As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.
While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today that 39 eligible songs will contend for the Best Original Song Oscar this year. Important to note is that a relatively recent rule change states that songs must be judged in the capacity that they appear in each film. In early January the voting body will get together and watch clips from each eligible movie in which the 39 songs are featured, after which they will determine the nominees. The list of eligible songs include three tracks from The Muppets, Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi’s song “Gathering Stories” (which director Cameron Crowe co-wrote) from We Bought a Zoo, and composer/songwriter/eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken’s “Star Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger. I’m partial to Jonsi’s work or “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, but we’ll see how the Academy’s taste stacks up towards the end of January.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of eligible songs. The 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 24th.
The biographical drama The First Grader tells the story of Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran, and the Kenyan teacher who had enough compassion to help make his dream come true. In 2003, when a free education was promised by the Kenyan government to all who could produce a birth certificate, an 84-year-old villager decided that he wanted to educate himself and learn how to read. Once he arrived at a classroom in a small, remote primary school in the bush, he met the school principal and head teacher, Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris), who was quickly impressed by his tenacity and supported his struggle to gain admission at the school, even though they faced fierce opposition from parents and officials who didn’t want to waste one of the children’s precious spots on an old man. As he worked to overcome memories of living under British colonial rule and the harsh conditions of the British detention camps, the students formed friendships with Maruge and his determination allowed him the chance to learn that he so longed for.
At the film’s press day, actress Naomie Harris talked about meeting the real Jane Obinchu, researching the history of this story, how spending so much time in Kenya inspired her, and what it was like to work with real school children as her co-stars. She also talked about the direction her career has taken, reuniting with 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle to do Frankenstein on the stage (opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, alternating in the lead role), and how she’s hoping to take the summer off. Check out what she had to say after the jump: