Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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Old Dogs, New Blood: Original Score, 1982

The music branch of the Academy seems to be the most insular, exclusive group. Like every category, there's usually one newcomer a year, but the rest of the nominees tend to have an unusually high tally of previous nods. The record for most Academy Award nominations is held by a composer, and soon it will become clear who (as if you didn't already know!).

I break the nominees up like so:

Welcome to the Club - My goodness, they actually let some "new" blood in, and look who it is: Ravi Shankar and George Fenton sharing a nom in 1982 (Fenton would return), Jonny Greenwood in 2017 (and I should mention, Shankar and Greenwood are both best-known around the world as popular music figures)

Old Friend - Prolific, but not in the double-digits yet, and a winner who keeps doing great work: Marvin Hamlisch in 1982 (he had two wins in one year) and Alexandre Desplat in 2017 (recently won for The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Prolific Bridesmaid - It feels like he's always here, yet despite his reputation, he's actually only won once before, if at all: Jerry Goldsmith in 1982 (12th nomination for scoring, previous winner for The Omen) and Hans Zimmer in 2017 (11th nomination, previous winner for The Lion King)

Second Time's the Charm - Just when you thought he was a one and done, he comes roaring back: Jack Nitzsche in 1982 (previously nominated for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, also up for Best Original Song this year) and Carter Burwell in 2017 (previously nominated for Carol)

John Williams - You can't get rid of him! Fifty-one nominations total, 46 in scoring alone, most recently 2017's The Last Jedi! 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial got him his fourth Oscar (he has five).

Let our ears feast upon their work, after the jump......

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
John Williams

Ravi Shankar / George Fenton

An Officer and a Gentleman
Jack Nitzsche

Jerry Goldsmith

Sophie's Choice
Marvin Hamlisch


And, for the first time this edition, Oscar and I have to agree! My vote goes to....


(And as for 2017:
Phantom Thread - *****
The Shape of Water - *****
The Last Jedi - ****
Dunkirk - ***
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri - **)

Tomorrow, the nominees for Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, Ben Kingsley in Gandhi, Jack Lemmon in Missing, Paul Newman in The Verdict and Peter O'Toole in My Favorite Year.

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