2017 Oscar Predictions – Best Original Score

UPDATED – FEBRUARY 23, 2017 – FINAL PREDICTIONS – Could it be anyone but “La La Land?”  Yeah, we don’t think so either.  Poor Thomas Newman.



  1. La La Land” – Justin Hurwitz
  2. Lion” – Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  3. Moonlight” – Nicholas Britell
  4. Jackie” – Mica Levi
  5. Passengers” – Thomas Newman





**=could be pushed back to 2017



  • Hey Clayton, when are you going to publish the first staff predictions?

  • #UnderTheSkin is my fav score of the year so far.

  • Johann Johannsson credited the score for The Prisoners. While Thomas Newman did for Skyfall.

  • wishing John Powell for HTTYD2 was getting the nom. Another great work.

  • Iso Ns

    I think Doctor Strange might have a chance(Michael Giacchino does the score) and the last trailer of strange has a very good score.
    As a longshot I would consider also Midnight Special. Simple score but considerable.

  • Frank Hogan

    I Counted 11 POSSIBLE Nominations And Awards For “The Birth Of A Nation” from Your Above Lists if They were To Materialize into Nominations in January And Then Go on to be ACTUAL Awards at the Ceremony itself, I for one would be Over The Moon because I’ve been tracking this Movie since January This Year when I read about the Sundance Success on Yahoo.

  • Jonathan

    Since Thomas Newman is the confirmed composer for “Passengers”, I could definitely see him as a double nominee threat (maybe even winning for “Passengers”)

  • Emil Petrov

    You should move (“Moonlight” – Nicholas Britell) waaaay up. Director confirmed the music in the trailer is original by Britell for the movie. And it is glorious!

  • Samyak Nagar

    A.R.Rahman’s Pele? It was a mind blowing original score

  • Brady Smith

    After seeing the second trailer for Assassin’s Creed with behind the scenes footage, I think you have to raise up its position. The score is incredible, just listen to it yourself. I think that movie’s going to sideline a lot of people.

  • Jonathan

    I really hope “The Jungle Book” is recognized here – beautiful score.

  • I wonder if Desplat’s score for FFJ will be disqualified due to extensive use of pre-existing period music in the film.

  • 00sas

    Where on Earth is Batman v Superman by Hans Zimmer? That’s the best score for 2017… I know the movie was the shitties thing possible, but the OST… OmG. That guy is without a doubt a genius.

    • Jonathan

      He wasn’t nominated for “Man of Steel”, which in my opinion was a better score, so he definitely isn’t making it in for “Batman v Superman”.

      • 00sas

        Man of Steel was a better score? You’re joking right? I can’t sleep without listening to the “Beautiful Lie”. That alone worth the best score… Oh well, we all know that “Oscar” is only a farce. It’s nothing but crap… No genuine judging.

        • Reece

          No it’s not. Batman v. Superman score was fine, but it doesn’t compare to that of Lion and Arrival. If the Academy Awards are so “false” than how come it’s the most watch and most popular awards show in history?

          • Reab Niloc

            I’m not sure about “Most Watched” but definitely most buzzed and talked about.

    • BvS isn’t getting anywhere near the Oscars, no matter how much you like its music. It’s just a critically pummeled summer blockbuster. Zimmer has a better shot with Hidden Figures, which falls right in AMPAS’ wheelhouse.

    • BTS

      “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” by Tom Holkenborg (as Junkie XL) and Hans Zimmer is an amazing score. Which sadly, for many, overshadows the movie. It’s great to listen by itself, one of my top ten of the year, but when it’s put next to the film, it works in some parts of the movie and in others it overshdows it. But that’s my opinion and why it has a hard time getting the attention it needs to be at least highly considered. Unless it’s gets major nominations from other award groups, I think it does have a chance, until then, we should wait and see.

      • 00sas

        Exactly! Finger’s crossed for GG!

        PS. Try Planet Earth II OST (Hans had a hand in). And the first series while at it. They’re simply marvelous (specially next to the documentary itself.)

