International Film Music Award Nominations highlight 'Cloud Atlas' and 'Life of Pi' - The Awards Circuit - By Clayton Davis

International Film Music Award Nominations highlight ‘Cloud Atlas’ and ‘Life of Pi’

cloudatlas_productiondesign2012 has been a great year for movie music, therefore it would be no surprise that the nominees for the International Film Music Awards would be pretty good. Lincoln and Life of Pi lead the nominated field with 4 nominations, including citations for their composers in Film Composer of the Year, John Williams and Mychael Danna, respectively. Cloud Atlas also managed 3 nominations including Score of the Year, Best Original Score for a Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Film, and Composition of the Year for Cloud Atlas Sextet. The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 9th IFMCA Awards on February 21, 2013. By now, everyone has seen a million of these posts, so I thought it’d be fun to add a little bit of commentary along with the categories, so check it out after the jump!

2012 Film Categories

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • CLOUD ATLAS, music by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil
  • THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, music by Howard Shore
  • THE IMPOSSIBLE, music by Fernando Velázquez
  • LIFE OF PI, music by Mychael Danna
  • LINCOLN, music by John Williams

Verdict: The only blemish on an otherwise sterling lineup is Howard Shore’s score for The Hobbit, but I’m willing to over look that because Cloud Atlas (!!!!) and The Impossible (!!) made the list. Given the genre nominees below it would have been nice to see maybe Beasts of the Southern Wild or Sinister place here, but I think this set of noms covers the year pretty well.

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • MYCHAEL DANNA
  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
  • DANNY ELFMAN
  • FERNANDO VELÁZQUEZ
  • JOHN WILLIAMS

Verdict: Listen, I love John Williams, but how did he makes this list? I guess he’s still got that magic touch when it comes to getting nominations everywhere.

BREAKOUT COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • NATHAN JOHNSON
  • ZELTIA MONTES
  • NIC RAINE
  • DAN ROMER & BENH ZEITLIN
  • JOSEPH TRAPANESE

Verdict: This is an exciting line up of composers! A great blend of American and International composers, crossing genres and mediums. It’s especially great to see Nathan and Joseph, two composers I got to speak to while at Comic Con, make this list.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • ANNA KARENINA, music by Dario Marianelli
  • THE IMPOSSIBLE, music by Fernando Velázquez
  • LIFE OF PI, music by Mychael Danna
  • LINCOLN, music by John Williams
  • THERE BE DRAGONS – SECRETOS DE PASIÓN, music by Robert Folk

Verdict: Remember when I said one should never underestimate string based scores come awards time? Four of these five nominees are have heavy string scores.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • MOONRISE KINGDOM, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, music by Dario Marianelli
  • THE SESSIONS, music by Marco Beltrami
  • SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, music by Danny Elfman
  • TED, music by Walter Murphy

Verdict: This category is dreadful outside of the score for Moonrise Kingdom, which probably shouldn’t be here given that it’s not the most original score.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, music by James Horner
  • DANS LA MAISON, music by Philippe Rombi
  • THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, music by Hans Zimmer
  • SKYFALL, music by Thomas Newman
  • ZERO DARK THIRTY, music by Alexandre Desplat

Verdict: What the hell is the score for Spider-Man doing in this field? Did no one listen to the score for the Avengers?  That being said, I hope that atmospheric score from Desplat takes it, although Zimmer’s score was the most fun to listen to while in the theater.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

  • CLOUD ATLAS, music by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil
  • THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, music by Howard Shore
  • JOHN CARTER, music by Michael Giacchino
  • PROMETHEUS, music by Marc Streitenfeld, additional music by Harry Gregson-Williams
  • SINISTER, music by Christopher Young

Verdict: This wouldn’t be a bad alternate world Oscar lineup. It’s well documented that I disliked Sinister, but that score is amazing so I’m glad to see it popping up. Only qualms with the list is no Looper.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FEATURE

  • BRAVE, music by Patrick Doyle
  • FRANKENWEENIE, music by Danny Elfman
  • PARANORMAN, music by Jon Brion
  • RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • SECRET OF THE WINGS, music by Joel McNeely

Verdict: Regardless of how you feel about the films in this group *cough Braveisn’tthatgood cough* this is a FANTASTIC set of nominees. Such great music in this group. Obviously I’m cheering for ParaNorman but if it loses it won’t be awful.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • KINGDOM OF PLANTS, music by Joel Douek, Freddy Sheinfeld and Elik Alvarez
  • LOS MUNDOS SUTILES, music by Pascal Gaigne
  • METSÄN TARINA, music by Panu Aaltio
  • SAMSARA, music by Lisa Gerrard and Michael Stearns
  • SHAKESPEARE & US, music by Miguel d’Oliveira

Verdict: I have heard a single note of any of these scores or seen the films so…moving on!

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “The Cloud Atlas Sextet for Orchestra” from CLOUD ATLAS, music by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil
  • “The Impossible Main Title” from THE IMPOSSIBLE, music by Fernando Velázquez
  • “John Carter of Mars” from JOHN CARTER, music by Michael Giacchino
  • “Pi’s Lullaby” from LIFE OF PI, music by Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri
  • “The Peterson House and Finale” from LINCOLN, music by John Williams

Verdict: I literally yelled “Cloud Atlas Sextet!” like a fangirl when I was it was nominated. Finally some recognition for that beautiful piece of music. While there are some lesser entries on this list (John Carter of Mars?), I actually don’t have a bad thing to say about this grouping.

