There are five films nominated for Best Original Score.
Most Oscar handicappers are betting that first-time nominee Jóhann Jóhansson will win for his beautiful music for The Theory of Everything.
Alexandre Desplat is competing against himself; his lovely, sprightly, balalaika-filled score for The Grand Budapest Hotel is up against his lovely, melancholy, piano-filled score for The Imitation Game.
Desplat has been nominated for the Oscar six times before. He probably deserves it for his work on Anderson’s film, and may lose out to Jóhannsson because heavy lobbying from Harvey Weinstein for The Imitation Game might split the vote.
Previous Oscar winner Hans Zimmer (The Lion King) has written music for Interstellar which is heavy on the church organ. It is both standard Zimmer bombastic and also remarkably moving. This is Zimmer’s tenth nomination.
Gary Yershon’s music for Mr. Turner is, as one critic pointed out, as blurred and washed out as the paintings of the film’s subject. The reviewer means that as a compliment.
So which music scores were overlooked?
Well, considering all the love for Birdman, the absence of a nomination for the urgent percussion of its dissonant jazz score by Antonio Sanchez is odd.
Likewise, what about all the drumming in Whiplash? While much of the music in the film is from jazz standards, Justin Hurwitz wrote some great stuff … which I’m happy to report is just my tempo, neither rushing or dragging.