  • 00sas

    So technically speaking, how do they decide, the best score in the “Oscar”?

    • BTS

      This is what the Academy states in their rulebook:
      Definition: “An original score is a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring and is written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer.”

      And this is their voting guideline:

      IV. VOTING
      A. Works shall be judged on their effectiveness, craftsmanship, creative substance and relevance to the dramatic whole, and only as presented within the motion picture. Extended, revised, enhanced or alternate versions outside of the film shall not be considered.

      B. A Reminder List of works submitted and a nominations ballot for the Original Score category (and Original Musical category, if activated) will be made available to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in each category.

      D. In all three categories, the five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

      H. Final voting for each category shall be restricted to active and life Academy members.

      • 00sas


  • Charles Bright

    How come no mention of the score from “Elle” composed by Anne Dudley? She is a previous Oscar winner for “The Full Monty” back in 1997.

  • Oliva Sullen

    Swiss Army Man soundtrack was nothing short of original

  • Jordan De Pass

    They need to give it to Nocturnal Animals

  • Tobey

    I believe that Jackie score deserves to be top 2. Outstanding

  • sailingsam

    Please add Kubo and the two strings as best score by Dario Marianelli…very emotional very beautiful..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVi6OAn9uNU
    Pele by A R Rahman, Julieta by ALberto Igelsias are also outstanding

  • sailingsam
  • sailingsam
  • sailingsam
  • John Williams

    You guys seem a little low on Mica Levi’s score for Jackie. I’d say that would make it over Nocturnal Animals.

  • Satin

    How is Rogue One even eligible with preexisting JW’s themes? Isn’t it against the Academy rules?
    Johannsson’s contribution to Arrival was much more original, and yet disqualified because of Max Richter’s song.

    • BTS

      Because JW’s Theme didn’t play within pivotal moments of the film.
      Arrival used Max Richter’s song during pivotal moments of the film.

  • Satin

    Nocturnal Animals and Moonlight should be higher.

  • Bryce

    La La Land
    Nocturnal Animals
    Rogue One

    La La Land wins

  • Pokermask

    Here are my predictions for Best at the moment:
    The BFG (John Williams)
    Jackie (Mica Levi)
    La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
    Lion (Hauschka, Dustin O’Halloran)
    Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)

    Top choice: La La Land

  • Jacques

    It excites me to see some new faces to the original score world. Plus I am very proud of Giacchino for his work on rogue one, he did an excellent job of keeping the star wars theme similar to John Williams’. Still pissed that Johansson is ineligible for arrival, although I completely understand why and thats just a shame. I’m gonna be rooting for either Britell or Korzeniowski, they both very much deserve a nod for their incredulous work.

  • Mangesh Gaikwad

    # Score ::
    1.La La Land

    4.Rogue One
    5.Jackie /Nocturnal Animals

  • Satin

    How is La La Land even eligible for Best Score? Most of its score is derived from the songs.
    Best Song is a separate category for a reason. An average Academy member can’t tell the difference between a song and an original score, and a song would always win.

    • BTS

      Because the score and song are both composed by Justin Hurwitz and are original work for the motion picture and the score doesn’t use any preexisting music within itself. And the academy branch can tell the difference, because the song have words and the score doesn’t. Three big stand outs of the use of the score is the Planetarium scene, the Summer Montage, and the Epilogue at the end.

      • Satin

        Justin Hurwitz himself doesn’t seem to understand the difference between Original Score and Original Song. In his acceptance speech for BAFTA BEST ORIGINAL *SCORE*, he said he shared that award with the LLL’s lyricists. Do you understand the irony?

    • Mister Sushi

      Most of its score doesn’t equal all of its score. And the part of the score that ISN’T songs is magnificent.

      • Satin

        This is the very definition of a score diluted by an extensive use of songs and it should have disqualified it immediately. It is the songs which drive the popularity of this score. Not fair.

        • Mister Sushi

          Just because a movie with a great score also has great songs doesn’t mean it should be disqualified. It’s definitely fair.

