Oscars: 114 Scores in Contention for Top Prize

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced that 114 original scores have advanced in the category for the 2014 Oscars. By coincidence, that’s the exact number that qualified last year.

This year’s crop includes the usual diversity, with scores from animated features, documentaries, foreign-language films as well as English-lingo titles.

Alexandre Desplat leads the pack with five eligible scores, including “The Imitation Game,” for which he was Golden Globe-nominated this week. Christophe Beck is runner-up, with four. A.R. Rahman has three, as does James Newton Howard.

Three other Globe contenders are on the Academy’s eligible list: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score for “Gone Girl,” Hans Zimmer’s for “Interstellar” and Johann Johannsson’s for “The Theory of Everything.” However, the other Globe contender, Antonio Sanchez for “Birdman,” was declared ineligible by the Academy.

Also ineligible was Justin Hurwitz for “Whiplash.” Jonny Greenwood, who had controversially been declared ineligible for “There Will Be Blood,” is on Oscar’s eligibility list this year for “Inherent Vice.”

Here’s the complete list:

“American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” Vivek Maddala, composer
“Anita,” Lili Haydn, composer
“Annabelle,” Joseph Bishara, composer
“At Middleton,” Arturo Sandoval, composer
“Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?,” Elia Cmiral, composer
“Bears,” George Fenton, composer
“Belle,” Rachel Portman, composer
“Big Eyes,” Danny Elfman, composer
“Big Hero 6,” Henry Jackman, composer
“The Book of Life,” Gustavo Santaolalla and Tim Davies, composers
“The Boxtrolls,” Dario Marianelli, composer
“Brick Mansions,” Trevor Morris, composer
“Cake,” Christophe Beck, composer
“Calvary,” Patrick Cassidy, composer
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Henry Jackman, composer
“The Case against 8,” Blake Neely, composer
“Cheatin’,” Nicole Renaud, composer
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” Michael Giacchino, composer
“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them,” Son Lux, composer
“Divergent,” Tom Holkenborg, composer
“Dolphin Tale 2,” Rachel Portman, composer
“Dracula Untold,” Ramin Djawadi, composer
“Draft Day,” John Debney, composer
“The Drop,” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, composers
“Earth to Echo,” Joseph Trapanese, composer
“Edge of Tomorrow,” Christophe Beck, composer
“Endless Love,” Christophe Beck and Jake Monaco, composers
“The Equalizer,” Harry Gregson-Williams, composer
“Exodus: Gods and Kings,” Alberto Iglesias, composer
“The Fault in Our Stars,” Mike Mogis, composer
“Finding Vivian Maier,” J. Ralph, composer
“Fury,” Steven Price, composer
“Garnet’s Gold,” J. Ralph, composer
“Girl on a Bicycle,” Craig Richey, composer
“The Giver,” Marco Beltrami, composer
“Godzilla,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Gone Girl,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, composers
“The Good Lie,” Martin Léon, composer
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“The Great Flood,” Bill Frisell, composer
“Hercules,” Fernando Velázquez, composer
“The Hero of Color City,” Zoë Poledouris-Roché and Angel Roché Jr., composers
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” Howard Shore, composer
“The Homesman,” Marco Beltrami, composer
“Horrible Bosses 2,” Christopher Lennertz, composer
“How to Train Your Dragon 2,” John Powell, composer
“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” A.R. Rahman, composer
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1,” James Newton Howard, composer
“I Origins,” Will Bates and Phil Mossman, composers
“The Imitation Game,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Inherent Vice,” Jonny Greenwood, composer
“Interstellar,” Hans Zimmer, composer
“The Interview,” Henry Jackman, composer
“Into the Storm,” Brian Tyler, composer
“Jal,” Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh, composers
“The Judge,” Thomas Newman, composer
“Kill the Messenger,” Nathan Johnson, composer
“Kochadaiiyaan,” A.R. Rahman, composer
“Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” Toby Chu, composer
“The Lego Movie,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
“The Liberator,” Gustavo Dudamel, composer
“Life Itself,” Joshua Abrams, composer
“Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed,” Pat Metheny, composer
“Lucy,” Eric Serra, composer
“Maleficent,” James Newton Howard, composer
“The Maze Runner,” John Paesano, composer
“Merchants of Doubt,” Mark Adler, composer
“Million Dollar Arm,” A.R. Rahman, composer
“A Million Ways to Die in the West,” Joel McNeely, composer
“Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” Danny Elfman, composer
“Mr. Turner,” Gary Yershon, composer
“The Monuments Men,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“A Most Violent Year,” Alex Ebert, composer
“My Old Lady,” Mark Orton, composer
“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” Alan Silvestri, composer
“Nightcrawler,” James Newton Howard, composer
“No God, No Master,” Nuno Malo, composer
“Noah,” Clint Mansell, composer
“Non-Stop,” John Ottman, composer
“The One I Love,” Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, composers
“Ouija,” Anton Sanko, composer
“Paddington,” Nick Urata, composer
“Penguins of Madagascar,” Lorne Balfe, composer
“Pompeii,” Clinton Shorter, composer
“The Purge: Anarchy,” Nathan Whitehead, composer
“The Railway Man,” David Hirschfelder, composer
“Red Army,” Christophe Beck and Leo Birenberg, composers
“Ride Along,” Christopher Lennertz, composer
“Rocks in My Pockets,” Kristian Sensini, composer
“Rosewater,” Howard Shore, composer
“St. Vincent,” Theodore Shapiro, composer
“The Salt of the Earth,” Laurent Petitgand, composer
“Selma,” Jason Moran, composer
“The Signal,” Nima Fakhrara, composer
“Snowpiercer,” Marco Beltrami, composer
“Song of the Sea,” Bruno Coulais, composer
“Still Alice,” Ilan Eshkeri, composer
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” Joe Hisaishi, composer
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Brian Tyler, composer
“That Awkward Moment,” David Torn, composer
“The Theory of Everything,” Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer
“This Is Where I Leave You,” Michael Giacchino, composer
“300: Rise of an Empire,” Tom Holkenborg, composer
“Tracks,” Garth Stevenson, composer
“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” Steve Jablonsky, composer
“22 Jump Street,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
“Unbroken,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Under the Skin,” Mica Levi, composer
“Virunga,” Patrick Jonsson, composer
“Visitors,” Philip Glass, composer
“A Walk among the Tombstones,” Carlos Rafael Rivera, composer
“Walking With the Enemy,” Timothy Williams, composer
“Wild Tales,” Gustavo Santaolalla, composer
“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” John Ottman, composer

