Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Original Score

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Original Score. AKA John Williams’ annual poker night, because that dude is always here.

Year Best Original Score Winners Other Nominees
1934 One Night of Love The Gay Divorcee

The Lost Patrol

1935 The Informer Captain Blood

Mutiny on the Bounty

Peter Ibbetson

1936 Anthony Adverse The Charge of the Light Brigade

The Garden of Allah

The General Died at Dawn


1937 One Hundred Men and a Girl The Hurricane

In Old Chicago

The Life of Emile Zola

Lost Horizon

Make a Wish


Portia on Trial

The Prisoner of Zenda

Quality Street

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Something to Sing About

Souls at Sea

Way Out West

1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood Army Girl



Breaking the Ice

The Cowboy and the Lady

If I Were King

Marie Antoinette

Pacific Liner


The Young in Heart

1939 Original: The Wizard of Oz

Scoring: Stagecoach

Original: Dark Victory

Eternally Yours

Golden Boy

Gone With the Wins

Gulliver’s Travels

The Man in the Iron Mask

Man of Conquest

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Nurse Edith Cavell

Of Mice and Men

The Rains Came

Wuthering Heights

Scoring: Babes in Arms

1940 Original Score: Pinocchio

Scoring: Tin Pan Alley

Original Score: Arizona

The Dark Command

The Fight for Life

The Great Dictator

The Howards of Virginia

The Letter

The Long Voyage Home

The Mark of Zorro

My Favorite Wife

North West Mounted Police

One Million B.C.

Our Town


The Thief of Bagdad

Waterloo Bridge

Scoring: Arise, My Love

Hit Parade of 1941


Our Town

The Sea Hawk

Second Chorus

Spring Parade

Strike Up the Band

1941 Dramatic: The Devil and Daniel Webster

Musical: Dumbo

Dramatic: Back Street

Ball of Fire

Cheers for Miss Bishop

Citizen Kane

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Hold Back the Dawn

How Green Was My Valley

King of the Zombies

Ladies in Retirement

The Little Foxes


Mercy Island

Sergeant York

So Ends Our Night



Tanks a Million

That Uncertain Feeling

This Woman is Mine

Musical: All-American Co-Ed

Birth of the Blues

Buck Privates

The Chocolate Soldier


The Strawberry Blonde

Sun Valley Serenade


You’ll Never Get Rich

1942 Dramatic or Comedy: Now, Voyager

Musical: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Dramatic or Comedy: Arabian Knights


The Black Swan

The Corsican Brothers

Flying Tigers

The Gold Rush

I Married a Witch

Joan of Paris

Jungle Book

Klondike Fury

The Pride of the Yankees

Random Harvest

The Shanghai Gesture

Silver Queen

Take a Letter, Darling

The Talk of the town

To Be or Not to Be

Musical: Flying with Music

For Me and My Gal

Holiday Inn

It Started with Eve

Johnny Doughboy

My Gal Sal

You Were Never Lovelier

1943 Dramatic or Comedy: The Song of Bernadette

Musical: This Is the Army

Dramatic or Comedy: The Amazing Mrs. Holliday


Commandos Strike at Dawn

The Fallen Sparrow

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hangmen Also Die

Hi Diddle Diddle

In Old Oklahoma

Johnny Come Lately

The Kansan

Lady of Burlseque

Madame Curie

The Moon and Sixpence

The North Star

Victory Through Air Power

Musical: Coney Island

Hit Parade of 1943

Phantom o the Opera

Saludos Amigos

The Sky’s the Limit

Something to Shout About

Stage Door Canteen

Star Spangled Rhythm

Thousands Cheer

1944 Dramatic or Comedy: Since You Went Away

Musical: Cover Girl

Dramatic or Comedy: Address Unknown

The Adventures of Mark Twain

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Casanova Brown

Christmas Holiday

Double Indemnity

The Fighting Seabees

The Hairy Ape

It Happened Tomorrow

Jack London


None but the Lonely Heart

The Princess and the Pirate

Summer Storm

Three Russian Girls

Up in Mabel’s Room

Voice in the Wind


Woman of the Town

Musical: Brazil

Higher and Higher

Hollywood Canteen

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Knickerbocker Holiday

Lady in the Dark

Lady, Let’s Dance

Meet Me in St. Louis

The Merry Monahans

Minstrel Man

Sensations of 1945

Song o the Open Road

Up in Arms

1945 Dramatic or Comedy: Spellbound

Musical: Anchors Aweigh

Dramatic or Comedy: The Bells of St. Mary’s

Brewster’s Millions

Captain Kidd

The Enchanted Cottage

Flame of Barbary Coast

G.I. Honeymoon

The Story of G.I. Joe

Guest in the House

Guest Wife

The Keys of the Kingdom

The Lost Weekend

Love Letters

The Man Who Walked Alone

Objective, Burma!


A Song to Remember

The Southerner

This Love of Ours

The Valley of Decision

The Woman in the Window

Musical: Belle of the Yukon

Can’t Help Singing

Hitchhike to Happiness

Incendiary Blonde

Rhapsody in Blue

State Fair

Sunbonnet Sue

The Three Caballeros

Tonight and Every night

Why Girls Leave Home

Wonder Man

1946 Dramatic or Comedy: The Best Years of Our Lives

Musical: The Jolson Story

Dramatic or Comedy: Anna and the King of Siam

Henry V


The Killers

Musical: Blue Skies

Centennial Summer

The Harvey Girls

Night and Day

1947 Dramatic or Comedy: A Double Life

Musical: Mother Wore Tights

Dramatic or Comedy: The Bishop’s Wife

Captain from Castile

Forever Amber

Life with Father

Musical: Fiesta

My Wild Irish Rose

Road to Rio

Song of the South

1948 Dramatic or Comedy: The Red Shoes

Musical: Easter Parade

Dramatic or Comedy: Hamlet

Joan of Arc

Johnny Belinda

The Snake Pit

Musical: The Emperor Waltz

The Pirate

Romance on the High Seas

When My Baby Smiles at Me

1949 Dramatic or Comedy: The Heiress

Musical: On the Town

Dramatic or Comedy: Beyond the Forest


Musical: Jolson Sings Again

Look for the Silver Lining

1950 Dramatic or Comedy: Sunset Boulevard

Musical: Annie Get Your Gun

Dramatic or Comedy: All About Eve

The Flame and the Arros

No Sad Songs for Me

Samson and Delilah

Musical: Cinderella

I’ll Get By

Three Little Words

The West Point Story

1951 Dramatic or Comedy: A Place in the Sun

Musical: An American in Paris

Dramatic or Comedy: David and Bathsheba

Death of a Salesman

Quo Vadis

A Streetcar Named Desire

Musical: Alice in Wonderland

The Great Caruso

On the Riviera

Show Boat

1952 Dramatic or Comedy: High Noon

Musical: With a Song in My Heart

Dramatic or Comedy: Ivanhoe

The Miracle of Oour Lady of Fantima

The Thief

Viva Zapata!

Musical: Hans Christian Anderson

The Jazz Singer

The Medium

Singin’ in the Rain

1953 Dramatic or Comedy: Lili

Musical: Call Me Madam

Dramatic or Comedy: Above and Beyond

From Here to Eternity

Julius Caesar

This is Cinerama

Musical: The Band Wagon

Calamity Jane

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T

Kiss Me Kate

1954 Dramatic or Comedy: The High and the Mighty

Musical: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Dramatic or Comedy: The Caine Mutiny


On the Waterfront

The Silver Chalice

Musical: Carmen Jones

The Glenn Miller Story

A Star is Born

There’s No Business Like Show Business

1955 Dramatic or Comedy: Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

Musical: Oklahoma!