          • Satin

            Just because you think it’s great, doesn’t mean you’re not biased by the use of songs. What I remember from the score is mainly variations on the songs. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, it doesn’t make the score “original” though.
            I do think LLL is a nice film, even if it’s quite average and clichéd as a musical. Not living up to it’s great predecessors like West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair, Moulin Rouge, Dancer in the Dark and many before. My personal opinion of course.

            • Mister Sushi

              So you’re saying that the only reason I like the score is because my opinion is biased because of the songs? That doesn’t make sense, because if I loved the score because of the songs, I would have said that the songs were great, not the score. And the score is great. My favourite track from the score is Mia and Sebastian’s Theme, which is not a variation of any other song. I would also like to mention that what you remember from the score ≠ the actual score.

  • There’s no way in hell all those four never previously nominated folks will get in. The music branch is one of the most tightly knit in the Academy. The usual suspects are always nominated. Expect John Williams and Alexandre Desplat to make a showing.

    • BTS

      Yeah, sadly…

  • BTS

    My Personal Top 5 Original Score:
    “La La Land” – Justin Hurwitz
    “Moonlight” – Nicholas Britell
    “Nocturnal Animals” – Abel Korzeniowski
    “Passengers” – Thomas Newman
    “The Witch” – Mark Korven

    But Most likely:
    “The BFG” – John Williams
    “Florence Foster Jenkins” – Alexandre Desplat
    “Kubo and the Two Strings” – Dario Marianelli
    “La La Land” – Justin Hurwitz
    “Moonlight” – Nicholas Brittle

  • Mister Sushi

    ok but does someone wanna explain to me how passengers has a better score than nocturnal animals? i’ve listened to both and i do think thomas newman’s score is great but abel korzeniowski’s score was much better in my opinion. why did the academy seem to hate nocturnal animals so much? *sigh* whatever…

    • Adventurer

      Exactly. NA had a wonderful score. This category is now set-up for an easy win for La La Land. It’s obnoxious really.

    • BTS

      PASSENGERS received more votes then NOCTURNAL ANIMALS by the Music Branch of the Academy Awards.

      • Mister Sushi

        Well, duh. I’m just perplexed as to why the voters liked Passengers’ score better than Nocturnal Animals’.

  • Nandinie Gupta

    There is nothing to discuss La La Land for the win.

  • Adventurer

    Academy needs to change the criteria for this category. Because of the strict restriction the category is now barren of the best scores of the year (Arrival and MBtS for examples).

    • Mister Sushi

      Don’t mind if I ask, what restriction is there?

      • Adventurer

        Even using one piece of unoriginal music (a piece of composition that wasn’t specifically composed for the movie) disqualifies the movie. Arrival used Max Richter’s On the Nature of Daylight during the starting and ending scene, which disqualified the movie.

        • Mister Sushi

          But didn’t Moonlight also use additional music?

          • Adventurer

            No. The score for Moonlight was original.

            • Mister Sushi

              Moonlight uses the songs “Every Nigger is a Star” by Boris Gardiner, “Cell Therapy” by Goodie Mob, and “Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis. Do these not count for some reason that I’m not aware of?

              • Satin

                Songs are not considered “additional music”.

                • Mister Sushi

                  Ohhh I understand now. Thanks.

              • Adventurer

                From my memory the only non-original piece of music used in Moonlight was during the 2nd half of the movie when the main character’s driving in his car. And that’s not part of its score.

    • Seth Evans

      MBtS should win, hands down…To Richter’s credit, the opening and ending scene score might be better than the rest of the film, so I’m not sure Arrival should be a contender.

      • Adventurer

        MBtS used a lot of classical music as well though like Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Cherubin.

  • life is a state of mind

    Will Win: La La Land
    Should win: Lion

  • Mister Sushi

    I urge everyone to go listen to The Little Prince’s soundtrack. It is quite fantastic. It’s a shame that The Little Prince got buried under every other animated movie this year.

    • Adventurer

      Among the animated movies, Kubo had my favourite score. I was annoyed that it wasn’t nominated. lol