“Movies without music are just snapshots”
~ Stephen Whitty
With the Academy Awards just a few days away, the exciting is growing. The heavy red carpet gets rolled out, Hollywood celebrities grin (hard under the influence of botox!) and bear it during their grueling last minute nips and tucks, starstruck fans buzz with anticipation, and talented artists from all facets of the film-making world hope and dream that this might be their year…
Let’s – just for a moment – bypass all the rest of the ruckus, though, and focus on the music. Though not a central theme, music plays an undeniable role in the biggest night of the year for film. In fact, though it rarely gets the attention it should, the music often makes the movie.
Naturally, we’ve got the four award categories that are music-related, which is all about the behind-the-scenes artists. These are the guys and gals who slave away composing, editing, and mixing and hardly get any recognition for their hard work. Unless, of course, they win an Oscar. Here is a breakdown of those categories and their nominees.
- Music (Original Score): Avatar (James Harner), Fantastic Mr. Fox (Alexandre Desplat), The Hurt Locker (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders), Sherlock Holmes (Hans Zimmer), Up (Michael Giacchino)
- Music (Original Song): The Princess and the Frog for “Almost There” and “Down in New Orleans” (Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman), Paris 36 for “Loin de Paname” (Music by Reinhardt Wagner and Lyrics by Frank Thomas), Nine for “Take it All” (Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston), Crazy Heart for “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” (Music and Lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett)
- Sound Editing: Avatar (Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle), The Hurt Locker (Paul N.J. Ottosson), Inglorious Basterds (Wylie Stateman), Star Trek (Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin), Up (Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin)
- Sound Mixing: Avatar (Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson), The Hurt Locker (Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett), Inglorious Basterds (Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano), Star Trek (Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin), Transformers (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson)
Beyond the music-related categories, there are the movies about music, like Crazy Heart. Apparently, public opinion has Jeff Bridges taking home the Oscar for Best Actor. It’s his fifth nomination and this time, say fans, it’s his time. Over here at Evolving Music, we say movies about music and the profound role it plays in people’s lives should win more often! Actually, there should be more movies about music (and musicians) period. Interestingly, this year it seems the music stars themselves did not come out on top. Idolator points out that Leona Lewis’ Avatar theme “I See You” didn’t even get nominated (although it did get nominated for a Golden Globe.)
Whatever your predictions and sentiments are for the event his year, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the music because, as the wise Stephen Whitty said, “Movies without music are just snapshots!” Speaking of shots, here are some drinking games for Oscar night in case you’re interested.