Oscar Contenders

Scores for 'Drive' and 'Attack the Block' aren't Eligible for an Oscar

Thomas Newman and Michael Giacchino lead list with four scores eligible

Score for Drive Ineligible for OscarI was actually beginning to believe Cliff Martinez's score for Drive may actually have a shot with all the love it has received in the precursor awards, but last night the Academy announced the list of 97 scores eligible for Best Original Score at the 2012 Oscars and, oops, what do you know, both Drive and Attack the Block didn't make the cut. The only other score I had on my current list of predictions for the category to not make the cut was Howard Shore's music for David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. Why? Well, I would assume somewhere inside there the rules for requirement weren't met.

As per the Academy, "To be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible."

My assumption here is that the "scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music" rule is the number one reason for Drive's omission and the same can probably be said about the score for The Muppets, which also didn't make the cut. As for A Dangerous Method, I have to assume there was something less than original about it, but I can't be too sure.

Among the list of composers eligible, however, Thomas Newman and Michael Giacchino both have four scores eligible in the race with The Adjustment Bureau, The Debt, The Help and The Iron Lady and Giacchino scoring for Cars 2, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Monte Carlo and Super 8.

Alexandre Desplat would have also had four contending scores had his score for A Better Life been deemed eligible, but I have to assume he most likely ran into originality troubles as well. However, his score, rushed as it was, for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is one of my favorites of the year and now that Martinez has seen his score for Drive pushed aside I will continue to bang the drum for his score for Contagion, which if you haven't listened to recently you can find right here. Easily one of the best of the year.

Personally I also believe the Chemical Brothers' score for Hanna to be one of the year's best, though that one just seems like it stands a very small chance considering some of the competition. My current predictions for the category look like this:

  1. The Artist (Ludovic Bource)
  2. War Horse (John Williams)
  3. Jane Eyre (Dario Marianelli)
  4. Hugo (Howard Shore)
  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Alexandre Desplat)

I will need to retouch my predictions (find those right here) now that two have been declared ineligible, but I'm unlikely to change my top five, though it's hard to leave Trent Reznor and Atticus Rosss score for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo off the list. However, I just saw the film a second time last night and the use of music during the introduction of Lisbeth scene at the very beginning of the film still bothers me. It's such an excessive and unnecessary use of music, but it's not like the Music Branch of the Academy is going to go watch all 97 films again to make their determination in this category.

How it works, is that a Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be sent with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

I have included all 97 eligible scores directly below. The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

