Oscar ballots were sent to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or better known as the Academy members, on Friday, Jan. 5. We’ll be using the next week to remind the voting membership of our favorite films and performance of 2017 that they should consider when filling out their ballots! If you missed one, then please click on the “Circuit Considerations 2017” tag. You can also check out the “Best of 2017” column where the Editor cited the year’s best. Oscar ballots are due on Friday, Jan. 12.
When composing cinematic scores for superhero films, often the task can seem thankless. Superhero films are typically made just for a handsome box office and little else. Gradually, through the last twenty years, artistry in the craft of superhero films have improved, attracting top-of-their-craft artists such as Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh, Alan Silvestri, Seamus McGarvey, Alexandra Byrne, Dan Hennah,
Michael Giacchino, Lindy Hemming, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, Chris Terrio, and Hans Zimmer. In this summer’s mega-blockbuster, “Wonder Woman,” Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions compatriot, Rupert Gregson-Williams, delivers a superhero score for the ages.
While Gregson-Williams score shouldn’t be pigeon-holed to just a “superhero score” but it’s important considering Gregson-Williams’ task is so much more than merely composing a score; it’s establishing the foundation for a franchise in music. In the pantheon of superhero scores, there are Elfman’s “Batman” and “Spider-Man” themes, there’s Zimmer’s and Howard’s work on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and then there’s John Williams’ historic Superman theme. After the summer of 2017, Gregson-Williams firmed planted his flag in this pantheon with his epic score to Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman.”
Gregson-Williams combines the epicness required for superhero films with the feminine strength required of the first major female superhero film. The rousing score in “No Man’s Land” and “Wonder Woman’s Wrath”is enough to push you through the final leg of any long mile run. While some of the more twisted Snyderesque elements remain, the overall fun and memorability of the score are remarkable.
In a year where the Academy could jump for Zimmer twice, a slew of semi-memorable works from well-known composers, and bland scores from the Music Branch’s favorite sons (Thomas Newman’s “Victoria & Abdul” springs to mind, though the fact Newman composed the score is perhaps the only memorable element of the score), we deserve for the Music Branch to be creative. While they could go for “Three Billboard outside Ebbing, Missouri” or “Darkest Hour” for good, if not dutiful work by their respective composers, the Music Branch could branch out and recognize Gregson-Williams for the first consequential superhero score in a decade. Do the right thing, Music Branch.
CLICK THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE OSCAR PREDICTIONS:
| MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
| LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS |
| ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
| PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
| ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
| FOREIGN LANGUAGE | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE |
| ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT |