December 20, 2010


Bad news if you’re a Clint Mansell fan. The composer’s exceptional work for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan has been deemed ineligible for Oscar consideration due to its usage of music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. While not exactly a surprise, it’s still a shame considering the score’s unique, even complicated structure.

According to Variety, Carter Burwell’s scores for True Grit and The Kids Are All Right (which he composed alongside Nathan Larson and Craig Wedren) and Michael Brook’s work on The Fighter have also been disqualified. Alexandre Desplat’s score for The King’s Speech, however, which recently received a Golden Globe-nomination, has been deemed eligible despite its usage of classical works. Hit the jump for more.

For some the BIG moment of the Oscars is typically reserved for the bit where the winner of Best Picture of the year is announced. For me it’s always been the winner of Best Motion Picture Score. As a devout film score lover, I’m always intrigued to see what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences deems the Best Score of the year – mainly because, having not always gotten around to seeing every nominated film each year, it’s a good place to hear the music for the first time.Inception-movie-poster

This year sees our tightest race in a long time, what with Desplat’s aforementioned work on The King’s Speech (personally I thought his work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One and Ghost Writer was better, but that’s just me …), Hans Zimmer’s Inception, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ The Social Network, and the better-be-nominated-or-I’ll-eat-a-bucket-of-sand How to Train Your Dragon score from John Powell.

I thought for sure Mansell would receive a nod for Black Swan – the score really is quite terrific. While he does utilize a large amount of Tchaikovsky’s work, I felt Mansell’s score rose above a typical rehashing and became its own beast – much in the same way Zimmer tweeked Edith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” to formulate his own score for Inception.

Still, despite Mansell’s absence, this year is shaping up to be a dandy for soundtrack enthusiasts. Others to consider are James Newton Howard’s work on The Last Airbender and Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy. I should also mention how much I dug Fernando Velazquez’s Devil score (if you haven’t heard it, be sure to check it out).

With so many great ones to choose from, here’s hoping my BIG-Oscar moment doesn’t disappoint.

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