Other 2012 Categories

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES

  • DOCTOR WHO, music by Murray Gold
  • DOWNTON ABBEY, music by John Lunn
  • GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, music by Frederik Wiedmann
  • ISABEL, music by Federico Jusid
  • PRICELESS, music by Naoki Sato

Verdict: I know this is an international society but this category swings awfully non-American in terms of shows.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • JOURNEY, music by Austin Wintory
  • KINGDOMS OF AMALUR: RECKONING, music by Grant Kirkhope
  • RESISTANCE: BURNING SKIES, music by Jason Graves and Kevin Riepl
  • STARHAWK, music by Christopher Lennertz
  • WORLD OF WARCRAFT: MISTS OF PANDARIA, music by Russell Brower, Neal Acree, Sam Cardon, Edo Guidotti and Jeremy Soule

Verdict: Where is Joseph Braverman when you need him? I have no idea about these nominees…

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • BEN-HUR, music by Miklós Rózsa; album produced by Lukas Kendall, Mike Matessino and Neil S. Bulk; liner notes by Jeff Bond and Frank K. DeWald; album art direction by Joe Sikoryak (Film Score Monthly)
  • CONAN THE BARBARIAN, music by Basil Poledouris; album produced by Nick Redman and Douglass Fake; liner notes by Nick Redman; album art direction by Joe Sikoryak (Intrada)
  • HOOK, music by John Williams; album produced by Didier C. Deutsch, Mark G. Wilder, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys; liner notes by Daniel Schweiger; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-LaLand)
  • STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, music by Jerry Goldsmith; album produced by Didier C. Deutsch, Mike Matessino, Bruce Botnick, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys and David C. Fein; liner notes by Jeff Bond and Mike Matessino; album art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)
  • STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES, music by Alexander Courage, George Duning, Jerry Fielding, Gerald Fried, Sol Kaplan, Samuel Matlovsky, Joseph Mullendore and Fred Steiner; album produced by Lukas Kendall, Neil S. Bulk, Jeff Bond, MV Gerhard, and Matt Verboys; liner notes by Jeff Bond; album art direction by Joe Sikoryak (La-La Land)

Verdict: There’s some excellent music amongst this set. Might have to get the Ben-Hur archival release.

BEST ARCHIVAL RE-RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN/ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, music by Max Steiner; conducted by William Stromberg; album produced by William Stromberg, John Morgan and Anna Bonn; liner notes by James V. d’Arc, Ryan Brennan and Curt Hardaway; album art direction by Jim Titus (Tribute Film Classics)
  • NOTRE DAME DE PARIS – THE MUSIC OF MAURICE JARRE, music by Maurice Jarre; conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by James Fitzpatrick and Frank K. DeWald; album art direction by Damien Doherty (Tadlow)
  • QUO VADIS?, music by Miklós Rózsa; conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick and Luc Van de Ven; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald; album art direction by GINKO DIGI (Prometheus/Tadlow)
  • THE RED HOUSE, music by Miklós Rózsa; conducted by Allan Wilson; album produced by Kevin Kaska and Douglass Fake; liner notes by Dan Robbins and Frank K. DeWald; album art direction by Joe Sikoryak (Intrada)
  • WINGS, music by J.S. Zamecnik; conducted by Peter Boyer and Ira Hearshen; album produced by Dominik Hauser, Jeannie Gayle Pool, Dan Goldwasser, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys; liner notes by Jeannie Gayle Pool; album art direction by Dan Goldwasser (La-La Land)

Verdict: Arsenic and Old Lace FTW! Have you guys seen that movie? So funny.

FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake, Roger Feigelson
  • LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys
  • MOVIESCORE MEDIA, Mikael Carlsson
  • QUARTET RECORDS, Jose M. Benitez
  • TADLOW MUSIC, James Fitzpatrick

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The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing about original film and television music.

Since its inception, the IFMCA has grown to comprise almost 60 members from countries as diverse as Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to John Williams’ WAR HORSE in 2011, John Powell’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s UP in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s ATONEMENT in 2007, James Newton Howard’s LADY IN THE WATER in 2006, John Williams’ MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA in 2005 and Michael Giacchino’s THE INCREDIBLES in 2004.

Terence Johnson (519 Posts)

When he's not enduring Shade Samurai training from Victoria Grayson, you can find Terence spends his time being an avid watcher of television, Criterion film collector, Twitter addict, and awards season obsessive. Opinionated but open minded, ratchet but with class, Terence holds down the fort as the producer of the Power Hour podcast and will soon be recapping many of your favorite shows. As the only person with a degree in a STEM field (B.S. in Civil Engineering), he's holding it down for the nerds who love film. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeNoirAuteur.


  • Cathy

    I put my faith in you International Film Music Critics’ Association. t’s a fucking travesty that CLOUD ATLAS wasn’t Oscar nominated. Easily the best Original Score of the year. Cloud Atlas is a masterpice. Regardless of how people feel about the movie, the score is phenomenal. To compose a score that fits a film with 5 different time periods is a big achievement, and it’s perfect!

    • moviewatcher

      If Cloud Atlas doesn’t win at least one of its 3 nominations, we will go on an Inglorious-Bastards like revenge spree.

      The IFMA members will talk about us…
      and the IFMA members will fear us…