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  1. Jack says:

    Interesting:

    15 scores are composed for documentary films:

    “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” Vivek Maddala, composer
    “Anita,” Lili Haydn, composer
    “Bears,” George Fenton, composer
    “The Case against 8,” Blake Neely, composer
    “Finding Vivian Maier,” J. Ralph, composer
    “Garnet’s Gold,” J. Ralph, composer
    “The Great Flood,” Bill Frisell, composer
    “Life Itself,” Joshua Abrams, composer
    “Merchants of Doubt,” Mark Adler, composer
    “Red Army,” Christophe Beck and Leo Birenberg, composers
    “Ride Along,” Christopher Lennertz, composer
    “Rocks in My Pockets,” Kristian Sensini, composer [Doc using animation]
    “The Salt of the Earth,” Laurent Petitgand, composer
    “Virunga,” Patrick Jonsson, composer
    “Visitors,” Philip Glass, composer

    12 scores are composed for animated films:[not counting hybrids]

    “Big Hero 6,” Henry Jackman, composer
    “The Book of Life,” Gustavo Santaolalla and Tim Davies, composers
    “The Boxtrolls,” Dario Marianelli, composer
    “Cheatin’,” Nicole Renaud, composer
    “The Hero of Color City,” Zoë Poledouris-Roché and Angel Roché Jr., composers
    “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” John Powell, composer
    “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” Toby Chu, composer
    “The Lego Movie,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
    “Penguins of Madagascar,” Lorne Balfe, composer
    “Rocks in My Pockets,” Kristian Sensini, composer [Doc using animation]
    “Song of the Sea,” Bruno Coulais, composer
    “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” Joe Hisaishi, composer

    Conclusion:
    Nearly a quarter of all eligible music scores are not for live-action, but non-fiction and animation films.

    Does anybody know if there ever was an Academy Award nomination/win for a documentary film score
    in AMPAS history ?

    • timgray2013 says:

      No documentary has won the Oscar for music score — not yet, anyway. The Beatles won for song score for the 1970 “Let it Be.” (That category doesn’t exist anymore; “Love Story” won the original score award that year.) And Melissa Etheridge won for song for the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” So maybe as the film world changes, the Academy is broadening its mindset. Your tallies are impressive, thanks.

      • Jack says:

        It’s really a shame that documentaries (and to a less degree animation) have a huge competitive disadvantage in the “Best Score” and “Best Song” categories.

        It can’t be a matter of lack of quality or talent since major composers are doing the documentary scores: Philip Glass, George Fenton, Laurent Petitgand etc. etc.

        The only explanantion I can see is that documentaries don’t get the same exposure and audience as feature films and (studio) animation films.

        The people in the AMPAS that decide on the nominations obviously don’t really do their job
        and listen to all the scores.

        There is a systemic bias going on.

        PS: There is one cur-and-paste-mistake in my last post:
        “Ride Along,” Christopher Lennertz, composer
        This is of course no documentary ;-)

  2. John Vanderbildt says:

    Best Scores of the Year:

    “Under the Skin,” Mica Levi, composer

    “Song of the Sea,” Bruno Coulais, composer

    “Inherent Vice,” Jonny Greenwood, composer

  3. rizzoriss says:

    Two of the year’s best scores, “Birdman” and “Whiplash,” did not qualify. It’s always the good ones that don’t make it.

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