All American,John Paesano,composer
Nachom-ia Kumpasar,Ronnie Monsorate,composer
99 Homes,Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales,composers
Our Brand Is Crisis,David Wingo,composer
Pan,John Powell,composer
Paper Towns,Son Lux,composer
Paranoid Girls,Javier del Santo,composer
Pawn Sacrifice,James Newton Howard,composer
The Peanuts Movie,Christophe Beck,composer
Pixels,Henry Jackman,composer
Poached,Mark Orton,composer
Pod,Giona Ostinelli,composer
Poltergeist,Marc Streitenfeld,composer

Racing Extinction,J.Ralph,composer
Room,Stephen Rennicks,composer
Salt Bridge,Marciano Telese,composer
San Andreas,Andrew Lockington,composer
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,Thomas Newman,composer
Set Fire to the Stars,Gruff Rhys,composer
Shaun the Sheep Movie,Ilan Eshkeri,composer
Sicario,Jóhann Jóhannsson,composer
Southpaw,James Horner,composer
Spectre,Thomas Newman,composer
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,John Debney,composer
Spotlight,Howard Shore,composer
Spy,Theodore Shapiro,composer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens,John Williams,composer
Steve Jobs,Daniel Pemberton,composer
Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans,Jim Copperthwaite,composer
Stonewall,Rob Simonsen,composer
Suffragette,Alexandre Desplat,composer

Taken 3,Nathaniel Mechaly,composer
Ted 2,Walter Murphy,composer
Testament of Youth,Max Richter,composer
The 33,James Horner,composer
Tomorrowland,Michael Giacchino,composer
True Story,Marco Beltrami,composer
Trumbo,Theodore Shapiro,composer
Truth,Brian Tyler,composer
Victor Frankenstein,Craig Armstrong,composer
The Walk,Alan Silvestri,composer
The Water Diviner,David Hirschfelder,composer
Wolf Totem,James Horner,composer
Z for Zachariah,Heather McIntosh,composer

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Reader Comments (24)

My ten favourites.

1.Ennio Morricone,"The Hateful Eight"
2.Carter Burwell,"Carol"
3.Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow,"Ex Machina"
4.Daniel Pemberton,"Steve Jobs"
5.Johann Johansson,"Sicario"
6.Junkie XL,"Mad Max: Fury Road"
7.Howard Shore,"Spotlight"
8.John Williams,"Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
9.Michael Giacchino,"Inside Out"
10.Disasterpeace,"It Follows"

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

My favourites would be...

1.Carol
2.The Martian
3.Brooklyn
4.L for Leisure
5.Sicario
6.Cinderella
7.By the Sea (this is one I'd keep an ear out for - it's Gabriel Yared and this branch isn't afraid to stray down this sort of path with somebody they like)
8.Far from the Madding Crowd
9.Strangerland
10.Kumiko,The Treasure Hunter

With honorable mentions to Steve Jobs,Inside Out,Bridge of Spies...I haven't seen Hateful Eight or Star Wars yet.Not that fussed about The Revenant missing out.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Oh,I forgot IT FOLLOWS!That definitely deserves to be on there.And Macbeth as an honorary mention.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Actual unpopular opinion: I always thought John Williams deserved his 6th for Memoirs of a Geisha over Brokeback Mountain.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRahul

I wish Jerry Goldsmith were still alive.Movies lost something they will never regain in his absence.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

yay Creed!That score is AHHHHHMMMAAAZZZZIIINNNGGGG

December 17,2015 | Unregistered Commentercoffeysr

the boy and the world deserved a nomination here,at least i have it follws to root for

December 17,2015 | Unregistered Commenterdan.

Only two Desplat scores?What happened to him?Is he ok?

December 17,2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Carter Burwell for the win!!!

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Glenn,how did you forget It Follows??Good catch : p

And why is the Macbeth score not eligible?I didn't see it here.And I didn't notice any preexisting material in it...Just lots of amazing strings.

I have quite a bit left to see,but right now my five would probably be It Follows,Far From The Madding Crowd,Carol,Macbeth,and Steve Jobs,with a shoutout to The Martian and Tomorrowland.This is one of my favorite categories.

What is The Man From UNCLE?

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Keller

Rahul,I think Williams should have won for Memoirs of a Geisha too.Especially since Santaolalla won again the following year.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Far From the Madding Crowd is one of the scores I keep forgetting about,even though it was perfect for its movie.My other favorites were probably Carol and Mad Max.Two different types of scores,but both fantastic.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterKacey B.

I haven't heard the score,but I am always rooting for Ennio Morricone who is way overdue for a competitive Oscar.When "The Mission"was nominated it lost to "Round Midnight"which should have been disqualified.So yes,I am in favor of the Academy disqualifying score.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Carol Carol Carol.That's all.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Sicario for the win.I'm not great about remembering music scores,but that one was *so* masterful in maintaining that mood of unease/dread that pervaded the entire film.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

I feel like "Hateful Eight","Star Wars","Danish Gill"and "Bridge of Spies"are in leaving the pesky 5th slot...will to be "inside out"or "Carol".crossing my fingers for the latter

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I think Ennio Morricone is a shoo-in,and I haven't even seen The Hateful Eight.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered Commentercash

Am I alone in loving the score of Mistress America.It sticks out in my mind so vividly and fell in love with it.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

I'm not crazy,okay?I know It Follows isn't going to get any nominations at the Oscars.亚博主页Still,if there's a category where you could justify slipping it in,it's score.A major reason why the film works at all is the score.It,quite literally,sets the tone for the entire film.

I mean,if The Village can get an Oscar nomination out of nowhere for score,why not a far more critically successful horror film?

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Of the scores I've heard,the one that stands alone is Sicario.It establishes a felling of dread and foreboding that permeates the entire film.At times,it is almost abstract.

I imagine that Morricone will win;it is time he won a competitive Oscar.I just hope that Sicario is nominated.Johansson is the next great film composer.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Pete -- i'm pretty enthused about Johansson's career too.Such good scores that don't sound alike!

December 17,2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Carol because Burwell is a genius.
Sicario for the unexpected source.
Man from UNCLE for the swing and sauciness
Steve Jobs for the bombast
Inside Out for the minimalism

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDrew C

Enough of Leo's whining.Thomas Newman has lost at the Oscars 12 TIMES.亚博主页Not a win for memorable scores like Shawshank Redemption,Little Women and American Beauty.(My own personal favorites are Oscar and Lucinda,and Scent of a Woman.) Thomas' own father Alfred won 9 times.

Ennio's got a lifetime achievement Oscar,but it would be great if he won competitively.(Just like Paul Newman.)

The best score I heard this year was Patrick Doyle's Cinderella.

December 17,2015 | Unregistered CommenterPancakes

I'm all-in on my love for Disasterpeace's work for It Follows,but I would cheer lout loud if Johann Johansson made it in for Sicario.

December 17,2015 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

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