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Oscars 2016: Best Original Score Eligibles

There are 91 scores eligible for Best Original Score this year.

As I do every year, I list them all, then just rip right through an eliminate 75% of them right off the bat. Because let’s be serious — you know what the contenders are and what the contenders aren’t. This is not the most surprising category.

Last year, there were 112 eligible scores. So we’re actually getting an easier job this time around. There still will only be like 15 that really have any legitimate shot anyway.

Here are the 91 eligible scores for this year:

The Abolitionists, Tim Jones
Absolutely Fabulous The Movie, Jake Monaco
The Accountant, Mark Isham
Alice Through the Looking Glass, Danny Elfman
Allied, Alan Silvestri
Almost Christmas, John Paesano
American Pastoral, Alexandre Desplat
The Angry Birds Movie, Heitor Pereira
Anthropoid, Robin Foster
Armenia, My Love, Silvia Leonetti
Assassin’s Creed, Jed Kurzel
Autumn Lights, Hugi Gudmundsson and Hjörtur Ingvi Jóhannssons
The BFG, John Williams
Believe, Michael Reola
Ben-Hur, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanderss
Bilal, Atli Ӧrvarsson
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Mychael Danna and Jeff Dannas
The Birth of a Nation, Henry Jackman
Bleed for This, Julia Holter
The Boss, Christopher Lennertz
Bridget Jones’s Baby, Craig Armstrong
The Bronze, Andrew Feltenstein and John Naus
Captain America: Civil War, Henry Jackman
The Charnel House, Todd Haberman
The Choice, Marcelo Zarvos
Collateral Beauty, Theodore Shapiro
The Conjuring 2, Joseph Bishara
Criminal, Bryan Tyler and Keith Powers
Deadpool, Tom Holkenborg
Deepwater Horizon, Steve Jablonsky
Denial, Howard Shore
Doctor Strange, Michael Giacchino
The Dressmaker, David Hirschfelder
Eddie the Eagle, Matthew Margeson
The Edge of Seventeen, Atli Ӧrvarsson
Elle, Anne Dudley
Eye in the Sky, Paul Hepker and Mark Kilians
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, James Newton Howard
Fences, Marcelo Zarvos
Finding Dory, Thomas Newman
The First Monday in May, Ian Hultquist and Sofia Hultquists
Florence Foster Jenkins, Alexandre Desplat
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, Ryan Shore
The Founder, Carter Burwell
Free State of Jones, Nicholas Britell
Ghostbusters, Theodore Shapiro
The Girl on the Train, Danny Elfman
Gleason, Dan Romer and Saul Simon MacWilliamss
Gold, Daniel Pemberton
Greater, Stephen Raynor-Endelman
Hacksaw Ridge, Rupert Gregson-Williams
Hail, Caesar!, Carter Burwell
The Handmaiden, Cho Young-wuk
Hands of Stone, Angelo Milli
Hell or High Water, Nick Cave and Warren Elliss
Hidden Figures, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfischs
High-Rise, Clint Mansell
How to Be Single, Fil Eisler
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Lukasz Buda and Samuel Scotts
The Huntsman: Winter’s War, James Newton Howard
Ice Age: Collision Course, John Debney
Independence Day: Resurgence, Thomas Wander and Harald Klosers
Indignation, Jay Wadley
