First-round voting is underway for Oscar’s Original Song and Original Score categories, but Academy music-branch voters are discovering that four talked-about scores are missing from the eligibility list.
More than 150 scores are in the running, although only the approximately 300 music-branch members have access to the list when they log onto the Academy website to cast their ballots. This year, unlike previous years, the Academy chose not to release the complete rundowns of qualified scores and songs.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story,” composed by John Powell with themes by John Williams, was nixed by the board as having been entered too late for the competition (deadline was Nov. 15).
“Mandy,” the Nicolas Cage revenge thriller that featured the late Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson’s final score, was not disqualified by the music branch. The film itself ran afoul of Academy rules — it was released on VOD before it completed its qualifying run, a knowledgeable source said. Hence Johannsson’s score was never considered.
Kris Bowers’ original score for “Green Book” was disqualified because of the prominence of the source music in the movie — primarily the Don Shirley piano trio pieces played throughout the film (which Bowers himself transcribed and performed in addition to composing the score).
Veteran French composer (and three-time Oscar winner) Michel Legrand’s original score for the Orson Welles film “The Other Side of the Wind” was also disqualified, says another source, because of the considerable amount of source music he did not compose, mostly songs heard in the background during the film’s lengthy party sequence.
Legrand composed about two hours of music for the film but only about 40 minutes was actually used in the final cut, compared with nearly 60 minutes of licensed, pre-existing material heard throughout the film.
An estimated 70 songs also qualified this year, but none of the most talked-about tunes were lost during the vetting process, sources said.
Voting ends at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Shortlists will be announced by the Academy on Dec. 17.