×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Grammys: Following Oscar Snub, ‘Birdman’ Composer Antonio Sanchez Can Finally Thank the Academy

The Recording Academy, that is...

The man behind the drums of 2014’s Oscar-winning “Birdman” may have been “saddened” at his score being disqualified by the film Academy’s music branch last year, but he has reason to celebrate now.

The jazzy, percussive work won the Grammy Award Monday for best score soundtrack for visual media, beating out Oscar-nominated scores from Alexandre Desplat (“The Imitation Game”), Hans Zimmer (“Interstellar”) and Johann Johannsson (“The Theory of Everything”), while topping another drum-heavy piece from composer Justin Hurwitz (“Whiplash”).

Clearly Sanchez still has the snub on his mind, though. “It’s great to get a Grammy after being nixed for an Oscar,” he said. “So I wanted to thank this Academy, rather than the other one, because I don’t have anything to thank them for.”

Those grapes aren’t too sour, though. Sanchez noted what an honor it was to be able to ride a wave like Alejandro G. Inarritu’s bold theater dramedy.

“Jazz musicians, our circle is so small that we’re always trying to transcend it,” he said. “So to be able to have my name attached to an Oscar-winning film, that’s huge. Just to be known as, ‘Oh, you’re the “Birdman” guy,’ that’s enough. I could also say I play with Pat Metheny and Chick Corea, who are some of the best musicians in the world, but a third of the world don’t know who they are.”

He said he had been offered another film, but that he “didn’t dig it,” adding: “This could be the end of my film scoring career, or the beginning.”

Sanchez was bothered enough by last year’s turn of events to issue a statement at the time. “This disqualification seems to stem from the perception that my score was diluted by the incidental music on the film,” he said in the statement. “I strongly disagree with this idea. The music that people remember after watching the movie is the sound, originality, character and strength of my score, which seems to be the reason it continues to receive attention, nominations and awards, which I’m deeply humbled by. Some of the finest composers are members of the Academy, and I’m saddened my score didn’t resonate with the decision makers.”

It seemed a particularly egregious decision (from a branch notorious for such head-scratchers), seeing as much of the film was meticulously paced and choreographed to Sanchez’s work.

The eventual Oscar winner last year — Desplat’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” — won this particular Grammy category last year.

Elsewhere, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” — an Oscar nominee last year for best original song — won the Grammy for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, topping TV’s “Empire” as well as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Selma.”

Last year’s best original song Oscar winner “Glory,” from “Selma,” won best song written for visual media over two of this year’s Oscar-nominated original tunes (“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground”), as well as Golden Globe nominees “Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades” and “See You Again” from “Furious 7.”

Finally, A24’s Oscar-contending documentary “Amy” won best music film over “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” “Sonic Highways,” fellow Oscar nominee “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “The Wall.”

More Artisans

  • 'Joker' Cinematographer Lawrence Sher Wins at

    'Joker' Cinematographer Lawrence Sher Wins at EnergaCamerimage Film Festival

    “Joker” cinematographer Lawrence Sher’s bid, along with director Todd Phillips, to try something “perhaps even a bit artful” won big Saturday in Torun, Poland as he took the top prize at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival. The Golden Frog for cinematography, along with the audience prize, went to his work filming Joaquin Phoenix in the [...]

  • Rocketman Taron Egerton

    'Rocketman' Hair and Make-Up Artist Talks Transforming Taron Egerton

    Hair and make-up artist Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou sums up “Rocketman” as the story “of a great icon who hits rock bottom. You see the great things happen and he hits rock bottom. By the end, he’s pulled himself together and he’s still standing.” For the viewer, it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotion, but as Yianni-Georgiou says, [...]

  • Roger Deakins 1917 Movie Cinematography

    'Midway,' '1917' DPs on Unique Challenges War Movies Present

    Cinematographers who set out to shoot war films like “1917” and “Midway” face a bigger challenge than navigating explosions or running alongside the actors in the midst of a special effects battlefield. They have to find a way to tell the combat story that will captivate audiences that have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Stars Discuss Film's Costume Design

    Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio rave about “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” costume designer Arianne Phillips in a new featurette obtained exclusively by Variety. “She’s so incredible. She contextualizes the time period and people really will be transported into what fashion was like in the ’60s,” Robbie says. “I was blown away by the [...]

  • Rocketman

    'Rocketman': Chris Dickens Discusses the Inside Story of Editing 'I'm Still Standing'

    Endings are so important and how the viewer leaves the cinema is crucial. For editor Chris Dickens, finding the perfect ending for “Rocketman” was paramount, but it was also a challenge. Elton John’s hit “I’m Still Standing” was going to end the film with the original idea of going to Cannes to recreate the video [...]

  • Charlies-Angels 2019 Costumes

    How Costume Designer Updated Looks for 'Charlie's Angels' While Nodding to Past

    The costumes that the “Charlie’s Angels” trio have worn over the years have always been functional but fashionable. In the TV show starring Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson, which ran from 1976 to 1981, and then in the movie franchise of the early 2000s with Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content