Dramatic or Comedy: Battle Cry

The Man with the Golden Arm


The Rose Tattoo

Musical: Daddy Long Legs

Guys and Dolls

It’s Always Fair Weather

Love Me or Leave Me

1956 Dramatic or Comedy: Around the World in 80 Days

Musical: The King and I

Dramatic or Comedy: Anastasia

Between Heaven and Hell


The Rainmaer

Musical: The Best Things in Life Are Free

The Eddy Duchin Story

High Society

Meet Me in Las Vegas

1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai An Affair to Remember

Boy on a Dolphin


Raintree County

1958 Dramatic or Comedy: The Old Man and the Sea

Musical: Gigi

Dramatic or Comedy: The Big Country

Separate Tables

White Wilderness

The Young Lions

Musical: The Bolshoi Ballet

Damn Tankees

Mardi Gras

South Pacific

1959 Dramatic or Comedy: Ben-Hur

Musical: Porgy and Bess

Dramatic or Comedy: The Diary of Anne Frank

The Nun’s Story

On the Beach

Pillow Talk

Musical: The Five Pennies

Li’l Abner

Say One for Me

Sleeping Beauty

1960 Dramatic or Comedy: Exodus

Musical: Song without End (The Story of Franz Liszt)

Dramatic or Comedy: The Alamo

Elmer Gantry

The Magnificent Seven


Musical: Bells Are Ringing


Let’s Make Love


1961 Dramatic or Comedy: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Musical: West Side Story

Dramatic or Comedy: El Cid


The Guns of Navarone

Summer and Smoke

Musical: Babes in Toyland

Flower Drum Song


Paris Blues

1962 Original: Lawrence of Arabia

Music-adaptation or treatment: The Music Man

Original: Freud

Mutiny on the Bounty

Taras Bulba

To Kill a Mockingbird

Music-adaptation or treatment: Billy Rose’s Jumbo



The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

1963 Original: Tom Jones

Music-adaptation or treatment: Irma la Douce

Original: Cleopatra

55 Days at Peking

How the West Was Won

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Music-adaptation or treatment: Bye Bye Birdie

A New Kind of Love

Sundays and Cybele

The Sword in the Stone

1964 Original: Mary Poppins

Music-adaptation or treatment: My Fair Lady

Original: Becket

The Fall of the Roman Empire

Hugh… Hush, Sweet Charlotte

The Pink Panther

Music-adaptation or treatment: A Hard Day’s Night

Mary Poppins

Robin and the 7 Hoods

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

1965 Original: Doctor Zhivago

Music-adaptation or treatment: The Sound of Music

Original: The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Greatest Story Ever Told

A Patch of Blue

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Music-adaptation or treatment: Cat Ballou

The Pleasure Seekers

A Thousand Clowns

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

1966 Original: Born Free

Music-adaptation or treatment: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Original: The Bible: In the Beginning


The Sand Pebbles

Who’s Afraid of the Virginia Woolf?

Music-adaptation or treatment: The Gospel According to St. Matthew

Return of the Seven

The Singing Nun

Stop the World – I Want to Get Off

1967 Original: Thoroughly Modern Millie

Music-adaptation or treatment: Camelot

Original: Cool Hand Luke

Doctor Dolittle

Far from the Madding Crowd

In Cold Blood

Music-adaptation or treatment: Doctor Dolittle

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Valley of the Dolls

1968 Original: The Lion in Winter

Musical: Oliver!

Original: The Fox

Planet of the Apes

The Shoes of the Fisherman

The Thomas Crown Affair

Musical: Finian’s Rainbow

Funny Girl


The Young Girls of Rochefort

1969 Original: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Musical: Hello, Dolly!

Original: Anne of the Thousand Days

The Reivers

The Secret of Santa Vittoria

The Wild Bunch

Musical: Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Paint Your Wagon

Sweet Charity

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

1970 Original: Love Story

Original Song Score: Let It Be

Original: Airport



I Girasoli

Original Song Score: The Baby Maker

A Boy Named Charlie Brown

Darling Lili


1971 Dramatic: Summer of ‘42

Song Score and Adaptation: Fiddler on the Roof

Dramatic: Mary, Queen of Scots

Nicholas and Alexandra


Straw Dogs

Song Score and Adaptation: Bedknobs and Broomsticks

The Boy Friend


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

1972 Dramatic: Limelight

Song Score and Adaptation: Cabaret

Dramatic: The Godfather (nomination withdrawn)