The Invitation, Theodore Shapiro
Ithaca, John Mellencamp
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Henry Jackman
Jackie, Mica Levi
Julieta, Alberto Iglesias
The Jungle Book, John Debney
Keeping Up with the Joneses, Jake Monaco
Kicks, Brian Reitzell
Krisha, Brian McOmber
Kubo and the Two Strings, Dario Marianelli
La La Land, Justin Hurwitz
Land of Mine, Sune Martin
Landfill Harmonic, Michael A. Levine
The Legend of Ben Hall, Ronnie Minder
The Legend of Tarzan, Rupert Gregson-Williams
Life, Animated, Dylan Stark and T. Griffins
The Light Between Oceans, Alexandre Desplat
Lights Out, Benjamin Wallfisch
Lion, Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschkas
The Little Prince, Hans Zimmer and Richard Harveys
Live by Night, Harry Gregson-Williams
Loving, David Wingo
Maggie’s Plan, Michael Rohatyn
Me Before You, Craig Armstrong
The Meddler, Jonathan Sadoff
Midnight Special, David Wingo
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Jeff Cardoni
Miracles from Heaven, Carlo Siliotto
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Mike Higham and Matthew Margesons
Miss Sloane, Max Richter
Mr. Church, Mark Isham
Moana, Mark Mancina
Money Monster, Dominic Lewis
The Monkey King 2, Christopher Young
A Monster Calls, Fernando Velázquez
Moonlight, Nicholas Britell
Morgan, Max Richter
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Christopher Lennertz
The Neon Demon, Cliff Martinez
The Nice Guys, John Ottman
No Letting Go, Alain Mayrand
Nocturnal Animals, Abel Korzeniowski
Now You See Me 2, Brian Tyler
O.J.: Made in America, Gary Lionelli
Off the Rails, Steve Gernes and Duncan Thums
The Other Side of the Door, Joseph Bishara
The Ottoman Lieutenant, Geoff Zanelli
Ouija: Origin of Evil, Taylor Stewart and John Andrew Grushs
Our Kind of Traitor, Marcelo Zarvos
Passengers, Thomas Newman
Paterson, Carter Logan and Jim Jarmuschs
Patriots Day, Trent Reznor and Atticus Rosss
Pelé: Birth of a Legend, A. R. Rahman
Pete’s Dragon, Daniel Hart
Po, Burt Bacharach
Queen of Katwe, Alex Heffes
Race, Rachel Portman
The Red Turtle, Laurent Perez Del Mar
Ride Along 2, Christopher Lennertz
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Michael Giacchino
Sausage Party, Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertzs
The Secret Life of Pets, Alexandre Desplat
Silicon Cowboys, Ian Hultquist
Sing, Joby Talbot
Snowtime!, Eloi Painchaud and Joranes
Southside with You, Stephen James Taylor
Star Trek Beyond, Michael Giacchino
Storks, Mychael Danna and Jeff Dannas
Suicide Squad, Steven Price
Sully, Christian Jacob
Swiss Army Man, Andy Hull and Robert McDowells
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Steve Jablonsky
10 Cloverfield Lane, Bear McCreary
10 Days in a Madhouse, Jamie Hall
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Lorne Balfe
Trolls, Christophe Beck
20th Century Women, Roger Neill
Warcraft, Ramin Djawadi
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Nick Urata
X-Men: Apocalypse, John Ottman
Zoolander 2, Theodore Shapiro
Zootopia, Michael Giacchino

