Oscars 2018: Best Original Score Shortlist

Okay, now we’re at the last two shortlists, and I deliberately saved these for last because they’re the two newest and the two I’m least familiar with.

They narrowed down Score and Song? What? Sure, Score, it just makes it easier to guess, but do I want that? I had more fun when it was harder. And I had to guess from 120 scores. I’d go through, eliminate all but like, 35, and then I’d say “here’s fifteen that I guess could, but probably not,” and then end up with 20 that I think are the main contenders and then sort of rank what I think their chances are and narrow it down that way. Here, they do all the work for me! That’s not fun! And we’ll get to Song later. That’s just a travesty.

There were 156 eligible scores, and they’ve narrowed it down to 15. So 1/3 of this will be your category. Here is your shortlist for Best Original Score:

Annihilation
Avengers: Infinity War
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Crazy Rich Asians
The Death of Stalin
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
Vice

So yeah, that’s it. Five of these fifteen will be nominated.

Just glancing at this — Mary Poppins, First Man, Beale Street, Isle of Dogs and one other one. That’s probably your category.

But just looking at this — why does it seem like no one actually listened to the scores and are just voting for what the “trendy” movies are? Is no one else noticing this? Why are we bastardizing the point of the categories? The worst part is, we don’t even know what the ones are that got let out. What’s that about? This is weird. They didn’t disclose the other 141 scores and just gave us the 15. They didn’t tell us just how we got to this — did the branch listen to all 156 scores, or were they given five minute snippets and were left to go from there?

Show of hands — who remembers the BlacKkKlansman score? I picked that one over some others because I love that movie. Still couldn’t tell you any moment of that score. Seems like they shortlisted it purely because it’s BlacKkKlansman and for no other reason. Crazy Rich Asians — particularly score-heavy, that movie? Really? All these changes are really starting to get away from the point of the category, which is to nominate what people truly think are the best pieces of work. If you could tell me that people honestly believed that, then I will go with it. Here, it just seems like they’re going with what they think people want.

But yeah, I honestly think those four I said above are totally gonna make it. Maybe Isle of Dogs gets left off, but i feel like Desplat won for a Wes Anderson score last time, so it makes sense. Ready Player One isn’t John Williams — but do they know that? That seems like something I would automatically assume is the last one. Beasts… unlikely, if the first one was left off. Are any of them Thomas Newman? Because they like nominating him regardless. But you know what? I’m not gonna look at who it is. Because I’m gonna try to treat this as though it’s on the up and up.

Buster Scruggs — tough, because Carter Burwell was utterly ignored for years, only getting his first two nominations in the past three years. Maybe. Avengers and Black Panther… would need to see it to believe it. They haven’t done it yet. Hard to automatically assume at this juncture they go there. I’ll also need to listen to the scores first (which I will do. I’m coming in prepared in January, don’t you worry). Annihilation… tough call. My gut says no, because I’m guessing it’s the same composers he used last time. I feel like they’re more likely to go with someone bigger. It seems kind of incestuous in this branch. Death of Stalin… wouldn’t that be surprising. Quiet Place… that’s Beltrami. That’s a possibility. Vice is Britell, who will already be on for Beale Street.

Honestly, I feel like those are the six. The four I said, Ready Player One and Quiet Place. I feel like your category makes most sense in there, based on nothing at the moment.

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

A Quiet Place

Ready Player One

Let’s guess that for now. I’ll leave Desplat off, knowing I’ll have to consider him more later. But shit, that certainly looks like a category, doesn’t it?

I’ll listen to all of these in the next month and let you know what I’m thinking.

Last shortlist, coming up.

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One response

  1. The Academy’s Music branch better not fuck over Desplat.

    December 18, 2018 at 11:45 pm

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