‘If I Rise’ music video

Posted by · 2:50 pm · February 17th, 2011

One of the earliest installments of this season’s Oscar Guide covered the Best Original Song category. It could be a tight race, though most are betting on Randy Newman (who we spoke to earlier today) taking his second Oscar, for “We Belong Together.” Another strong possibility, especially given its Best Picture nomination, is “127 Hours” […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Score)

Posted by · 10:39 am · February 16th, 2011

Recently the International Film Music Critics Association were the last critics group to offer their (specialized) thoughts on the 2010 film year. The announcement made for an interesting counter to the year in score awardage. And the eventual nominees for Best Original Score reflected, if nothing else, a continued break with tradition. The music branch […]

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Desplat leads International Film Music Critics nods

Posted by · 10:18 am · February 11th, 2011

Alexandre Desplat has enjoyed a brilliant career in U.S. features as of late (on the back of immense talent, naturally).  2010 was a grand year for the composer as he, once again, balanced scoring duties on a number of notable films. Today, the final announcement from the critics awards circuit has landed in the form […]

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Best Original Song performances are back

Posted by · 9:31 am · February 4th, 2011

The Academy’s Twitter feed just noted the following: You heard it 1st: Best Song performances are back for 83rd #Oscars! Gwyneth Paltrow set to sing…more on the way. To which I say: Great.  It was grossly disrespectful, I thought, to suddenly jerk them from the telecast last year (and if you heard some of the […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Song)

Posted by · 9:09 am · January 28th, 2011

The music branch’s process of nominating in the Best Original Song category changed a few years ago.  Members now screen clips and view contenders as used within the context of their films.  It generally means music used organically has a better shot than the usual closing credits fluff of yore. That rule change has also, […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part one

Posted by · 8:57 am · January 20th, 2011

It seems hard to believe that it’s been more than six months since I wrote this year’s introductory Tech Support column ( a dissection of the art direction race). Much has changed since then, naturally, as we are less than a week away from the big day when we find out the nominees for the […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Song

Posted by · 12:15 pm · December 9th, 2010

I guess I’ve been pretty hard on the Best Original Song category this year. It’s not like any given year tends to have a deluge of impressive fodder up for consideration or anything, but on the whole, outside of a concentration of contenders that have a fighting chance at recognition, it just seems to be […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume II

Posted by · 12:35 pm · November 12th, 2010

A great score can take a film from memorable to unforgettable.  Whether it be Vangelis’s synthesizer on the beach in “Chariots of Fire,” Nino Rota’s haunting waltz from “The Godfather” or John Williams’s blaring, adventurous march from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” scores can elevate amazing images to bring the director’s vision to even greater […]

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Listen to Dido and A.R. Rahman’s ‘If I Rise’ from ‘127 Hours’

Posted by · 10:04 am · November 5th, 2010

Two years ago composer A.R. Rahman managed to sweep the music categories at the Academy Awards.  One of only two nominations “Slumdog Millionaire” didn’t translate into an Oscar was original song “O…Saya” — because the film’s other key track, “Jai Ho,” won instead. This year Rahman is back in the mix with the vibrant score […]

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10/29 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: O’Barry biopic on the way, stumping for Bell in ‘Exorcism,’ Reznor talks ‘Network’ synth

Posted by · 8:51 am · October 29th, 2010

• Across the pond, Deborah Orr on a 15 rating due to harmless swearing weighing down an uplifting film like “Made in Dagenham.” [The Guardian] • A feature biopic is in the works about “The Cove” activist Ric O’Barry. [Deadline] • The deadline for animated feature submission nears. [Oscars.org]

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The Academy opens the doors to 134 new members

Posted by · 10:56 am · June 30th, 2009

The headline says it all.  After bringing in 105 new members last year, the Academy has just announced a new list of 134 names to join their ranks. Actors include Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Jeffrey Wright (woo-hoo!), James McAvoy, Casey Affleck (who should have been brought in after his 2007 nomination), James Franco, Michael Cera […]

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With the emphasis on ‘Ho’

Posted by · 10:01 am · March 25th, 2009

Here’s an, um, interesting addition to “Slumdog Millionaire’s” long list of accomplishments: how many Best Original Song winners are treated to a Pussycat Dolls remix? Words fail me. (Memo to Ms. Scherzinger: it’s pronounced “jye,” not “jay.”)

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TECH SUPPORT: Postmortem

Posted by · 11:03 am · February 27th, 2009

What can I say? It was a big night for “Slumdog Millionaire” at the 81st Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. While I do like the film a great deal, I found its dominance this awards season unnecessarily monotonous.  For instance, I preferred Thomas Newman’s work in both music categories this year, but I was nonetheless […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions

Posted by · 5:27 pm · February 18th, 2009

After six months of Tech Support previews and interviews, the films have arrived, the nominations have been announced and the guilds, the critics and BAFTA have all announced their preferences.  Today we take a final look at the races before the envelopes are opened on Sunday. BEST ART DIRECTION After guild and BAFTA wins, I […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: the crafts of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Posted by · 10:15 am · January 30th, 2009

Garnering 10 nominations last week confirmed “Slumdog Millionaire”’s established status as the frontrunner for this year’s Best Picture Oscar.  Unusually for a Best Picture winner, the film failed to nab any acting nominations.  Its high tally counts comes from seven nominations in the crafts fields. I recently had the chance to speak to three of […]

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Is ‘Slumdog’ score too pop?

Posted by · 4:20 pm · January 29th, 2009

Thanks to Nat Rogers at The Film Experience for pointing out a really worthwhile article in the Wall Street Journal, in which music critic Jim Fusilli takes a close look at this year’s nominees for Best Original Score. It’s not a category which tends to inspire much intelligent coverage in mainstream outlets, so it’s great […]

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THR’s film music composer roundtable

Posted by · 9:52 am · December 28th, 2008

I’m a few weeks late getting to this.  The Hollywood Reporter just isn’t one of my frequent visits anymore (sadly).  But the trade’s annual Oscar Roundtable series is in full swing and the recent composers session makes for a fascinating read. The composers who participated were Alexandre Desplat (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Danny […]

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Listen to Fox Searchlight’s original song contenders

Posted by · 8:17 am · December 26th, 2008

We featured Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” a few weeks back.  It was a feature I wanted to keep up with but I never came back to it for some reason. Anyway, Fox Searchlight has made the track available along with A.R. Rahman’s “Jaiho” for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

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