I'd better get a move on if I intend on getting the major categories predicted by Sunday. And for me, Score counts in major category!
The nominees are:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Alexandre Desplat
Defiance - James Newton Howard
Milk - Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire - A.R. Rahman
WALL•E - Thomas Newman
How I did: 65%.
I got Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire and WALL.E right, and have given myself a cheeky 5% for predicting that James Newton Howard would get nominated for one of his scores, albeit it being for Defiance, not The Dark Knight.
Rankings, bearing in mind I haven't seen Defiance -
01. Slumdog Millionaire (A.R. Rahman)
My favourite film score of the year, bar none. Rahman’s palette contains a mix of electronica, Indian instruments, reknowned Bollywood singers, Brazilian drumming, bittersweet song lyrics and the driving force of his music; the love story and life story of Jamal.There’s a bit of everything on the score – catchy tunes (Ringa Ringa), melancholy romance (Dream’s on Fire, Latika’s Theme) and adrenaline-rising chase sequences (Mausam & Escape), meaning that I was bopping along throughout the film. The elegiac pieces so sad I was moved to tears and the thrilling tracks so thrilling that I was bopping my head along, the music captures the spirit and tone of the film at each point perfectly, and features the best of both the eastern and western musical worlds. Rahman, despite his massive fame in his home country, is still somewhat of an unknown name in the UK and USA, here’s to hoping his two Oscars this year for Song and Score get him some of the recognition he massively deserves.
02. WALL•E (Thomas Newman)
So good it evoked memories of my beloved Shawshank Redemption, Thomas Newman’s score for Andrew Stanton’s futuristic romance has everything you need to evoke feelings of love: tingling percussion, short bursts of rhythm, and a quirky style of dreaminess. “Define Dancing” is my personal favourite of all the tracks, an ethereal, spine-tingling piece that truly made me feel like I was dancing over the universe. For Newman meets Disney, it’s actually something of a disappointment as he has actually done a lot, lot better in the past (especially when compared to Giacchino’s score for Pixar’s previous outing, Ratatouille, which has a higher playability value as well as his work on Finding Nemo, which is my favourite film score of all time) but it’s still better than 90% of the film scores out there.
03. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Alexandre Desplat)
Heart-welling and stunning Desplat, but more than a little bit of plagiarism of his previous score to Lust, Caution, methinks.
04. Milk (Danny Elfman)
During watching the film, the score to Milk worked a treat: moving, fitting with the images and unobtrusive. But it doesn’t rate highly on the unforgettability factor.
Who will win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who deserves to win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who deserved to get nominated: The Dark Knight