  • The Adjustment Bureau, Thomas Newman, composer
  • The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams, composer
  • African Cats, Nicholas Hooper, composer
  • Albert Nobbs, Brian Byrne, composer
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
  • Anonymous, Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser, composers
  • Another Earth, Phil Mossman and Will Bates, composers
  • Answers to Nothing, Craig Richey, composer
  • Arthur Christmas, Harry Gregson-Williams, composer
  • The Artist, Ludovic Bource, composer
  • @urFRENZ, Lisbeth Scott, composer
  • Atlas Shrugged Part 1, Elia Cmiral, composer
  • Battle: Los Angeles, Brian Tyler, composer
  • Beastly, Marcelo Zarvos, composer
  • The Big Year, Theodore Shapiro, composer
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, Alan Silvestri, composer
  • Cars 2, Michael Giacchino, composer
  • Cedar Rapids, Christophe Beck, composer
  • Conan the Barbarian, Tyler Bates, composer
  • The Conspirator, Mark Isham, composer
  • Contagion, Cliff Martinez, composer
  • Coriolanus, Ilan Eshkeri, composer
  • DAM999, Ousepachan, composer
  • The Darkest Hour, Tyler Bates, composer
  • The Debt, Thomas Newman, composer
  • Dolphin Tale, Mark Isham, composer
  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, composers
  • Dream House, John Debney, composer
  • The Eagle, Atli Orvarsson, composer
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • Fast Five, Brian Tyler, composer
  • The First Grader, Alex Heffes, composer
  • The Flowers of War, Qigang Chen, composer
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composers
  • The Greatest Miracle, Mark McKenzie, composer
  • Green Lantern, James Newton Howard, composer
  • Hanna, Tom Rowlands, composer
  • Happy Feet Two, John Powell, composer
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • The Help, Thomas Newman, composer
  • Hop, Christopher Lennertz, composer
  • Hugo, Howard Shore, composer
  • I Don’t Know How She Does It, Aaron Zigman, composer
  • The Ides of March, Alexandre Desplat, composer
  • Immortals, Trevor Morris, composer
  • In Search of God, Rupam Sarmah, composer
  • In the Land of Blood and Honey, Gabriel Yared, composer
  • In Time, Craig Armstrong, composer
  • Insidious, Joseph Bishara, composer
  • The Iron Lady, Thomas Newman, composer
  • J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood, composer
  • Jane Eyre, Dario Marianelli, composer
  • The Lady, Eric Serra, composer
  • Like Crazy, Dustin O’Halloran, composer
  • Margaret, Nico Muhly, composer
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Michael Giacchino, composer
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Rolfe Kent, composer
  • Moneyball, Mychael Danna, composer
  • Monte Carlo, Michael Giacchino, composer
  • New Year’s Eve, John Debney, composer
  • Norman, Andrew Bird, composer
  • One Day, Rachel Portman, composer
  • Puss in Boots, Henry Jackman, composer
  • Rampart, Dickon Hinchliffe, composer
  • Real Steel, Danny Elfman, composer
  • Rebirth, Philip Glass, composer
  • Red Riding Hood, Alex Heffes and Brian Reitzell, composers
  • Restless, Danny Elfman, composer
  • Rio, John Powell, composer
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Patrick Doyle, composer
  • The Rite, Alex Heffes, composer
  • The Rum Diary, Christopher Young, composer
  • Sanctum, David Hirschfelder, composer
  • Sarah’s Key, Max Richter, composer
  • Senna, Antonio Pinto, composer
  • Shame, Harry Escott, composer
  • The Skin I Live In, Alberto Iglesias, composer
  • The Smurfs, Heitor Pereira, composer
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Rachel Portman, composer
  • Super 8, Michael Giacchino, composer
  • Take Shelter, David Wingo, composer
  • The Thing, Marco Beltrami, composer
  • Thor, Patrick Doyle, composer
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias, composer
  • Tower Heist, Christophe Beck, composer
  • W.E., Abel Korzeniowski, composer
  • War Horse, John Williams, composer
  • Warrior, Mark Isham, composer
  • Water for Elephants, James Newton Howard, composer
  • The Way, Tyler Bates, composer
  • We Bought a Zoo, Jon Thor Birgisson, composer
  • We Need to Talk about Kevin, Jonny Greenwood, composer
  • Win Win, Lyle Workman, composer
  • Winnie the Pooh, Henry Jackman, composer
  • X-Men: First Class, Henry Jackman, composer
  • Young Adult, Rolfe Kent, composer
  • Your Highness, Steve Jablonsky, composer
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  • Grissom

    Score is always a fun topic for me. Especially when so many ridiculous titles are eligable. Monte Carlo? The Rite? come on. Anyway, my picks are:
    The Artist-Ludovic Bource
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close-Alexandre Desplat
    Jane Eyre-Dario Marianelli
    Super 8-Michael Giacchino (could be a steal)
    War Horse-John Williams

    with The Artist and War Horse in a deadlock.

    My other considerations are:
    Hugo-Howard Shore
    Moneyball-Mychal Danna
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:Part2-Alexandre Desplat
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
    Hanna-The Chemical Brothers
    The Adventures of Tintin-John Williams
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes-Patrick Doyle
    The Adjustment Bureau-Thomas Newman

    • juleslefrog

      Great list! I'd add Max Richter's score for Sarah's Key as well as Nico Muhly for Margaret

  • http://reelsalazars@blogspot.com Francisco Salazar

    A Dangerous method Score is dominated by one theme that was written by Howard shore and the music of Wagner. Shore borrows from Wagner's siegfried. As a result even though Howard Shore is arranged the music most of the music is actually borrowed from Wagner

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Thanks for clearing that up! Much appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corey-Bloom/685603836 Corey Bloom

    What piece of music from TGWDT are you talking about Brad?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      The one I mentioned above, the introduction to Salander in the office where she meets Frode.

  • Alex

    Shame about Drive, but I would agree that the really gripping songs from the movie (Nightcall, Under your Spell, A Real Hero and Tick of the clock) were all pre-existing music.