Portman and Giacchino: too many notes?

Posted by · 6:55 pm · October 15th, 2010

“It’s quality work. There are simply too many notes,” says the Emperor Joseph II to an incredulous Mozart in Milos Forman’s 1984 Oscar-guzzler “Amadeus.” It’s a delicious critique, and it’s one I’ve found myself remembering a lot over the past few weeks of London Film Festival viewing, during which I seem have jotted down the […]

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Website for Daft Punk’s ‘TRON Legacy’ soundtrack launched

Posted by · 3:07 pm · September 8th, 2010

Is it really worth getting excited at the possibility of the Academy’s music branch being progressive enough to make room for Daft Punk in this year’s list of Best Original Score nominees?  Ever since the French electronica duo was announced as the composers on “TRON Legacy,” excitement has been through the roof. This is the […]

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Rachel Portman’s ‘Never Let Me Go’ score available

Posted by · 7:01 am · September 2nd, 2010

I’m heading out to catch my flight for Telluride in a bit, but I wanted to turn your attention to this before I take off.  Rachel Portman hasn’t been in Oscar’s good graces for 10 years now, but she has a hell of an opportunity this year with a beautiful score for Mark Romanek’s “Never […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Original Score — Volume I

Posted by · 4:31 pm · August 19th, 2010

I am marveled by the accomplishments of all the crafts artists who elevate our films, but this is particularly the case with respect to music composers. Composing equals genius as far as I am concerned.These musicians  join the film at the end, when usually only the director, editor and perhaps the sound mixers are still […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Inception’ composer Hans Zimmer and ambient music designer Mel Wesson

Posted by · 6:36 pm · July 16th, 2010

From outside on 14th Street, Hans Zimmer’s Santa Monica offices reflect the typically sterile architecture of the city. Take a few steps in and you’re in the expected world of a musician: bays of dubbing equipment lining the walls, screening alcoves filled to the brim with technology, the usual trappings of a media artist…nothing out […]

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Preview Zimmer’s ‘Inception’ score

Posted by · 12:38 pm · July 3rd, 2010

Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” is 13 days away, though the bulk of reviews will be dropping in 51 hours.  How’s that for a countdown? The score from Hans Zimmer is exciting the same people behind the scenes who saw greatness and potential awards success in his work on “Sherlock Holmes.” It’s already available for pre-order at […]

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Howard’s ‘Airbender’ score hits iTunes

Posted by · 10:07 am · June 5th, 2010

When I took my initial stab at the 2010 Oscar forecast a few weeks back, I went out on a limb in a few places for M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender,” which I’ve frequently said could be a disaster or something really special.  One of those limbs was Best Original Score, as James Newton […]

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Carter Burwell on musical inspiration for ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 6:06 am · April 21st, 2010

Amid his coverage of the Nashville Film Festival, Nathaniel Rogers at The Film Experience served up a nice little nugget on composer Carter Burwell, the subject of a much-deserved individual tribute at the fest. Naturally, there was much emphasis on his ongoing collaboration with the Brothers Coen, which will continue this year with “True Grit.” […]

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Andy Trudeau handicaps the original score contenders

Posted by · 7:42 pm · March 6th, 2010

One of the best parts of Oscar season is NPR’s rundown of the Best Original Score nominees by music critic Andy Trudeau.  The copy is live now, but the audio won’t be up until noon (EST) tomorrow.  He says there’s not a real standout this year, and goes with Hans Zimmer and “Sherlock Holmes” for […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final stretch, final predictions

Posted by · 8:26 pm · March 4th, 2010

Well, here we are. On Sunday, the statuettes for the Oscars will handed out. It seems difficult to remember that it was eight months ago when we started looking at the categories for the first time. Today, let’s take one last look at the crafts categories to see where we stand. Best Art Direction (Oscar […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Hurt Locker’ BAFTA sweep, minor fracas

Posted by · 6:06 pm · February 26th, 2010

• “The Hurt Locker” continued its cruise through the precursors, taking six awards at the BAFTAS. • The pile of guild awards grew as the writers, costume designers and sound editors all picked their winners. • In our ongoing Oscar Guide series, we broke down the lead actress, documentary feature, documentary short, original score and […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: Composer symposium, part two

Posted by · 1:22 pm · February 26th, 2010

I think everyone who has seen Pixar’s “Up” was utterly taken by the scene “Married Life,” where emotions ran high and three characters were built between images and music.  As Kris mentioned in this morning’s Oscar Guide, composer Michael Giacchino had the full aural attention of the audience for 10 minutes. Speaking to Giacchino, it’s […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Music (Original Score)

Posted by · 11:26 am · February 26th, 2010

For years the composers of the music branch tended to be a bit insular. Impressive newcomer talent was often ignored while the usual suspects showed up year after year. Not long ago, there seemed to be a shift, yielding slates much like the one we have for 2009. There is one first-timer, but other nominees […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Post mortem

Posted by · 12:17 pm · February 5th, 2010

So here we are. For the most part, the crafts category nominations weren’t surprising, and there is not a single film that fared drastically better – or worse – than I expected. As for comments on individual categories? In Best Cinematography, Bruno Delbonnel’s nomination for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” has got to be […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions, part two

Posted by · 2:02 pm · January 31st, 2010

Continuing from where we left off yesterday, today we look at the fields of makeup, music, sound and visual effects. BEST MAKEUP The shortlist of seven makes predicting this category slightly easier. “District 9”’s realistic wounds, not to mention the practical elements of the central character’s transformation, likely make it the frontrunner. “Star Trek,” meanwhile, […]

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‘Princess and the Frog’ score DQ’d

Posted by · 2:14 pm · January 12th, 2010

The whole branch is reaching a level of farce that is unbelievable.  Reports Steve Pond: Although Randy Newman’s score to Disney’s animated film “The Princess and the Frog” was originally deemed to be eligible in the original score category at the Oscars, the Music Branch Executive Committee met on Monday and disqualified Newman’s music from […]

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‘Wild Things,’ ‘Crazy Heart’ ineligible for score Oscar

Posted by · 12:43 pm · January 4th, 2010

Steve Pond reports that Karen O and Carter Burwell’s wonderful, Golden Globe-nominated score for “Where the Wild Things Are” has been disqualified for Best Original Score by the Academy’s music branch. T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton’s “Crazy Heart” score, which has taken several critics’ prizes, will not compete either. It’s hardly a surprise, given that […]

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LA Times shines light on notable 2009 composers

Posted by · 6:56 am · December 9th, 2009

LA Times music critic Todd Martens has posted a useful series of short interviews with the men behind some of the year’s most distinctive film scores. Indeed, it’s group of five names that isn’t too hard to imagine mirroring the year’s eventual Oscar slate: Alexandre Desplat for “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Michael Giacchino for “Up,” Randy […]

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