The OscarR nominations are out and this year's been all about the nostalgia factor. There's been a fascination with revisiting the past. Whether to remember it, long for it or find meaning from it. See "Hugo," "Midnight in Paris," "The Tree of Life," and most notably, "The Artist." In fact, only one film in the Best Picture category is set completely in modern day. But I'm not here to talk about the movies; I'm here to talk about the music! And the music is reinforcing this nostalgia, transporting the audience to another place, another time. Let's take a look at the 2012 OscarR music nominees. Original Song:
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets," music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie
I personally love musicals, everyone breaking out in song and dance. It's just wonderful. I must also bring up the nostalgia theme here, perfect for those of us who remember it from our childhood. It's a movie about finding the Muppets, including a where-are-they-now montage and a reunion with the characters. And it has great odds, a 50/50 chance since there're only two songs in the category this year.
"Real in Rio" from "RIO," music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown and lyrics by Siedah Garrett
Usually animated features rank high in this category. "RIO" is about a domesticated parrot who must learn to fly while escaping captors in Brazil. Fittingly, this song transports you to the bustling streets of Rio, with drum beats and pops of hip-hop, all while featuringwill.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas. Mendes headed the group Brasil '66, whose sounds are a perfect accompaniment to this movie.
"The Adventures of Tintin," music by John Williams.
John Williams is probably the most well-known composer out there. You know the Darth Vader Theme from "Star Wars?" That's John Williams. He's been nominated A LOT. I loved this movie, but I don't think the music made a strong enough impression.
"The Artist," music by Ludovic Bource.
"The Artist" is a silent film. Well, not completely silent, obviously there's a soundtrack. In fact, it can be viewed as a character itself. This film wouldn't be as successful without an enthralling and emotional score as its back bone. Relatively unknown before composing the music for "The Artist," Bource is a pretty good bet, considering he's already won six awards for this score, including a Golden GlobeR.
"Hugo," music by Howard Shore.
I love the French influence in this score. Shore is another power player in the world of motion picture composers. He has worked on many films with Peter Jackson and David Cronenberg as well as, of course, Martin Scorsese.
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," music by Alberto Iglesias.
There was a score in this movie? I hardly even noticed. Iglesias has been previously nominated and has done scores for many Spanish-language films - but it won't matter here.
"War Horse," music by John Williams
John Williams is nominated twice in the same category!? That hasn't happened since...2005. He always works with Spielberg. Audiences are tearing up during this epic, thanks to the heart-string-pulling tones right at those pivotal scenes.
For my annual Oscar pool, I'm going to have to go with...(insert drum roll)..."The Muppets" for best song and "The Artist" for best score.
What're your picks for the 2012 OscarsR? See a full list at the Academy's website.
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