FEBRUARY 7, 2013 — The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2012. The largest numbers this year are, for the most part, split evenly between four composers, all of whom received four nominations: MYCHAEL DANNA, ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, FERNANDO VELÁZQUEZ and veteran composer JOHN WILLIAMS.
The nominations for Danna, Velázquez and Williams were each for a single score – director Ang Lee’s vivid shipwreck drama LIFE OF PI, director Juan Antonio Bayona’s harrowing tsunami drama THE IMPOSSIBLE [LO IMPOSIBLE] and director Steven Spielberg’s look at the last months of life of Abraham LINCOLN, respectively.
Desplat’s nominations were for his body of work in 2012 which included writing IFMCA Award-nominated music for the quirky comedy MOONRISE KINGDOM, the storybook animation RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, and the contemporary war thriller ZERO DARK THIRTY, as well as for the 1970s espionage thriller ARGO, the realistic French romantic drama RUST AND BONE [DE ROUILLE ET D’OS], the Italian satirical comedy REALITY, and the French-language biopic CLOCLO.
The other nominees for Film Score of the Year are the ambitious sci-fi drama CLOUD ATLAS by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil (2 nominations), and director Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy prequel THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY by Howard Shore (2 nominations). Read more…
The nominations for the 2012 Oscars have been announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and in the Best Original Score category the nominees represent a broad cross-section of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. The nominees are:
- MYCHAEL DANNA for Life of Pi
- ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for Argo
- DARIO MARIANELLI for Anna Karenina
- THOMAS NEWMAN for Skyfall
- JOHN WILLIAMS for Lincoln
This is the first Oscar nomination for Canadian composer Mychael Danna, who also picked up Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for his wonderful score for Life of Pi, in my opinion the front runner to pick up the award. John Williams cements his position as the most critically acclaimed living film composer with his 48th Oscar nomination for his score for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. The other three composers – Alexandre Desplat, Dario Marianelli and Thomas Newman –all have multiple prior nominations, with Marianelli having previously won for Atonement in 2007.
The most unexpected nomination is that of Thomas Newman for the James Bond film Skyfall, which becomes only the second Bond score to be so nominated (after Marvin Hamlisch’s The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977) – astonishingly, none of John Barry’s iconic Bond scores or songs were ever nominated.
Some front running films whose scores were overlooked by the Academy include THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY by Howard Shore, THE IMPOSSIBLE by Fernando Velazquez, THE MASTER by Jonny Greenwood, THE SESSIONS by Marco Beltrami, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK by Danny Elfman, ZERO DARK THIRTY by Alexandre Desplat, and CLOUD ATLAS by Tom Tykwer, Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek, which was shut out of the Oscar nominations entirely. Similarly, fan-favorites such as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by James Horner, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES by Hans Zimmer, JOHN CARTER by Michael Giacchino and RISE OF THE GUARDIANS by Alexandre Desplat failed to impress the Academy’s music branch this year. Read more…
The nominations for the 2012 Golden Globes have been announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and in the all-important Best Original Score category the HFPA have returned a list of nominees that, for once, actually represents five of the ten best scores written this year! The nominees are:
- MYCHAEL DANNA for Life of Pi
- ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for Argo
- DARIO MARIANELLI for Anna Karenina
- TOM TYKWER, JOHNNY KLIMEK and REINHOLD HEIL for Cloud Atlas
- JOHN WILLIAMS for Lincoln
These are the first major film music award nominations for both Mychael Danna and the Cloud Atlas Pale 3 team, although Danna has been nominated for both a Grammy and and Emmy. This is the 6th nomination for Desplat, who won the award in 2006 for The Painted Veil, and the second nomination for Marianelli, who won both the Golden Globe and Oscar in 2007 for Atonement. Desplat is also a 4-time Oscar and 5-time BAFTA nominee. John Williams, of course, has six billion prior nominations.
