John Williams Leads Best Original Score Nominees

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 08:12 AM

The veteran film composer John Williams leads the Academy Award contenders for Best Original Score, with two nominations: for his work on "The Adventures of Tintin" and "War Horse." Both films are directed by Steven Spielberg, with whom Williams has collaborated since the 1970s.

Other best score nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards go to Howard Shore for "Hugo," Alberto Iglesias for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and Ludovic Bource for "The Artist."

The nominations were announced Tuesday morning in Los Angeles by actress Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. There were 97 original scores eligible for nomination in 2011, according to the Academy.

The nominations set up a clear race between Hollywood establishment in Williams, who has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of cinema, and has previously won five Academy Awards, and Bource, who recently won the award for the Golden Globe for best original score for "The Artist," a silent film about an actor contending with advent of talkies.

Bource has worked with "Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius on his previous French films but is otherwise an unknown quantity in Hollywood.

Spanish composer Iglesias is also an indie favorite, but with growing Hollywood credentials. He has previously been nominated for two Oscars: for "The Constant Gardener" (2005) and "The Kite Runner" (2007).

Like Williams, Shore is a darling of Oscar voters, having received three past nominations, winning all of them, for his work on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

The Academy Awards take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, and will be broadcast on ABC.

Weigh in: What do you think of the nominees? Who will win? Who should win?

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Comments [1]

Zayne from New Jersey

Concerning the John Williams nominations:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) for the past several decades has not recognized Cinema as Art.
Of course we have to take a look at the film product that has been available for nomination.

From the late 1960s to the mid -1970s, the quality of Cinema Art in this country has deteriorated, so what would you expect from the AMPAS members qualified to nominate and vote on those nominations.

One area of interest is the qualification of the films for consideration and the validity of the nomination process.
A film had to be viewed by eligible Academy members as a film” projected” in a screening room or theatre.

Are people aware that many films that went for nomination, in the past, were viewed by Academy members on videotape, on televisions, as product sent to them by film corporations for "your consideration" and actually disqualified the ballot cast.

John Williams is a film composer with a large body of work. However, quantity does not mean quality.

Only one work, in my qualified background of film music, stands out as much inspired, the score for the 1979 film "Dracula", and the other score are somewhat mediocre. Besides, there is a great deal of "lifting" and reworking thematic material from classical composers.

Listen to the "Jaws" music track of "One Barrel Chase " and compare it with Ralph Vaughan Williams "A London Symphony - III. Scherzo" or, better yet, play the Vaughan Williams and view the barrel chase sequence from "Jaws" with the sound off.

Does "Star Wars" music sound something like Holst and Stravinsky? It sure does.

I could list many, many more examples "lifted" knowingly or subconsciously from classical compositions.

Is John Williams the first to "lift" music from others? No. But he has done so much more than others.

Take, for example, Miklos Rozsa's score for "Quo Vadis". His "Quo Vadis Domine?" (from Capitol album number ST-2837 "Miklos Rozsa conducts His Great Themes from Ben-Hur, El Cid, Quo Vadis and King of Kings reissued on Angel records) and Ottorino Respighi's "I pini della Via Appia" from "Pines of Rome". Now that’s a powerful piece of “lifting” or borrowing inspiration.

John Williams, no big deal. For some "anything is better than nothing.”

There comes a time when one gets tired of driving in a Volkswagen and, somewhere along Life’s journey, longs to drive in a Rolls-Royce.

Too bad there are so few, if any, great film composers in the American film industry.

Lift: to transfer from one setting to another

Jan. 25 2012 08:39 AM

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