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Entries in Original Score (68)

Tuesday
Feb262019

The Joyous Triumph of "Black Panther"

by Chris Feil

Of all of the great wins of Oscar night, some of the most uplifting belonged to the team from Black Panther. The film ran a gauntlet in the past year - early release, genre bias, institutionalized racism - to defy the odds and rack up three richly deserving wins in Costume Design, Production Design, and Original Score. It was the most popular film of the year and yet these wins still shouldn't be taken for granted, theirs a collective trio representing the world we experienced when we experienced Wakanda.

Adding to the sense of massive victory here are several crucial pieces of contextual trivia...

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Wednesday
Feb062019

Listening to the Best Score Nominees

18 days til Oscar so today is a perfect day to look at and listen to the composers nominated for Best Original Score. They have 18 nominations between them and on their Oscar chart, you can vote on who you think should win. Let's check out the nominees!

Terence Blanchard  for BlacKkKlansman  (56 years old | 33 features | 1st nomination!)
This New Orleans native is world-famous jazz musician and trumpet player. He's been working with Spike Lee in on capacity or another since Spike's second film School Daze (1988). His first full score for Spike was Jungle Fever (1991) and Blanchard has scored all but a couple of Lee's joints since...

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Thursday
Jan172019

Final Predictions: Supporting Actress, Foreign Film, and Sound Categories

by Nathaniel R

Expecting a high nomination count for "First Man" even if it misses Best PictureRunning out of time we are! So here are the final predictions for six more categories!

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
We've been over and over this one in our brains, trying to figure out that fifth spot (we don't believe, as some panicky folks do, that Regina King is in any danger of missing for Beale Street). In the end we're defaulting to Claire Foy in First Man who's been there all along. Primarily because she's been there all along and these things have a way of sticking if you're considered solidly in for months, even if you start losing steam toward the end of the season. We expect First Man to have a high nomination count despite predicting it to miss Best Picture and Claire Foy has remained visible all season. Sorry, Margot Robbie...

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Saturday
Dec292018

Interview: Justin Hurwitz learns the theremin and other "First Man" stories

by Nathaniel R

A lot of people who win two Oscars by the age of 32, with only three films under their belt (not that there's many of those people, mind you) might safely be said to have peaked early. If the Golden Globe nominated score for First Man is any indication however, Justin Hurwitz is still on a steady ascent into his power as a composer. The gifted 33 year-old has scored all four of Damien Chazelle's films. The first three were musicals in spirit or by nature. The fourth, First Man, is less of a departure than expected since the emotive score is crucial to the film's success. 

Chazelle and Hurwitz were college roommates and have been fiercely loyal since. While Chazelle was struggling to get his first films made, always with the plan for Hurwitz to score them, Hurwitz survived by breaking into sitcom writing "I don't take for granted how lucky I was to get to write comedy professionally," he says but the plan was always to be a composer "I am more passionate about music than anything else in the world."  

Our full interview, edited and condensed for clarity, follows... 

NATHANIEL: When did you first know you wanted to be a composer?

JUSTIN HURWITZ: I grew up playing piano, taking lessons since I was six. My parents gave me a synthesizer and a sequencer for my tenth birthday that lets you layer tracks, so I started composing then. I wasn't thinking about movies yet but it was around that same time that I started noticing film scores. The most impactful to me were the John Williams / Steven Spielberg films. Jurassic Park had a big impact on me. E.T. on VHS... I was so in love with that score. 

NATHANIEL: Touchstones for a lot of people!

JUSTIN HURWITZ: As I got into college I discovered composers like Nina Rota and Bernard Hermann and all sorts of others. 

Watching First Man, I thought 'god this most have been an overwhelming film to score,' but on the other hand after La La Land, maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps it was a piece of cake?

It was definitely not a piece of cake. In a lot of ways it was my most challenging score...

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Monday
Dec172018

All the Oscar Shortlists

BREAKING: We don't like this new system of announcing ALL the finalist lists (in the categories that get finalist lists, that is) on the same day as it doesn't give you time to individually think about each list and write multiple thorough articles. So we'll have to investigate more deeply over the next few days. But for those who are okay with just the quick take list format you can see the lists and a few gut reactions right after the jump. Every Oscar chart will be updated tomorrow to reflect the past week of awards season madness and these lists.

But without further ado, the finalist lists before the nominations are announced on January 22nd... 

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Wednesday
Nov282018

Soundtracking: Randy Newman's Original Song Nominations

by Chris Feil

Happy 75th Birthday to Randy Newman!

Newman has had an extensive musical career, but in these parts we remember the musician as once one of the most Oscar nominated folks without a win - previously missing out on 14 bids in both Original Song and Original Score before finally winning for 2001's Monsters Inc. track "If I Didn't Have You". To date, he now has a total twenty nominations and two wins, and isn't slowing down anytime soon. Just last year he delivered some massively underrated work for The Meyerowitz Stories and will be returning to the Toy Story franchise for next year's fourth instalment.

Newman's impact on the movies is one of uplift and charm, and a current mainstay in the Mouse House. But Oscar history is the name of this week's Soundtracking game, so let's rank his Best Original Song nominations...

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