In the Best Original Song category, the HFPA have cast the net far and wide, choosing nominees that range from 80s rock and modern day country music to legendary Broadway maestros. The nominees are:
- ADELE ATKINS and PAUL EPWORTH for “Skyfall” from Skyfall
- JON BON JOVI for “Not Running Anymore” from Stand-Up Guys
- MONTY POWELL and KEITH URBAN for “For You” from Act of Valor
- CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHONBERG, ALAIN BOUBLIL and HERBERT KRETZMER for “Suddenly” from Les Miserables
- TAYLOR SWIFT, JOHN PAUL WHITE, JOY WILLIAMS and T-BONE BURNETT for “Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games
Overall Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln leads the way with 7 nominations in total, with Argo and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained picking up 5 nominations, and Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty getting four each.
The Golden Globes are presented on January 13th, 2013.
- MARK McKENZIE for The Greatest Miracle
- LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
- DARIO MARIANELLI for Jane Eyre
- JOHN WILLIAMS for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
- JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse
Of all the scores to make an impression on me in 2011, none did so with more power and beauty than Mark McKenzie’s THE GREATEST MIRACLE. Although the film itself is by all accounts horrible – a poorly animated Mexican film about life and Catholicism – the under-valued McKenzie’s music soars, imbued with a sense of spirituality, peace and beauty that was unmatched in the year. Running him a close second were the two scores from veteran John Williams – THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN and WAR HORSE – the latter of which won him the IFMCA Award for Score of the Year. They are filled with everything that is great about Williams’ music, with memorable themes, sparkling orchestrations, and the sense of fun and emotional strength that has made him the most popular and successful film composer of our time. French newcomer Ludovic Bource gave the superb silent film THE ARTIST a sense of time and place through his wonderfully loving homages to the Golden Age of the art, and won an Oscar for his troubles, while the delicate and heartfelt violin performances in Dario Marianelli’s JANE EYRE enraptured me from the moment I heard them almost a year ago, and remain amongst the best that 2011 has to offer.
The International Film Music Critics Association announces the winners of its eighth annual awards for excellence in musical scoring in 2011 with John Williams’ score for Steven Spielberg’s WAR HORSE topping the list, winning Film Score of the Year, Best Score for a Drama Film and Individual Cue for “The Homecoming.” Williams also wins Composer of the Year and Best Score for an Animated Film for THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN. French composer Ludovic Bource wins Breakout Composer of the Year for his score to THE ARTIST.
Cliff Martinez wins Best Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film for Nicolas Winding Refn’s DRIVE. Best Score for a Comedy Film is given to THE RUM DIARY by Christopher Young. Michael Giacchino wins his 11th career award for JJ Abrams’ SUPER 8 in the Best Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film category. Turkish composer Pinar Toprak wins Best Score for a Documentary Film for her score to THE WIND GODS.
The International Film Music Critics Association announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2011 with veteran composer John Williams leading the field with 7 nods including WAR HORSE (3 nominations) and THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN (3 nominations) for Film Score of the Year. Also nominated in this category are Ludovic Bource’s THE ARTIST (3 nominations), Mark McKenzie’s score to THE GREATEST MIRACLE (2 nominations) and Howard Shore’s HUGO (2 nominations).
Williams is short-listed for Film Composer of the Year along with Bource; last year’s winner, Alexandre Desplat (whose many scores include HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2, THE TREE OF LIFE, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, THE IDES OF MARCH, A BETTER LIFE); Michael Giacchino (SUPER 8, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, 50/50, MONTE CARLO, CARS 2) and Alberto Iglesias (TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, LA PIEL QUE HABITO (THE SKIN I LIVE IN), TAMBIÉN LA LLUVIA, LE MOINE). Read more…
- LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
- ALBERTO IGLESIAS for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- HOWARD SHORE for Hugo
- JOHN WILLIAMS for The Adventures of Tintin
- JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse
It looks like Bource’s award to lose. Having already won this year’s Golden Globe for the same score, and with John Williams’ double-nomination for his two Steven Spielberg scores looking almost certain to cancel each other out, the young French composer is almost guaranteed to take home the gong for his excellent work on director Michel Hazanavicius’s excellent film about the end of the Hollywood silent film era. Howard Shore, for Martin Scorsese’s HUGO, and Alberto Iglesias, for the spy thriller TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY look to be the rank outsiders – in fact, Iglesias wasn’t on many people’s radar at all this year, despite having been nominated several times before. Read more…
It is with great pleasure that I announce that my friend and colleague, and master Golden Age expert for Movie Music UK, Craig Richard Lysy, has been accepted as a new member of the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA), and will be eligible to vote for the upcoming 2011 IFMCA Awards, and beyond. Craig has been an invaluable asset to the site since joining a year ago, expanding the site’s reach in terms of Golden and Silver Age coverage and reviews, and providing a more balanced outlook for the site, which had previously concentrated on only newer material.
