Take that, Oscar: Grammy nominates ‘Dark Knight’ duo

Posted by · 3:24 am · December 4th, 2008

The Academy’s petty disqualification of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s score for “The Dark Knight” from Oscar contention has already caused much gnashing of teeth on these pages, so here’s something to compound the embarrassment.

It seems the Grammy voters are rather less fussy. Zimmer and Howard’s work was nominated yesterday in the category of (deep breath now) Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media. (Still with me? Good.)

And hey, look who joins them on the list: none other than Jonny Greenwood for “There Will Be Blood,” who of course won last year’s Oscar because the work was simply too groundbreaking to be ignored. Oh right, except he didn’t, because he was disqualified. Sensing a pattern here?

We shouldn’t be surprised by now that a voting body unrelated to the field of film should exhibit more common sense than AMPAS’ music blue-hairs, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

Joining Greenwood, Zimmer and Howard on the list are three more 2008 contenders, Thomas Newman for “WALL-E,” Ramin Djawadi (surprise!) for “Iron Man” and John Williams (yawn) for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

“WALL-E,” meanwhile, managed another nomination in the Best Song Written For A Motion Picture (etc, etc) category, for Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth.” That it was the only 2008 release to feature in the list (alongside cuts from “The Bucket List,” “Walk Hard” and two for “Enchanted,” including the Carrie Underwood number that miraculously wasn’t nominated for an Oscar this year) perhaps is an indication of how lame this Oscar race is looking at the moment. (Bear in mind that their eligibility deadline was months ago, however.)

Incidentally, moving away from movie talk, I was amazed to see the Grammys going for some credibility this year by nominating Radiohead, Lil Wayne and M.I.A. in their top categories. Maybe, amid the dullness of the film race, there is an awards show I can get behind this year after all.

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9 responses so far

  • 1 12-04-2008 at 5:27 am

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    I’ll be happy if Radiohead finally wins Album of the Year. They should’ve won it in ’98 AND ’01. I won’t be sad though if Wayne or the Plant/Krauss album win it. All three are deserving BUT In Rainbows is by far the best album out of the five.

  • 2 12-04-2008 at 5:36 am

    Scott Ward said...

    I agree about Greenwood. Brilliant score.

    I think just because it’s not some beautiful piece that could be played funerals, the Academy ignored it, even though it fit the movie perfectly and greatly enhanced the mood of the story.

  • 3 12-04-2008 at 6:19 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    That category has some splendid choices indeed. As for the rest, pop music is dead and every institution is happily playing along with it simply because there’s nothing decent left to bestow awards upon.

  • 4 12-04-2008 at 6:47 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Dan: I agree one hundred per cent. (Though I think the Plant/Krauss album is way overrated.)

    Scott: Greenwood was actually disqualified on flimsy technical ground. But I think you’re right — I don’t the Academy would have got Greenwood’s score even if it had been eligible.

    Jonathan: If you still think popular music is dead after listening to the likes of “In Rainbows” and “Kala,” I can’t help you ;)

  • 5 12-04-2008 at 8:37 am

    PJ said...

    Pretty good set of nominations all in all. They’ve restrained themselves admirably from giving too many nominations to trash like Jonas Brothers and Katy Perry (and no Miley Cyrus in sight!), and the Adele, M.I.A, Radiohead, Robyn et al nods probably shows that they wish to maintain some semblance of dignity. The same cannot be said about the Academy unfortunately, if the continued Best Original Score insanity is anything to go by.

  • 6 12-04-2008 at 8:45 am

    N8 said...

    C’mon! Why does everybody have to hate on John Williams like this? The movie was definitely a yawn, but his music was still fun and mood-enhancing and full of gusto (and I’m not only referring to the themes we’ve heard in the other Indy films). Give the man a break! It’s Lucas we should be blaming.

  • 7 12-04-2008 at 10:33 am

    ganonlink91 said...

    why the hell did the grammys nominated iron man’s score?? it was terrible and added absolutely nothing to the movie it even was annoying at some parts

  • 8 12-05-2008 at 9:48 pm

    Chris said...

    I hope The Dark Knight wins the grammy. And I agree with ganonlink91; what the hell is up with Iron Man being nominated? I don’t even remember the score. Didn’t enhance anything in the film. The only song I remember hearing was “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath at the end credits.

  • 9 12-06-2008 at 3:18 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    And the Black Sabbath song was used for the animated series too.