– – – – – – – – – – –

I don’t see Silence or Arrival here. Off the top of my head. That’s interesting. Not gonna concern myself with what’s not here, but I did note those missing.

Anywho, here are the scores you can immediately throw out and never think twice about, because they will not be nominated:

The Abolitionists, Tim Jones
Absolutely Fabulous The Movie, Jake Monaco
Almost Christmas, John Paesano
The Angry Birds Movie, Heitor Pereira
Anthropoid, Robin Foster
Armenia, My Love, Silvia Leonetti
Assassin’s Creed, Jed Kurzel
Autumn Lights, Hugi Gudmundsson and Hjörtur Ingvi Jóhannssons
Believe, Michael Reola
Ben-Hur, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanderss
Bilal, Atli Ӧrvarsson
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Mychael Danna and Jeff Dannas
Bleed for This, Julia Holter
The Boss, Christopher Lennertz
Bridget Jones’s Baby, Craig Armstrong
The Bronze, Andrew Feltenstein and John Naus
Captain America: Civil War, Henry Jackman
The Charnel House, Todd Haberman
The Choice, Marcelo Zarvos
The Conjuring 2, Joseph Bishara
Criminal, Bryan Tyler and Keith Powers
Deadpool, Tom Holkenborg
Deepwater Horizon, Steve Jablonsky
Denial, Howard Shore
Doctor Strange, Michael Giacchino
The Dressmaker, David Hirschfelder
Eddie the Eagle, Matthew Margeson
The Edge of Seventeen, Atli Ӧrvarsson
Eye in the Sky, Paul Hepker and Mark Kilians
The First Monday in May, Ian Hultquist and Sofia Hultquists
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, Ryan Shore
The Founder, Carter Burwell
Free State of Jones, Nicholas Britell
Ghostbusters, Theodore Shapiro
The Girl on the Train, Danny Elfman
Gleason, Dan Romer and Saul Simon MacWilliamss
Greater, Stephen Raynor-Endelman
Hail, Caesar!, Carter Burwell
Hands of Stone, Angelo Milli
High-Rise, Clint Mansell
How to Be Single, Fil Eisler
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Lukasz Buda and Samuel Scotts
The Huntsman: Winter’s War, James Newton Howard
Ice Age: Collision Course, John Debney
Independence Day: Resurgence, Thomas Wander and Harald Klosers
Indignation, Jay Wadley
The Invitation, Theodore Shapiro
Ithaca, John Mellencamp
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Henry Jackman
Julieta, Alberto Iglesias
Keeping Up with the Joneses, Jake Monaco
Kicks, Brian Reitzell
Krisha, Brian McOmber
Land of Mine, Sune Martin
Landfill Harmonic, Michael A. Levine
The Legend of Ben Hall, Ronnie Minder
The Legend of Tarzan, Rupert Gregson-Williams
Life, Animated, Dylan Stark and T. Griffins
Lights Out, Benjamin Wallfisch
The Little Prince, Hans Zimmer and Richard Harveys
Maggie’s Plan, Michael Rohatyn
Me Before You, Craig Armstrong
The Meddler, Jonathan Sadoff
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Jeff Cardoni
Miracles from Heaven, Carlo Siliotto
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Mike Higham and Matthew Margesons
Miss Sloane, Max Richter
Mr. Church, Mark Isham
Money Monster, Dominic Lewis
The Monkey King 2, Christopher Young
Morgan, Max Richter
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Christopher Lennertz
The Neon Demon, Cliff Martinez
The Nice Guys, John Ottman
No Letting Go, Alain Mayrand
Now You See Me 2, Brian Tyler
O.J.: Made in America, Gary Lionelli
Off the Rails, Steve Gernes and Duncan Thums
The Other Side of the Door, Joseph Bishara
The Ottoman Lieutenant, Geoff Zanelli
Ouija: Origin of Evil, Taylor Stewart and John Andrew Grushs
Our Kind of Traitor, Marcelo Zarvos
Paterson, Carter Logan and Jim Jarmuschs
Pelé: Birth of a Legend, A. R. Rahman
Po, Burt Bacharach
Queen of Katwe, Alex Heffes
Race, Rachel Portman
Ride Along 2, Christopher Lennertz
Sausage Party, Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertzs
The Secret Life of Pets, Alexandre Desplat
Silicon Cowboys, Ian Hultquist
Sing, Joby Talbot
Snowtime!, Eloi Painchaud and Joranes
Southside with You, Stephen James Taylor
Star Trek Beyond, Michael Giacchino
Storks, Mychael Danna and Jeff Dannas
Suicide Squad, Steven Price
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Steve Jablonsky
10 Cloverfield Lane, Bear McCreary
10 Days in a Madhouse, Jamie Hall
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Lorne Balfe
Trolls, Christophe Beck
Warcraft, Ramin Djawadi
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Nick Urata
X-Men: Apocalypse, John Ottman
Zoolander 2, Theodore Shapiro

That’s 106, right off the top. And that’s me being lenient on some of the remaining ones. Trust me on this, none of these will be nominated.

Now for the ones that, in theory, I could give them a little bit of a shot, but I’d feel confident saying they probably have zero chance:

  • The Accountant, Mark Isham
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass, Danny Elfman
  • The Birth of a Nation, Henry Jackman
  • Collateral Beauty, Theodore Shapiro
  • Elle, Anne Dudley
  • Fences, Marcelo Zarvos
  • Gold, Daniel Pemberton
  • Pete’s Dragon, Daniel Hart
  • The Red Turtle, Laurent Perez Del Mar
  • Swiss Army Man, Andy Hull and Robert McDowells
  • 20th Century Women, Roger Neill

So that’s another 11 off.

Now for another 8 that I feel pretty confident won’t make any waves, but they give me reasons to think… maybe, a little bit?

  • American Pastoral, Alexandre Desplat
  • Finding Dory, Thomas Newman
  • The Handmaiden, Cho Young-wuk
  • Hell or High Water, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
  • Hidden Figures, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfischs
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Dario Marianelli
  • Patriots Day, Trent Reznor and Atticus Rosss
  • Zootopia, Michael Giacchino

Here are the 20 my gut tells me are likely to be nominated (in order):

20. Moana, Mark Mancina

Unless my brief glance was too brief, Disney hasn’t been nominated for Original Score since 1998. Pixar has, but not Disney. And even then, there were two Score categories. So put me down for “very unlikely,” but at this point, there’s not a whole lot that feels like it could get on. (But I’m usually wrong, so don’t go by me.)

19. Sully, Christian Jacob

Seems unlikely. Eastwood’s not really one for score in his movies. It’s only really here because the profile of the film. Very unlikely though.

