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Entries in Original Score (56)

Wednesday
Apr122017

Score, Sound, and Songs ~ April Foolish Oscar Predix

by Nathaniel R

It's April which means April Foolish Oscar Predictions as we throw up the new Oscar charts. Today we're talking Sound Categories.

ORIGINAL SCORE
Dare we hope that last year's anomalous Original Score list, comprised of nearly all newcomers, happens again? We can hope it but it would be foolish to predict given that the music branch is notoriously insular and a lot of the big name composers have high profile films this year...

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Sunday
Feb122017

14 Days Until Oscar. When will Thomas Newman win?

Thomas Newman is currently the most nominated composer to have never won the Oscar (and third in line of most nominations for a living artist without a win). Sci-fi hit Passengers marks his 14th nomination. Unfortunately this year he's up against the La La Land juggernaut so he'll have to wait for #15. Or beyond. His cousin Randy Newman waited until his 16th before taking home the gold.

Thomas Newman is on his 14th nomination at age 61. His father won 9 Oscars but he's still waiting on his first.

Composing for Hollywood is a family business in case that connection escaped you but their relatives didn't have to wait nearly as long...

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Tuesday
Jan242017

Happy Thoughts from Oscar Nominations! 

We've delivered the hot takeaways, mourned the snubs, but now let's get positive. I polled Team Experience about what made them happiest this morning and which category is the best overall. I hope you'll chime in. An unexpected consensus emerged straightaway in their answers. More after the jump...

Which nomination made you happiest?

Tim: Kubo and the Two Strings for Best Visual Effects. It's a great movie that deserves as much as it can possibly get, and also a good reminder to keep our conceptions about what "counts" as film craft as broad as possible

Laurence: Kubo and the Two Strings for Visual Effects. After the Ex Machina win I got the sense that branch was becoming more interested in awarding outside the box effects, so I bet on this nomination happening early. It's stunning work even by Laika standards...

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Sunday
Jan222017

Personal Ballot: Best Scores, Sounds, Songs...

Though my ears aren't as fine tuned as my eyes when it comes to the cinema, I take pleasure freely from every craft. The best films are the ones that try to engage all senses. (Well, not smell. They tried that with Smell-O-Vision and it didn't work out so well.) 

So here are my choices for Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing and Editing, Best Original Song and a fifth category that's kind of "off-Oscar." The Film Bitch Awards have always had a Best Adapted / Combination / Song Score category for films where the original score is only part of the defining musical sensation and the rest comes from pre-existing material or songs that are woven into the sound mix. Films honored include in these various aural categories include The Handmaiden, Arrival, Moonlight, Lion, Jackie, La La Land, Sully, The Witch, Doctor Strange, Sing Street and more. Which movies did you love listening to this year? 

Wednesday
Jan182017

Final Predictions: Animation, Documentary, and Sound Categories

Another day another dizzying array of last minute nerves over this confusing Oscar race. We've already talked Picture, Director, Actor, and the Screenplay categories right here. Now several more categories...

Animated Feature
A couple of months ago The Red Turtle looked like the sure thing "art" entry in the this category but it doesn't appear to have gathered much momentum and I worry it may be omitted. Working the opposite trajectory is Kubo and the Two Strings (more and more popular... could it even give Zootopia a run for the win?) and My Life as a Courgette which could pick up nominations in both animated feature and foreign language feature, something that has never happened before.  

Documentary Feature
The only question that seems relevant at this point is "can anything beat O.J.: Made in America?"...

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Wednesday
Jan112017

FYC: Jackie's Original Score by Mica Levi

by Sean Donovan

You sit down in a movie theater to see the latest biopic that has earned a superstar Oscar heat, and after the series of trailers for undoubtedly happier movies you could be seeing, you stare at a black screen. Gradually you hear something, a strong string note that quickly careens down the scale into dissonant whine. It’s immediately upsetting, destabilizing: flat and lacking grace when you were promised a classy portrait of one of America’s most iconic first ladies. So disjunctive it possesses a strange, ethereal beauty. It reminds me of the sound of an airplane flying overhead, fitting for a film where some of the most dramatic scenes occur onboard Air Force One. 

Music is the standard-bearer for everything that makes Jackie an unusual Oscar contender...

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Saturday
Jan072017

FYC: Moonlight, Best Original Score

By Chris Feil

It's always ceaselessly frustrating to see deserving below-the-line work from so-called smaller films miss out on Oscar nominations. Even when a film is a favorite in the major categories, it can still be hard to break through beyond major races - just look at last year's Room. This year, Moonlight deserves those nominations for its behind-the-scenes craft, each of its elements too powerful and integral to deny. But for brevity's sake, I'll just call attention to its evocative score by Nicholas Britell.

Britell threads recurring melodies and tones through each of Chiron's chapters without feeling repetitive. As the piano theme comes in and out, it takes us back to the previous struggles that add weight to the fresh one, just as life is connected memory to memory. The sharp strings show the soaring relief of a moment like Juan teaching him to swim, but also reveal the anxiety of being seen for what he truly is, the fear of what that means.

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Saturday
Nov192016

Oscar Trivia: "Arrival" and Best Original Score Eligibility

by Chris Feil

Like his Denis Villeneuve Sicario collaboration last year, Jóhann Jóhannsson's score for Arrival is powerful and one of the most memorable components of its film. One of the special aspects of Jóhannsson's work with Villeneuve is how his scores both embody and inform the thematic landscape of the film. The composer was Oscar nominated for his pulsing Sicario score and you can easily imagine him returning this year.

But before we guess too quickly, take stock of the moving final piece that plays over the film's finale because you may have heard it before. The gorgeous track, "On the Nature of Daylight", is actually by Max Richter and has been used in previous films like Shutter Island.

None of this is to discredit Jóhansson's terrifying and soulful work, but one wonders if such prominent and integral use of Richter's work could hurt the composer's nomination chances...

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