Congratulations, Craig, and welcome to the club!
Last Saturday, March 26th, I had the honor attending the recording sessions for “A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project” at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, CA. The brainchild of composer Christopher Lennertz, the Symphony is musical fundraising project designed to help the people of Haiti in their desperate time of need.
A year after the terrible earthquake which destroyed the lives of thousands of Haitians, it was clear to Lennertz that the need for assistance was greater than ever. In response Lennertz came up with the idea of the ”Symphony of Hope”, and invited 25 leading film composers to collaborate with him on a project to benefit the Haiti Earthquake Relief fund. Read more…
- JOHN POWELL for How To Train Your Dragon
- DAFT PUNK for Tron: Legacy
- ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part I
- ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The King’s Speech
- JAMES NEWTON HOWARD for The Last Airbender
In the end, there was no decision to make in terms of the overall score of the year. John Powell’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON has as much life, energy, creativity, ingenuity, and unadulterated fun as any score in recent memory; not only does it contain at least four standout themes, the way the music complements the film while still remaining a stellar listen on CD is a benchmark for all other scores to follow. The two scores by Alexandre Desplat – HARRY POTTER AND DEATHLY HALLOWS PART I and THE KING’S SPEECH – show vastly different sides to the Frenchman, with Harry Potter proving beyond doubt that he is the right man to conclude the saga with his effortless blend of fantasy drama and intellectual composition, while The King’s Speech shows his restrained, elegant side with a score that combines the regality of English monarchy with a brilliant musical representation of a stutter. French electronica duo Daft Punk made their film music debus a splashy one with the sci-fi sequel TRON LEGACY, and gave us a score that beautifully blends a vivid orchestral palette with some of the most sophisticated synth programming heard in a score in years. Finally, James Newton Howard’s THE LAST AIRBENDER brought a touch of class to a truly miserable film, with boisterous action themes and a glorious finale. Read more…
On Saturday, February 26th I had the honor of attending a champagne reception to recognize the achievements of the music nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards. The event was organized by the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) and held at the home of the Emmy-nominated composer John Cacavas in Beverly Hills.
The six nominees for Best Original Score – Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech), John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon), A.R. Rahman (127 Hours), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network) and Hans Zimmer (Inception) – were all in attendance, as were Best Original Song nominees Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (Tangled), and Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey (Country Strong).
In a brief presentation, SCL President Dan Foliart, SCL First Vice President Arthur Hamilton and SCL Director Charles Bernstein congratulated each nominee on their Oscar nomination, and paid tribute to their work in furthering the art of film music during 2010. During the tribute, respects were also paid to the late John Barry, and long-time film music publicist Ronni Chasen, who was tragically murdered in November 2010. Read more…
JOHN POWELL’S HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON IS NAMED INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS’ 2010 FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR
The International Film Music Critics Association announces the winners of its seventh annual awards for excellence in musical scoring in 2010 with John Powell’s score for the animated film HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON topping the list, winning both Film Score of the Year and Best Score for an Animated Film. Alexandre Desplat receives three awards: Best Score for a Drama Film (THE KING’S SPEECH), Best Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film (THE GHOST WRITER) and Composer of the Year.
Continuing their tradition to highlight lesser known but vital world talents, the Association awards the Breakout Composer of the Year to Portuguese composer Nuno Malo for AMÁLIA. Turkish composer Pinar Toprak wins Best Score for a Comedy Film for her score to the THE LIGHTKEEPERS. Rounding out the film categories are Best Score to a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film which goes to TRON: LEGACY by the French duo Daft Punk, Best Score for a Documentary Film winner is French composer Bruno Coulais for OCÉANS and American Danny Elfman’s “Alice Theme” from ALICE IN WONDERLAND wins Best Individual Composition.
