Oscars 2019: Best Original Score Shortlist

Okay, so I waited on this one until morning just because I knew there were gonna be ones that didn’t make the shortlist because they were deemed ineligible. So I went and looked that up first before getting into this article. Because of course we were gonna talk about that part of it.

There were 170 scores eligible to be on this list. The major ones that were not eligible were Knives Out, Ad Astra, The Irishman, Captain Marvel and A Hidden Life. Knives Out was apparently because someone fucked up while submitting it, Ad Astra is because there are two credited composers, but only one of them did the majority of the score, which is apparently against the rules. Irishman and Hidden Life are because of the appearance of too much non-score. Captain Marvel wasn’t submitted at all. Not that I thought it would have gotten on, but it’s worth noting.

Anyway, of all the things submitted, here are the 15 that made it on the shortlist:

1917
Avengers: Endgame

Bombshell
The Farewell
Ford v Ferrari
Frozen II
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
The King
Little Women
Marriage Story
Motherless Brooklyn
Pain and Glory
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Us

Running through my head of what didn’t make it on but theoretically could have: The Aeronauts maybe, Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Dark Waters… I mean, yeah. Not a whole lot that I can think of off the top of my head. I mean, there’s other stuff I’ll listen to and maybe it’ll be something I think should have made it on, but the ‘big’ stuff I’d think about did get on here. Look at that.

Five of these are gonna get nominated, and one of them is Star Wars. So now we’re just picking the other four.

  • 1917 is Thomas Newman, and I suspect he’ll get nominated for this. They love him, it’s an epic war movie. That feels about right.
  • Endgame is not surprising. They shortlisted Infinity War. It’s Alan Silvestri. I’m not gonna assume it gets on, but I’m not ruling it out either. Thinking fringe contender at the moment.
  • Bombshell I’d have to listen. It’s Theodore Shapiro, who’s never been nominated. Feels unlikely, but again, I’d have to hear it first before I knew for sure.
  • The Farewell is by Alex Weston, who is new to this and hasn’t done anything remotely Oscar-related thus far. Feels unlikely they’d embrace a newbie on principle. Maybe they will, but I’m assuming they don’t. Usually it’s either a big obvious choice or a ‘composer’, who is clearly gonna be a staple of film scores going forward. I just feel like they won’t nominate this and that it’s something they put on to look good even though they don’t necessarily believe in it. But we’ll see. I need to listen to it to know for sure.
  • Ford v Ferrari is Marco Beltrami. He’s always in contention, even though he hasn’t been nominated in a decade. Not sure they go here, but we’ll have to consider him a contender. Thinking this is an easy one to not have to guess.
  • Frozen II shouldn’t get on. The first one didn’t, and I don’t think they’re suddenly gonna warm up to it out of nowhere.
  • Jojo Rabbit is Giacchino. He’s never been nominated outside of Pixar, and not since Up. So I’m not sure this happens, but I guess it could.
  • Joker is Hildur Guðnadóttir, who was the protege of Johann Johannsson. She also did Cherobyl and the second Sicario. So I’m thinking they go al in for her on this and nominate her. It’ll look good all around for them.
  • The King is Nicholas Britell. They like him. I’ll need to hear it to see how much of a shot this has. Thinking it’s definitely possible.
  • Little Women is Alexandre Desplat. They love him and I assume this will be nominated, sound-unheard.
  • Marriage Story is Randy Newman. Which is awesome to think that he could get on for both a marriage story and a toy story. Feeling like you have to include him as a probable nominee and then see what could swap on instead.
  • Motherless Brooklyn is Daniel Pemberton, who has been delivering great scores for years and has yet to have a nomination to show for it. Three Globes nominations, including one for this film (and Steve Jobs, which was a wonderful score), but no Oscar nomination. Eventually he’ll get it. Could it be for this? Dunno. Feels unlikely. They seem to go for big composers, big films and great scores. Maybe this hits. Gotta hear it first.
  • Pain and Glory is Alberto Iglesias. He’s been nominated three times, for The Constant Gardener, The Kite Runner and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. So don’t rule him out. This, to me, shows real support for the film and tells me that Almodovar has a good shot at getting on Foreign Language and possibly even elsewhere (looking at Director, which feels unlikely, considering Bong Joon Ho, Screenplay and Cinematography).
  • Us is Michael Abels, who has never been nominated and has only composed four films to this point, two of which are this film and Get Out. One is See You Yesterday and the fourth hasn’t come out yet. So I’m not sure how quickly they’re gonna embrace him. Though the shortlisting is a good sign. But again, could just be them trying to look good. We’ll see. I wanna listen to it and see what it is from there.

But anyway, that’s the list.

BFCA nominated 1917, Marriage Story, Joker, Little Women and Us.

The Globes nominated 1917, Joker Little Women, Marriage Story and Motherless Brooklyn.

So that’s 4 the same on both lists, and Star Wars is gonna get nominated.

So really, wait on BAFTA, but I think you’ve got your favorites currently, don’t you?

1917
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Alternate: The King

Dark Horse: Motherless Brooklyn

Surprise: Avengers: Endgame, Jojo Rabbit, Pain and Glory

Shocker: Bombshell, Ford v Ferrari, Us

Seem unlikely: The Farewell, Frozen II

That feels pretty straightforward, to be honest. I suspect BAFTA is gonna bore at least three or four of those out. The best thing they can do is not nominate Star Wars, because it’s a given that the Academy will nominate it. 1917 seems like a lock for BAFTA and the category. Little Women also seems the same. Joker, once BAFTA nominates it, that’s a done deal too. That leaves Randy Newman as the last spot. I’m comfortable putting him on here.

Britell could get on easily, Pemberton maybe for a first. Avengers I guess could also happen, same for Iglesias. I don’t think Giacchino gets on, but he always seems to hang around in that ‘maybe’ realm every year. Bombshell I have to hear before I truly decide. So that’s why that’s there. Ford v Ferrari feels like one that won’t happen. Us feels unlikely but possible. That and Bombshell feel like the two that could move up once I listen to them specifically. Farewell feels really unlikely, but I also don’t remember it as a score, so we’ll see. And Frozen I just don’t think is happening whatsoever.

I think this might be a pretty easy one. I think we’re all gonna get 4/5, if not 5/5. But, BAFTA’s in a month, so we’ll see what that does for us. In the meantime, I’ve got 75 scores currently ready to listen to, plus I’m sure another five-to-ten more that’ll come in the next couple of weeks. So I’ve got my homework all set up for this one.

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