These TRULY deserved the Academy Award (2008-2001)


10. Jun. 2008, 16:15

A few days ago I glanced over a list of the films the music of which won an Academy Award for Original Music Score, just out of curiosity, as I wanted to know what films were nominated in the year 2000 when John Corigliano's "The Red Violin" was the winner. What I found out, what must have been painfully buried deep in my little heart, was the crucial fact that the most gorgeous Rachel Portman WASN'T the winner with her phantastic music for "The Cider House Rules"! Don't get me wrong, I love Corigliano's score, but, I mean: WHAT? IMPOSSIBLE!

That was the point when I started to have a closer look at that list and it was absolutely horrible. That experience, of course, is quite individual and subjective, depends on taste and blablabla, and although I always say to others "de gustibus non est disputandum" I decided that THIS is enough!

I decided furthermore to create a new personal tag for me with which I will mark all of those filmmusic scores that I think deserve the golden boy, whether they actually received it - or not. And thus "" was born...

Here are links to the other journal entries belonging to this (still shamefully incomplete) series:

Part 2 (2000-1991)
Part 3 (1990-1981)


This was the year, I think everybody has it still in mind - AND SHOULD INDEED, that saw the winning of the absolutely phantastic composition of "Atonement" by Dario Marianelli, a choice that would have been 100% my own. Although Marco Beltrami and James Newton-Howard did wonderful jobs with "3:10 to Yuma" and "Michael Clayton" I really believe that Marianelli's work is just outstanding.


This was truly disappointing. To be perfectly honest, I have not the slightest idea why Gustavo Santaolalla was chosen for the award for "Babel" the year Alexandre Desplat, Philip Glass and Javier Navarrete were also nominated - for scores which I think are by far way much better. But although "Pan's Labyrinth" is wonderful and lovely and I also like "Notes on a Scandal" quite a lot I have to chose Desplat's "The Queen", as it was, in my opinion, simply the best.


Another HORRIBLE year for me! As in the following year (and as I just wrote) was Gustavo Santaolalla the composer who received the Oscar, this time for "Brokeback Mountain". Puh, the movie is nice, but why does everyone seem to be so mad about it? And the music, this twelve minute long cute playing with the guitar or whatever it was, interrupted by all those country songs...? My god, where those people deaf or just mad? "Pride & Prejudice" was nominated and did NOT win?! UNBELIEVABLE!


Ah, just wonderful. 2005 saw five absolutely excellent compositions of the highest order, and the jury chosed one of the most phantastic scores I've ever heard to be the winner. With the rivals being John Debney's "The Passion of the Christ", James Newton-Howard's "The Village", John Williams's "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and Thomas Newman's "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events", truly the best that year was Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's "Finding Neverland"!


This wasn't easy for me. The first moment I was seriously thinking that Danny Elfman's "Big Fish" would be a better choice than Howard Shore's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" because I like it so much, but that would be quite ignorant, as Shore's music for this part of the trilogy is just brilliant.


Oh, this, my dear friends, is the year of the most crucial mistake of all times in the history of awarding filmmusic. The score, that received the Oscar this year, was "Frida", composed by Elliot Goldenthal. I enjoyed watching the movie quite a lot, and I also think that the music fits the visuals, and neither do I think that the music is bad nor do I dislike it... But it is ABSOLUTELY FEEBLE-MINDED to award it with the f*cking Oscar the same year Philip Glass' divine masterpiece "The Hours" is competing.
Seriously, that is one of the most breathtaking pieces of music you will EVER hear, and they gave that statue to Mister Goldenthal??? NO!


The choice in 2002 was also quite bad, and I can't understand it. The winner was Howard Shore's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring", which is a good score, and I remember me being quite enchanted and loving those wagnerian motives that were used (I hated the theme for the hobbits though, as I abhor the hobbits...), but this is NOTHING compared to the phantastic work done by James Horner with "A Beautiful Mind", which deserved the award so badly...


I was quite satisfied with the choice for 2001. I like the music for Hans Zimmer's "Gladiator", but mostly because of the collaboration with Lisa Gerrard I think, and the score isn't remarkable enough in my opinion, whereas I think of Tan Dun's music for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" as absolutely wonderful. Of course such a choice can never be 100% fine with me when that means to ignore the nomination for my darling composer Rachel Portman, who was a rival with her pretty score for "Chocolat". But although I love this music I sorrowly have to admit: Tan Dun's is just better in this case...

This is it for now. I'm done with tagging to the year 1960 I think, and I will try to continue tagging my favorites to the very beginning in the year 1935. Of course that means a lot of listening for me, as not every single score is known to me, so I'm sure this will take quite a lot of time.
However, I will try to write the next entry with the years 2000-1991 within the next week.

Feel free to comment, and write whatever you want, I'm open for harassement and baiting...

You can continue with Part 2 (2000-1991) if you like.