Napoleon and Samantha

The Poseidon Adventure


Song Score and Adaptation: Lady Sings the Blues

Man of La Mancha

1973 Dramatic: The Way We Were

Song Score and Adaptation: The Sting

Dramatic: Cinderella Liberty

The Day of the Dolphin


A Touch of Class

Song Score and Adaptation: Jesus Christ Superstar

Tom Sawyer

1974 Dramatic: The Godfather Part II

Song Score and Adaptation: The Great Gatsby

Dramatic: Chinatown

Murder on the Orient Express


The Towering Inferno

Song Score and Adaptation: The Little Prince

Phantom of the Paradise

1975 Dramatic: Jaws

Song Score and Adaptation: Barry Lyndon

Dramatic: Birds Do It, Bees Do It

Bite the Bullet

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Wind and the Lion

Song Score and Adaptation: Funny Lady


1976 Dramatic: The Omen

Song Score and Adaptation: Bound for Glory

Dramatic: Obsession

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Taxi Driver

Voyage of the Damned

Song Score and Adaptation: Bugsy Malone

A Star is Born

1977 Dramatic: Star Wars

Song Score and Adaptation: A Little Night Music

Dramatic: Close Encounters of the Third Kind


Mohammad, Messenger of God

The Spy Who Loved Me

Song Score and Adaptation: Pete’s Dragon

The Slipper and the Rose

1978 Original: Midnight Express

Adaptation: The Buddy Holly Story

Original: The Boys from Brazil

Days of Heaven

Heaven Can Wait


Adaptation: Pretty Baby

The Wiz

1979 Dramatic: A Little Romance

Song Score and Adaptation: All That Jazz

Dramatic: The Amityville Horror

The Champ

Star Trek: The Motion Picture


Song Score and Adaptation: Breaking Away

The Muppet Movie

1980 Fame Altered States

The Elephant Man

The Empire Strikes Back


1981 Chariots of Fire Dragonslayer

On Golden Pond


Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982 Original: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Song Score and Adaptation: Victor Victoria

