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Mon. Feb 17th, 2020

2016 Oscar Predictions: ORIGINAL SCORE & ORIGINAL SONG

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Although we’ve always our expanded predictions outside of the top 8 categories on main link under Predictions (just use the drop-down menus to 2015/2016 Gold Rush Gang predictions to find all categories) this is the first set of charts for the Gold Rush Gang 2016 Oscar predictions for Original Score and Original Song.

Original Score is a particularly competitive category this year as we have major movies, recent winners and nominees and the biggest winner in this category in Academy history. I’m obviously talking about John Williams here and his score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens lands him at #2 right now. Between the Original Score and Original Song categories, Williams has been nominated an astonishing 41 times and won 5 times; for Fiddler on the Roof (1972), Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977 – he was double nominated that year), Superman (1978), E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982 – double nominated again) and Schindler’s List (1993). At the age of 83 he’s getting close to the end of his career. He took ill last year and had to bow out of scoring Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies but bounced back to finish J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This could be the last chance to reward him but with a legacy like his, is it even necessary?

The reason I ask is that also on this list, at #5, is Ennio Morricone’s score for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. This is Morricone’s first score of a western in 40 years and the maestro has never won a competitive Oscar in his career. That alone could make a win for him inescapable. But, the Oscars have a strange relationship with sympathetic or makeup Academy Awards. We’ve seen in Best Actor with Al Pacino and Paul Newman receiving late in life wins for roles that most consider far below their best (and certainly below their previous nominations) but something tells me that Morricone stands a superb chance.

What we’re hoping to see is the first (yes, first) nomination for Carter Burwell. The longtime composer of films of The Coen Brothers, Burwell’s score for Todd Haynes’ Carol is one of his best and the film is a major contender so it has to be his time, right? Well, look at Thomas Newman, who took over the reigns of Bridge of Spies. He’s been nominated 12 times without a win. The category seems to really be a black hole in terms of ‘overdue’ status being anywhere near a part of the conversation.

Eligibility is always an issue here and the score for The Revenant may hit a snag. The rules state that only attributed composers can be nominated and the credits for The Revenant are listed as “Ryûichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai with additional music by Bruce Dressner.” It’s that “additional music by” that could find itself in an eligibility snafu. Or, it’s just Dressner that’s knocked out.

One more thing to keep in mind and that is the passing this year of two-time Oscar-winner James Horner. He could be given one (or even two) posthumous nominations for The 33 or Southpaw. You can look at the master chart for Original Score here.

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ORIGINAL SCORE TOTAL
POINTS
RANK
Inside Out 48 1
Star Wars: The Force Awakens 32 2
Carol 23 3
Bridge of Spies 20 4
The Hateful Eight 15 5
The Danish Girl 4 6
Sicario 4 6
The Revenant 2 8
Spotlight 2 8

This is always a tough category because at the moment we don’t have the list of eligible songs from the Academy yet. But, following the few rules that are set forth (length of the song, its placement in the film/credits) we have a good idea on what could make it in. Then again, there’s always a possibility of an “Alone, Yet Not Alone” nomination (RIP). Right now our list consists of #1 songs, songs from music icons and songs from social conscience topic documentaries. The eligibility list should be out next week.

“See You Again,” from Furious 7 is likely to find that film franchise with its first nomination (not the Best Picture one Vin Diesel thinks it should get though). The song, dedicated to and about the untimely death of its star Paul Walker during filming encompasses the entire final sequence of the film as a sendoff to Walker. It should have significant impact if voters connect the two or watch that sequence instead of just listening to the song. “One Kind of Love” from Love & Mercy has a strong chance of a nomination, much like the Glen Campbell song “I’ll Be Me” was last year. Both feature legendary singer/songwriters at the end of their careers and that could play very well. But will its placement in the film (it’s the second song in the credits, which is a no-no). Two doc songs show up in our top five including the Diane Warren-penned “Till It Happens to You,” sung by Lady Gaga and from the film The Hunting Ground, about the cover-up of rape crimes on college campuses. The song was written by Diane Warren, a seven-time Oscar nominee and Lady Gaga, the Grammy-winning singer who sings the song was also a victim of rape at age 19 and that type of narrative reaches far. If ever a year was Warren’s, it’s this one.

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ORIGINAL SONG TOTAL
POINTS
RANK
Furious 7 – “See You Again” 25 1
Love & Mercy – “One Kind of Love” 15 2
Creed – “Waiting for My Moment” 13 3
Meru – “The Light That Never Fades” 10 4
The Hunting Ground – “Till It Happens to You” 9 5
Spectre – “Writing’s on the Wall” 7 6
Ricki and the Flash – “Cold One” 3 7
Miss You Already – “What We Leave Behind” 3 7
Fifty Shades of Grey – “Earned It” 2 9
Boychoir – “The Mystery of Your Gift” 2 9
Concussion – “So Long” 1 11
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