Best Original Score
I love film scores- they can evoke not just moments from the film, but the emotions as well. The best film scores will stick with you, so years to come when you hear a snippet you can still pinpoint the movie. If you can’t recall the scores from the nominees, iTunes is a great place to listen to the samples and remember (I had to with a few of the entries this year).
Danny Boyle always chooses his music well and while I couldn’t remember the score exactly offhand, a second listen was all I needed to remember how fantastic it was. It captured Aron’s energy and emotions throughout the film. It slows down for a rare, sweet moment of sun for Aron, then picks up for the dream sequence and during the final scene to convey the anxiety and urgency he is feeling.
How to Train Your Dragon
This had a great score, with a sweeping and epic theme, like so many great family movies before it. With it’s fairy tale, action packed style it reminds me of Hercules, with a little bit of Celtic music thrown in to capture the viking’s spirit. It’s truly grandiose and spectacular, but nothing original.
Now this score was both original AND epic. No second listen was necessary to remember the booming, intimidating notes of this summer movie’s theme. Borrowing and slowing down an Edith Piaf tune to weave through the score conveys the tragic romance that lies at the heart of the film.
The King’s Speech
A second listen on iTunes reminded me of this films both touching and, at times, playful score. But the piece of music I remembered most from this film was actually not part of the original score, but a Beethoven symphony that is played as King George delivers his speech.
The Social Network
This score stuck with me like no other did this year. From the soft, singular piano notes that play as we see beauty shots of Harvard’s campus, paired with the deep, booming notes warning of the conflict to come, to the faster, electronic music that plays as we are introduced to the final clubs, every note was executed perfectly. It’s so creative and a breath of fresh air to a category where sometimes the nominees can all start to sound alike.
What Will Win:
The Social Network. In just three solid notes, you are whisked back to a Harvard dorm room, Jesse Eisenberg’s face illuminated by the soft glow of his computer as his fingers clack away on his keyboard. Plus, the Academy will think they’re being hip by awarding Trent Reznor an Oscar (Remember Three 6 Mafia?)
What Should Win:
The Social Network. Inception and 127 Hours are close runners up this year, but while their scores are just great, Reznor’s score is iconic.