Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Final Nomination Predictions - Best Original Score and Best Original Song

Best Original Score
John Williams "The BFG"
Justin Hurwitz "La La Land"
Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka "Lion"
Nicholas Britell "Moonlight"
Michael Giacchino "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

Other Contenders - Alexandre Desplat "Florence Foster Jenkins", Mica Levi "Jackie", Abel Korzeniowski "Nocturnal Animals", Michael Giacchino "Zootopia", Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch "Hidden Figures", Mark Mancina "Moana", Dario Marianelli "Kubo and the Two Strings", John Debney "The Jungle Book", James Newton Howard "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", Thomas Newman "Passengers", Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross "Patriot's Day"

Commentary - I really don't do well with the music categories, because they are so unpredictable. Jackie and Nocturnal Animals got those BAFTA nods, which put them right on the cusp. Alexandre Desplat, Pharrell Williams, JNH, Trent and Atticus, Thomas Newman, and the scores for Kubo, Moana, and The Jungle Book should not be discounted, because literally anything can happen with this branch. La La Land seems like a sure bet, and as Lion rises, I think its score will get attention. Moonlight's haunting score by Nicholas Britell could get beaten out by bigger names, but I feel like voters will appreciate how damn good it is. John Williams is John Williams, and I will never bet against him. Finally, while it would be the first Star Wars film not to be scored by John Williams, I think that previous winner Michael Giacchino will continue Star Wars' streak of impressing the music branch.

Best Original Song
Hidden Figures - Runnin'
Jim: The James Foley Story - The Empty Chair
La La Land - Audition
La La Land - City of Stars
Moana - How Far I'll Go

Other Contenders - Trolls - Can't Stop This Feeling, Sing - Faith, Sing Street - Drive It Like You Stole It, Sausage Party - The Great Beyond, Alice Through the Looking Glass - Just Like Fire, Zootopia - Try Everything, 13th - Letter to the Free, Rules Don't Apply - The Rules Don't Apply, Moana - We Know the Way, Queen of Katwe - We Know the Way, Lion - Never Give Up

Commentary - Once again, this category is one that is impossible to predict. Musicals tend to get more than one nomination, and I think La La Land will get two. Lin Manuel-Miranda's name on a ballot will surely inspire a nomination, as will previous nominee Pharrell Williams. But who knows. Can't Stop this Feeling and Just Like Fire are radio hits, Sing Street certainly has its merits, and then there is a litany of folks, and I honestly have no idea. So I am going with J. Ralph, who with his songs from Chasing Ice and Racing Extinction, Here we have another sort of obscure documentary (although less so than the last two), with a song by J. Ralph. It's not an exact science, but it seems like he is a safe bet with these voters.

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