Oscar Circuit: Best Original Score


Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.  Poor Thomas Newman has been invited to the Academy Awards ceremony eleven times, and heard his name called zero times.  With his 12th nomination for composing Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, Newman seems very likely to extend his losing streak.  There was a point around Thanksgiving when many people thought Saving Mr. Banks would be a Best Picture threat, but here we are, three months later, and he’s somehow the sole representative of Disney’s delightful film.  A shame.

I’m a big fan of Newman’s score, despite many thinking (much like Desplat’s and Williams’ works this year) it’s not his crowning achievement.  In Banks, Newman integrates themes and melodies from the original Mary Poppins, while also traversing from turn-of-the-century Australia to 1960s America, with a musical tone distinct to both.  Australia often has a more adventurous tone, to reflect how young Ginty always seems to be on an adventure.  The 1960s, however, have a more jumpy and carefree tone.  That being said, it doesn’t seem likely that the Academy will award this score for a film they clearly didn’t love.

WILL WIN: Steven Price, Gravity
COULD WIN: Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
SHOULD WIN: Steven Price, Gravity
SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Prisoners