18. Passengers, Thomas Newman

The movie’s looking like a DOA. Doubtful the score will be anything they go for. But you never know. They love Thomas Newman. So we’ll see. For now, put me down as “doubtful.”

17. Nocturnal Animals, Abel Korzeniowski

I should probably have this higher, but I honestly don’t even remember a score from this movie. My thoughts could change once I hear it, but for now, let’s put it in contention down here.

16. Hacksaw Ridge, Rupert Gregson-Williams

I probably should have this higher. This is a big, sweeping war score. Doubt it’s really past top ten for inclusion, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it made it. It’s in contention but feels unlikely.

15. Live by Night, Harry Gregson-Williams

Too early to tell. It could be great, but the film’s not out yet. I’ll know better in two weeks.

14. A Monster Calls, Fernando Velázquez

This just sounds like the kind of score that I’ll love that’ll be ignored by the Academy. Like his last score. I’d love to see this nominated, but I know better than to place this highly on my guess list. We’ll just wait and see if it happens.

13. Midnight Special, David Wingo

Wingo’s a dual threat this year. I gotta listen to the scores to see which I think is more likely. Based on profile alone, I figure this is the least likely of the two.

12. Loving, David Wingo

It’ll fit. Just need to hear it to see if it’s something they’ll go for.

11. Allied, Alan Silvestri

This feels like a strong contender, but with the movie not landing so well and Silvestri only ever being nominated once in this category… unlikely is my bet.

10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, James Newton Howard

Potter hovers around contention, but generally doesn’t do overly well. Only John Williams got nominated for this franchise, so I’m not feeling great about this one’s chances.

9. The Light Between Oceans, Alexandre Desplat

Only because the film was ignored. Otherwise this would be closer to a lock for me. It’s everything they want out of a film score. Maybe the music branch will go here, but with the film being essentially hidden from voters, I’m not sure this will make it on.

8. The Jungle Book, John Debney

This could make it on. This feels like a strong contender. I’m keeping it here until I hear it again, but I’d say this for sure has a legitimate shot at the final five.

7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Michael Giacchino

It’s not John Williams. Not sure they’re gonna feel the urgency to nominate this here. We’ll see. Sounds unlikely, but something you gotta keep in contention. They ignored him for Inside Out last year. And he’s only ever been nominated for Pixar. I’m erring on the side of, “No, but it’s possible.”

6. Moonlight, Nicholas Britell

I don’t really remember this score, so I’m not sure exactly where this lands. I feel it’s right in contention because of the film’s profile. I’ll know better once I hear it if I think this has a legitimate shot or is just white noise.

5. Florence Foster Jenkins, Alexandre Desplat

It’s generally a good idea to assume Desplat will be nominated. The question is, though, for which score will it be? Light Between Oceans might be the better one, but the film was forgotten. This will get a nomination for Streep, most likely, and seems like it could get this one too. I doubt it’ll be American Pastoral. So if I’m guessing a Desplat nomination, this is most likely, even if I’d prefer Light Between Oceans.

4. Lion, Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschkas

This feels like a Weinstein kind of nomination. He’ll get this four or five nominations. Picture, Supporting Actor, Score, maybe Screenplay, and something else. It sounds like the kind of score that’ll get nominated.

3. The BFG, John Williams

When in doubt, assume they’ll nominate John Williams. It tends to work out. This feels like another one of his that’ll get on. In the past 25 years, every year in which he composed a score (save 1992), he was nominated. Going back even further — 1992, 1986, 1979, 1976. Forty years. Those are the only times he was eligible to be nominated and wasn’t. So I’d say he’s a pretty fucking good bet here.

2. Jackie, Mica Levi

If given 90 scores that weren’t La La Land and told I had to pick the one most likely to be nominated, this would probably be the one. It just feels like it’s gonna get on. His only other score was Under the Skin, which people loved but didn’t get any attention with the Oscars. Could this be the one? Not sure. But it’s looking that way.

1. La La Land, Justin Hurwitz

If there ever was a sure thing in the Score category, this is it. More so than John Williams for Star Wars last year. This is happening.

– – – – – – – – – –

So that’s what I have right now for Best Original Score. Keep in mind that I have no idea what I wrote in this article, even now, as I’m writing this outro. Or whatever this is called. This is all just guesswork. I’ll probably revisit this in a month and go, “What the hell were you thinking?” Though last year I did get 3/5 right initially, and then by the time I got to picking, I ended up getting 4/5. So maybe I am closer than I think.

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