In the non-film category, Bear McCreary wins his second award in a row in the Best Score for a Television Series, this year for Fox’s drama HUMAN TARGET (McCreary won last year for BATTLESTAR: GALACTICA). Kojima Productions’ CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW, with music by Óscar Araujo, wins Best Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media.
The Best Archival Release goes to the six-disc box set release of Alex North’s score to Stanley Kubrick’s SPARTACUS, which was Varèse Sarabande’s executive producer Robert Townson’s 1000th release for the label. Best Record Label of the Year goes to La-La Land Records, their first win in this category, for such notable 2010 expanded release soundtracks as BATMAN RETURNS, DRAGONSLAYER, PANIC IN THE YEAR ZERO and HOME ALONE. Read more…
FEBRUARY 11, 2011 – The International Film Music Critics Association has announced its list of nominations for excellence in musical scoring in 2010, with French composer Alexandre Desplat leading the field with 7 nods including THE KING’S SPEECH (3 nominations) and THE GHOST WRITER (3 nominations) for Film Score of the Year. Also nominated in this category are John Powell’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (5 nominations), Daft Punk’s score to TRON: LEGACY (3 nominations) and Hans Zimmer’s INCEPTION (3 nominations).
Desplat, who also wrote the nominated score to HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1, is short-listed for Composer of the Year along with John Powell (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON); James Newton Howard (SALT, THE LAST AIRBENDER, NANNY MCPHEE RETURNS); Danny Elfman (ALICE IN WONDERLAND); and Hans Zimmer (INCEPTION).
Breakout Composer of the Year nominees include Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, better known as the French electronic/dance duo Daft Punk, for TRON: LEGACY; Spanish composer Oscar Araujo for the video game CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW; Spanish composer Arnau Bataller for the mystery film LA HERENCIA VALDEMAR; German composer Herbert Grönemeyer for the George Clooney drama THE AMERICAN; and Portuguese composer Nuno Malo for AMÁLIA, the film about the life of Portuguese fado singer Amália Rodrigues.
New this year is Best Archival Release category, which combines previous categories that celebrated the current renaissance of older movie scores being released either for the first time, as a re-release or as a re-recording. With so many worthy choices, the new category has been expanded to 10 nominees, which this year includes the 6-disc, premiere release of Alex North’s score to Stanley Kubrick’s SPARTACUS, two never-released John Williams scores (BLACK SUNDAY and FAMILY PLOT) and re-recordings of scores as diverse as Dimitri Tiomkin’s THE ALAMO and Basil Poledouris’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN among other impressive releases.
The International Film Music Critics will announce the winners of its 7th Annual Awards on February 25, 2011.
2010 Film Categories
FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR
• THE GHOST WRITER, music by Alexandre Desplat
• HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, music by John Powell
• INCEPTION, music by Hans Zimmer
• THE KING’S SPEECH, music by Alexandre Desplat
• TRON: LEGACY, music by Daft Punk
FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
• Alexandre Desplat
• Danny Elfman
• James Newton Howard
• John Powell
• Hans Zimmer
Some very sad news to report. Legendary film composer John Barry, the genius mind behind some of the greatest scores in film music history, has died of a heart attack at his home in Oyster Bay, NY, at the age of 77.
Apart from a concert I attended in Birmingham in England several years ago, I never had the good fortune to meet Barry, but his music has been a part of my film music experience for as long as I can remember. The James Bond theme will be his legacy, of course, but my favorites of his were the scores which showcased his unmatched talent for sublime orchestral beauty: Dances With Wolves, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, Somewhere in Time, The Scarlet Letter, Hanover Street, Chaplin, My Life… the list of amazing scores is endless.
Five Oscars, two further nominations, various BAFTAs and Emmy, and other innumerabale awards go some way to illustrating the esteem in which he was held. He was a titan of the film music industry, and although he hadn’t written a score since Enigma in 2002, his legacy will surely endure.