  • Borjiazz

    Awful movie, tremendous score °_°

    10. Jun. 2008, 20:33
  • moonykristy

    ...agree with your choices. Mainly with the newer ones. There are so many great scores out there, so many to be listened and so little time... (; Anyhoo, nice journal! :P

    11. Jun. 2008, 17:31
  • Epitymbidia

    There were A LOT movies I wanted to see win the Award but weren't even nominated, and that was also one of my biggest problems while I started writing these journals. But I decided to just write about those scores that actually won or were nominated. I thought about mentionning also those I think deserved at least a nomination though... I don't like "The Prisoner of Azkaban" too much, and although "The Village" is really great I just adore "Finding Neverland", so I absolutely appreciate that choice. And I just watched "Brokeback Mountain" again a few days ago, and than listened to the soundtrack and the score, and though the music is quite nice I still REALLY think that it does not deserve the Oscar. And EVEN if I would say that it actually does and thus must've been nominated, I would nevertheless say that "Pride & Prejudice" is the one composition that is so outstandingly phantastic that it should've been the "winner".

    4. Jul. 2008, 8:14
  • Mirtrione

    What actually astonishes me is that Patrick Doyle is yet to win an oscar. His Hamlet score didn't win?! Sense and Sensibility didn't win? It's not right. :( Sorry, I know that's the nineties... And my mind boggles when he wasn't even nominated for 'A Little Princess'. I agree with most of your choices by the way. I just don't understand why P&P didn't win the oscar. I do have a soft spot for the Gladiator soundtrack, but my estimate of it went down when I heard other Zimmer scores. i.e. they're quite repititive and formulaic.

    18. Sep. 2008, 10:33
  • Mirtrione

    Ah, I have only just noticed that you have a nineties section... Oops! I'm glad that you seemed to agree with me on S&S though. I still think the Hamlet score deserved a win - but I am a bit biased! I have nothing against The English Patient at all, it's just a shame it was in the same year as Hamlet. Doyle still needs his oscar, though it's not looking too great for him this decade. His HP score was very weak, and I wish he would choose some more serious films to score: Nim's Island? ... :( I was also a bit unsure of his work for 'As You Like It' but I was a bit unsure of the whole film to be honest. Not sure why Henry V was never nominated either.

    18. Sep. 2008, 10:45
  • Epitymbidia

    You see, this is exactly what I think - and thought when the nominations and winners were presented. Patrick Doyle REALLY deserves his Oscar already! And obviously we also share the same opinion concerning the fact that "The English Patient" won and not "Hamlet" and concerning the fact that "Il Postino" won and NOT "Sense and Sensibility"... I can live, as I wrote, with the award for "The English Patient", as that really is a wonderful score, but I just cannot accept that Doyle did not receive an Oscar in '96. I enjoy listening to"As You Like It" and "Nim's Island" though, and I would love to hear more of him in the style of "Sleuth", but I agree with you nevertheless that he became a little bit weak concerning his last compositions compared to his forementionned masterpieces. Anyway, thanks for your quite productive comments.

    19. Sep. 2008, 22:07
  • lady_sati

    i love journals criticising academy :D i thought 'atonement' score was really beautiful but i still prefer 'michael clayton' - the music in there literally built up most of the tension in the movie and the piece called 'i'm not the guy u kill' is something absolutly monumental. i think music for 'the village', 'big fish' and 'the hours' all deserved oscars, i really love danny elfman's and james newton howard's work, also hans zimmer's score for 'the da vinci code' is something wonderful and at least should have got nommination, wheras the movie was really bad . i completly agree about 'brokeback mountain' music it didn't deserve the award, whilst the movie should have won. as for 'the queen' - agreed, wonderful, alexandre desplat is also one of my favourites and i think it's a disaster he will most likely loose this year as well to 'slumdog millionare' which is awful and music is a mess there :/

    14. Feb. 2009, 18:41
  • blondiepianist

    Shore's music has no rival. PERIOD. He keeps pumpkin' out score after awesome score (think "The Departed", "The Aviator", "Eastern Promises". Etc) However, I TOTALLY agree that "Pride and Prejudice", "Atonement"and "Finding Neverland" shoudl've won! I am not a typical "soundtrack listener". I am more inclined toward REAL soundtracks: emotional buildup (versus banging people over the head with the score), intertwining themes (versus one or two generic themes appearing in slightly different forms again and again in between unstructured generic "fill-in" music) and music that truly lillustrates the character of the people protrayed.Brokeback Mountain's score is just...pfffft...let's not go there... One illustration of a good thing gone bad in the film score industry is the Narnia series. Harry-Gregson Williams made a signature "Narnian" sound for the first two movies. But of course, since "Dawn Treader" had a new studio and director, they "had to" get a new composer. For goodness sake, with a big-budget studio like that, why couldn't they have gotten Howard Shore or John Williams; composers who would've done JUSTICE to the world of Narnia. Instead, they get this second-rate wannabe composer who cheesed-up the score. Well, so it goes. Too few people out there who really care about truly good music.

    2. Mai. 2011, 18:52
  • blondiepianist

    He keep pumpkin out...hmmm. Typing a bit too fast I think. lol.

    2. Mai. 2011, 18:53
  • blondiepianist

    Okay, I take back what I said about Shore having NO rival. The truth is, he is a very underrated composer who definitely gives John Williams a run for his money. Yes, granted, they are two different composers with two distinctly different styles. But nonetheless, Shore has proven himself to be an extremely versatile and masterful composer.

    2. Mai. 2011, 18:58
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