Posted by Tomtrek
Ffffffffff… FFFFFFFFFffff…. Arg. Bleg. Dust.
I’m blowing the dust of this blog because holy crap I actually have something I want to say? Amazing.
So look what just came out – the Oscar nominations. And skipping the big ones like “Best Nice Man” (Colin Firth should get that one) and “Best Nice Lady” (Natalie, obviously) I go right to the really important category: Best original score.
So here’s what we got –
Music (Original Score)
• “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
• “Inception” Hans Zimmer
• “The King’s Speech” Alexandre Desplat
• “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
• “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Before I discuss what did get nominated, I’ll go over two scores that didn’t. TRON: Legacy and Black Swan. Now Black Swan was not allowed to be nominated as it contains too much of Swan Lake to be considered a fully original score. Now I haven’t seen Black Swan yet so I can’t comment on if they skipped over the best score ever, but I can say that I’m a little miffed about it because I love Clint Mansell and if “The Last Man” from The Fountain soundtrack were a blanket I would cuddle it forever.
But then there’s TRON. A lot of people thought it would be a shoe-in for a nomination. The fantastic duo of Daft Punk writing music for a film? Amazing, fantastic, how unheard of, it must be nominated. But it wasn’t. And it shouldn’t have been.
This is not because it was a bad score. It wasn’t. It really wasn’t. The music Daft Punk wrote is excellent and I think some of their best work. But the problem is how it works with the film as an actual score. And that is to say, it doesn’t work as well as it should. Despite the high quality of the music, you do however get the feeling that instead of being written specifically for the scenes, the cues are just original Daft Punk songs that happen to fit the mood of the scene. And that doesn’t equal a proper score. But this is Daft Punk’s first real move into proper film scoring, so it’s only fair that they don’t get it exactly 100% right first time. As I said, the music is excellent and is amazing to listen to outside of the film. It just didn’t work as well inside of the film as I would have liked, which is probably why it is not in the list on nominations.
But onto the ones that did get nominated.
“How to Train your Dragon” and “127 Hours” I can’t comment on as I did not see the films and so did not hear the music in the film!
But that brings us on to Inception. I have this thing with Hans Zimmer. It’s just… he’s… he did Gladiator. And it was bad. It was synth-orchestra-Holst-stealing-boring-themes bad. But everyone loved it. I didn’t understand that. He gradually got better with the third Pirates of the Caribbean film, and pairing him with James Newton-Howard for the Batman films was a stroke of genius as it allowed Zimmer to do his “WHAM BAM BOOM LOUD NOISES” action cues while Newton-Howard did the more emotional cues. And it worked.
And then there’s Inception. The annoying thing about the Inception score is how good it is. Like, it’s actually very good. And it works really well in the film. And it’s not bad outside it. It’s the best thing Zimmer has done by far, but it’s still nowhere near the heights of Goldsmith or Williams or even Horner. And while it’s still WHAAAMMMMMMMMMMing Zimmer at times, he at least has found a way to make the WHAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMs interesting.
The King’s Speech. Interesting choice. Alexandre Desplat sort of came out of nowhere (to me, at least). His name pops up on The Golden Compass and suddenly he’s scoring Twilight (everyone needs a paycheque sometimes) and Harry Potter (that’s better). And then there’s The King’s Speech, which has seemingly been nominated for, well, everything. The music itself is a very good composition, with some great subtle writing, that works well as a background to the action on the screen. It never leaps out at you at any point to say “HEY HEY LOOK IT’S THE MUSIC I’M HERE TOO!!”, which is perfect for the film. I wasn’t excepting it to be here, but I can’t say I’m upset with it there.
But then, The Social Network. See, the problems with TRON: Legacy and it’s reasons for not being on this list are made even more apparent with this score, where it does walk the line very well between working as a synthy-technoy-Trent Reznor piece, and very well as an actual film score. Trent Reznor has basically got his style down to an art form now, and seeming has no problems adapting it into score for a film. It makes for an excellent addition to the film, never taking attention away in places it shouldn’t, and also works amazingly well on its own.
The Social Network should win.
But it is a shame we won’t get to see Daft Punk turn up in their robot heads.