Dramatic: Gandhi

An Officer and a Gentleman


Sophie’s Choice

Song Score and Adaptation: Annie

One from the Heart

1983 Original: The Right Stuff

Song Score and Adaptation: Yentl

Dramatic: Cross Creek

Return of the Jedi

Terms of Endearment

Under Fire

Song Score and Adaptation: The Sting II

Trading Places

1984 Dramatic: A Passage to India

Song Score: Purple Rain

Dramatic: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The Natural

The River

Under the Volcano

Song Score: The Muppets Take Manhattan


1985 Out of Africa Agnes of God

The Color Purple



1986 Round Midnight Aliens


The Mission

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

1987 The Last Emperor Cry Freedom

Empire of the Sun

The Untouchables

The Witches of Eastwick

1988 The Milagro Beanfield War The Accidental Tourist

Dangerous Liaisons

Gorillas in the Mist

Rain Man

1989 The Little Mermaid Born on the Fourth of July

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Field of Dreams

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

1990 Dances with Wolves Avalon



Home Alone

1991 Beauty and the Beast Bugsy

The Fisher King


The Prince of Tides

1992 Aladdin Basic Instinct


Howards End

A River Runs Through It

1993 Schindler’s List The Age of Innocence

The Firm

The Fugitive

The Remains of the Day

1994 The Lion King Forrest Gump

Interview with the Vampire

Little Women

The Shawshank Redemption

1995 Dramatic: Il Postino

Musical or Comedy: Pocahontas

Dramatic: Apollo 13



Sense and Sensibility

Musical or Comedy: The American President


Toy Story

Unstrung Heroes

1996 Dramatic: The English Patient

Musical or Comedy: Emma

Dramatic: Hamlet

Michael Collins



Musical or Comedy: The First Wives Club

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

James and the Giant Peach

The Preacher’s Wife

1997 Dramatic: Titanic

Musical or Comedy: The Fully Monty

Dramatic: Amistad

Good Will Hunting


L.A. Confidential

Musical or Comedy: Anastasia

As Good As It Gets

Men in Black

My Best Friend’s Wedding

1998 Dramatic: Life is Beautiful

Musical or Comedy: Shakespeare in Love

Dramatic: Elizabeth


Saving Private Ryan

The Thin Red Line

Musical or Comedy: A Bug’s Life


Patch Adams

The Prince of Egypt

1999 The Red Violin American Beauty

Angela’s Ashes

The Cider House Rules

The Talented Mr. Ripley

2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Chocolat



The Patriot

2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

A Beautiful Mind

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Monsters, Inc.

2002 Frida Catch Me If You Can

Far from Heaven

The Hours

Road to Perdition

2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Big Fish

Cold Mountain

Finding Nemo

House of Sand and Fog

2004 Finding Neverland Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events

The Passion of the Christ

The Village

2005 Brokeback Mountain The Constant Gardener

Memoirs of a Geisha


Pride and Prejudice

2006 Babel The Good German

Notes on a Scandal

Pan’s Labyrinth

The Queen

2007 Atonement 3:10 to Yuma

The Kite Runner

Michael Clayton


2008 Slumdog Millionaire The Curious Case of Benjamin Button




2009 Up Avatar

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Hurt Locker

Sherlock Holmes

2010 The Social Network 127 Hours

How to Train Your Dragon


The King’s Speech

2011 The Artist The Adventures of Tintin


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

2012 Life of Pi Anna Karenina




2013 Gravity The Book Thief



Saving Mr. Banks

2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game


Mr. Turner

The Theory of Everything

2015 The Hateful Eight Bridge of Spies



Star Wars: The Force Awakens

2016 La La Land Jackie




2017 The Shape of Water Dunkirk

Phantom Thread

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

2018 Black Panther BlacKkKlansman

If Beale Street Could Talk

Isle of Dogs

Mary Poppins Returns

This category got easier for us last year, when they started giving us a shortlist for this, rather than us figuring out from a list of like, 140 eligible scores which 30 were in contention and then guessing from there. Now they give us 15 and we have to figure out 5. Not so bad.

In terms of figuring out how it’s gonna go, I made a handy chart that shows you how it usually goes. It’s all three precursors (BAFTA, BFCA, Globes) and how they voted, going back to 2000. Really, the only thing that matters are the past handful of years. But going all the way back shows you generally what usually happens.

(Anything in RED was not nominated at the Oscars.)

Year Oscar BAFTA Globe BFCA
2018 Black Panther A Star Is Born First Man First Man
2017 The Shape of Water The Shape of Water The Shape of Water The Shape of Water
2016 La La Land La La Land La La Land La La Land
2015 The Hateful Eight The Hateful Eight The Hateful Eight The Hateful Eight
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel The Theory of Everything Birdman
2013 Gravity Gravity All Is Lost Gravity
2012 Life of Pi Skyfall Life of Pi Lincoln
2011 The Artist The Artist The Artist The Artist
2010 The Social Network The King’s Speech The Social Network The Social Network
2009 Up Up Up Up
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
2007 Atonement La Vie en Rose Atonement There Will Be Blood
2006 Babel Babel The Painted Veil The Illusionist
2005 Brokeback Mountain Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha
2004 Finding Neverland The Motorcycle Diaries The Aviator The Aviator
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Cold Mountain The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2002 Frida The Hours Frida Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets & Minority Report
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Moulin Rouge! Moulin Rouge! The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Gladiator Gladiator

Last year is an outlier because all the winners weren’t nominated (Star Is Born, it should be noted, basically won for its songs because BAFTA has one category for ‘Music’, which includes songs and score) and we had to just guess how that was gonna go. Otherwise, recently, you’ll see a lot of consensus. Which it seems we’re gonna have again this year. But first, let’s get into our category.

