There are several categories for the Oscars with very particular qualification standards. Original Score is clearly one of them as only 97 films qualify this year. With less than 100 possibilities and the Academy being categorically opposed to surprising people, it shouldn’t be very difficult to pick out the scores that will be nominated (including movies like Chipwrecked in the running also helps narrow the field).
Of course with Spielberg releasing two films this year we got two scores from the legendary John Williams, at least one of which he’ll surely see a nomination for. Considering that critics can’t seem to find enough top 10 lists to put The Artist on, a film in which the score makes up the entire soundscape, Ludovic Bource will likely see a nomination along with many of the other artists who worked on this film. Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo would have been unwatchable without the score provided by last year’s winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, so we should expect to see their names on the nomination list again this year. Another safe bet would be Canada’s own Howard Shore for his work on Hugo. Since James Horner and Hans Zimmer don’t seem to be in the running this year, I can only confidently predict 4/5 of the nominations (assuming Williams only gets one), that being said I’m gonna throw established composer Thomas Newman’s name out there for The Help. So what do you think, did I nail it?
Danny Elfman is another vet whom people love, but since the films he provided scores for this year (Real Steel and Restless) probably won’t show up in many other categories, his chances for recognition diminish. I don’t know why, that’s just how the Academy rolls.