Best Original Score
Dario Marianelli "Darkest Hour"
Hans Zimmer "Dunkirk"
Jonny Greenwood "Phantom Thread"
John Williams "The Post"
Alexandre Desplat "The Shape of Water"
Other Contenders - Thomas Newman "Victoria and Abdul", Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer "Blade Runner 2049", John Williams "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Michael Giacchino "Coco", Carter Burwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Commentary - There really are ten possibilities for five slots. Zimmer and Desplat are definitely in, and are probably the top two for the prize, with Desplat out in front after the Globes and Critics Choice. I also think that Williams is going to earn another slot, and be careful, he could grab two slots, he has done it before. Of the two, I think The Post is stronger across the board, but the last Star Wars film got in here, so this could be flipped. Darkest Hour may have slipped on a lot of folks lists, including mine, but its BAFTA showing and some tech guild love show a film that is probably stronger than any of us even realize, particularly in the craft categories. I think it gets in. The last slot is the one I will probably end up changing. Jonny Greenwood has never managed an Oscar nod, and this is a club that likes its favorites. I feel like his work in Phantom Thread is one of those that critics love, but might be ignored by the music branch. I have him in because he has probably won the most of the critics awards so far, but there are five other scores that could easily eclipse him. There is Star Wars, of course, but the one I am most intrigued by is Thomas Newman. He has 14 nominations, often for films that otherwise are not big Oscar hits, and is clearly beloved by his peers. Hans Zimmer, like Williams, could get two nominations, if Blade Runner gets in, Michael Giacchino is a previous winner, and if Burwell makes the cut, it would show tremendous strength for Three Billboards across the categories, bolstering its Best Picture chances.
Bets Original Song
Beauty and the Beast - Evermore
Coco - Remember Me
The Greatest Showman - This is Me
Marshall - Stand Up for Something
Mudbound - Mighty River
Other Contenders - Call Me By Your Name - The Mystery of Love, Detroit - It Ain't Fair, Fifty Shades Darker - I Don't Wanna Live Forever, Cries From Syria - Prayers for This World
Commentary - So here we go again with Best Original Song, the category that never seems to go as planned. I think that Remember Me is a lock, and will beat the Globe winner This is Me at the finish line. Mary J. Blige is popular this year, and I think that she will be a double nominee. Diane Warren is a legend here, so expect her Marshall song to make the cut. Finally, Disney is a force in this category, especially Alan Menken, and I think Evermore will earn a Disney version of Beauty and the Beast another Original Song nomination. A lot of folks are talking about Sufjan Stevens' song in Call Me By Your Name. Like Greenwood in Score, this could happen, but I think it is more the eccentric critical favorite, and will be drowned out by the bigger songs and songwriters in the bunch. Cher is a possibility for Prayers for This World, It Ain't Fair could rally behind its politics, and yes, do not discount Taylor Swift and the Fifty Shades trilogy. It was this category that made Fifty Shades of Grey an Oscar-nominated film.