Best Original Score



Little Women

Marriage Story

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

This was the assumed category. Of that shortlist, you could maybe have pulled one alternate that could have made it on.

The shortlist included: Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, The Farewell, Ford v Ferrari, Frozen II, Jojo Rabbit, The King, Motherless Brooklyn, Pain and Glory and Us. Of those — you knew to toss most of them out. The first Frozen wasn’t nominated and you knew this one wasn’t gonna. The Farewell is a first-time composer and no one really remembered the score to that film and the film never went anywhere. Pain and Glory — no foreign film has been nominated here since 2006, so you had to think that wasn’t happening. Endgame was clearly out. Bombshell barely had a score and the composer was never nominated before. The King is a two-time nominee, but the film never caught on and Britell isn’t at the stage yet where he gets scores on. Motherless Brooklyn is a composer they haven’t come around to yet and the film never went anywhere. Hard to see that happpening. Us is a second-time composer and more of a thriller/horror score, which isn’t really what they go for. Ford v Ferrari you had to consider, but no one really remembers that score. The real only alternative is Jojo, but Michael Giacchino has never been nominated for a non-Pixar score. And the last time he was nominated was ten years ago.

Meanwhile, John Williams was automatically on. It’s Star Wars, and he’s been nominated like, 25 of the past 29 years or something insane like that. You knew that was happening. Joker was automatic. Little Women was automatic as Alexandre Desplat. Thomas Newman’s now been nominated 15 times, so that plus 1917 was automatic. And then you had Randy Newman, who they love, for a score that was actually really memorable from Marriage Story, which they liked. It was an easy puzzle to put together. These were the obvious five scores.

Meanwhile, in terms of precursors, the Globes and BFCA have handed out already and both went to Joker. So once BAFTA follows suit, we’ll have another consensus year. If not, then we can talk. But I think we can figure this one out as-is in terms of rankings.


5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Just because they always nominate him doesn’t mean he’s a shoo-in to win. John Williams has 52 nominations but only 5 wins. And his last win was Schindler’s List. He’s been nominated 21 times since then and lost them all. Don’t worry, they won’t give him this because it’s the last one. It’s fine. He’s won enough. He’s the fifth choice here unless he wins BAFTA. Then we talk.

4. Marriage Story — Randy Newman’s never won for Score. He’s only ever won for Song. The score is very nice, but I can’t see people rallying around him as a winner. He feels like a fourth choice here. Maybe he’ll get some votes, but I can’t see him being  winner. The last time something won Score while losing all the precursors was 2005, and it was Brokeback Mountain. Not feeling this. He’s lost the only two precursors he was up for. Like I said, he feels like a fourth choice.

3. Little Women — You have no idea how badly I wanna make him second choice. But he’s won two of the past five years. Maybe he can pull this off. He’ll need BAFTA. But I don’t think he’s getting it. And probably being the best score on this list doesn’t mean a whole lot, unfortunately, because you know no one actually listens to the damn things. So he’s a third choice unless he wins BAFTA. Would be nice, but I’m not feeling it.

2. 1917 — Thomas Newman is 0-14 so far. If he’s gonna win for anything, it could be the big war film Not that he’s got a big, sweeping, John Williams score. Because he’s not that guy. But a lot of the time this category’s all about perception anyway. So that could easily get him some votes. I wanna see if he wins BAFTA. If he wins BAFTA, then I’ll be real curious to see how the category turns out. But absent a precursor, he can’t be considered a favorite. And even so, even with a BAFTA win, he might still be second choice going into Oscar night.

1. Joker — She’s won two of the three precursors and there’s no reason to think she won’t win the last one. If she loses it, then maybe we talk about an alternate winner, especially if she loses to 1917. But until then, this is the favorite and the assumed winner of the category. Simple as that. Can’t say I loved the score, but I’m not here to talk about what I loved. I’m here to talk about what’s going to win. And right now, this has the precursors, therefore it’s the favorite. Also being forgotten about here is that Hildur Guðnadóttir is only the seventh woman ever nominated in this category and would become only the fourth woman to ever win it. Which is impressive.

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