Friday, 28 February 2014 16:24

Oscars Nominees: Original Score "The Book Thief"

Posted by

The OscarsThe 86th Annual Academy Awards will air on March 2, and will be hosted by the ever hilarious and avid music lover, Ellen DeGeneres.

While the event predominantly celebrates achievements in film, extraordinary film and music teams are also recognized for their collaborations with two categories: Original Song, and Original Score.

The nominees, as we mentioned several weeks ago, include some of music’s most distinguished composers and progressive songwriters, such as John Williams, Thomas Newman, U2, Pharrell, and Karen O. Although, if you’re not familiar with some of the prospective winners, then stay tuned to MSC over the next few days for all the details, and make your predictions on our Oscars poll!

To get you as pumped as we are, each day leading up to the big night we’ll post pieces on one of the nominees in each music category, and Sunday we’ll reveal everyone’s predictions before the show! Today’s Original Score nominee is John Williams’ for The Book Thief.

The Book Thief

John Williams

Did this film feel familiar to anyone? Fans of the BBC’s hit period drama Downton Abbey probably flocked the theaters for The Book Thief’s release, as the trailers promised equally as moving cinematic beauty from Downton’s director, Brian Percival.

The Book Thief

The film is based on Markus Zusak’s famed novel of the same name and tells the story of orphaned Liesel’s new life among liberals in nazi Germany. Through words and stories Liesel discovers herself and learns that with language one can cope and even inspire others. As heartfelt as this may sound, there is a very dark undercurrent to this film, and who better to score the entire range of human emotion in one soundtrack than the master himself, John Williams.

One review of Williams’s score notes that the composer “now 81 -- seemed to have been in semi-retirement for some time now, making exceptions only for his friends Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. ...Any new score from John Williams these days feels like a special event; one for a non-Spielberg film perhaps even more so.”

The same reviewer goes on to describe the score as an album that plays “almost like a comforting letter from an old friend. ...It oozes class from every pore,” adding “While there is generally a sombre tone, this is a story from a child’s perspective and as such there is often a compelling innocence to it; and just occasionally, a delightfully playful air.”

Several critics note an overwhelming amount of similarities between The Book Thief’s score and several of Williams’s other scores, but there are certainly a number of nuances that tailor the score specifically to the Book Thief.

Will the subtle differences Williams brought to The Book Thief be enough to secure the win, or will his humble, yet powerful score be written off as predictable?

You can read James Southall’s full review of the score here.


Search MS101

Buy The Book On Amazon

SCH10174 Music Supervision

Twitter Feed @MusicSupervise

For Content Producers

Need the perfect song for your visuals?
Try our FREE service!

The SongHunters

Do you need a Music Supervisor for just an hour?
Try the HourlyMusicSupervisors

SongHunters Testimonials

  • "I am one of the top mixers and producers in the country and have had years of experience in the music and associated businesses.

    My company licenses songs and seeks songs to be licensed for films, TV and Commercials and thus I have worked with many people in the licensing industry and discovered there is a wide range and degree of service and quality when you seek songs.

    In my experience, I have found that The SongHunters exhibit a real knack at delivering the right songs and offering a wide range of music in all areas to choose from.

    Dave Hnatiuk, David Weiss and Doug Diamond are hands on and believe the quality service does not stop at sending a music file to choose from. They believe in follow-up and follow-through and are there for you as long as and to the extent that you need them.

    They not only provide great songs for your needs, but also provide you with some great solicitations for your music on their own projects. Do I recommend them? You bet I do! And that recommendation is earned, not just given!"
    —John Luongo

    John Luongo President/CEO - Trecter Entertainment, LLC
    Worldwide Exclusive Representation of Gearhead Records
    A division of John Luongo Management, LLC
    John Luongo Signature Sounds ©John Luongo Music
    John Luongo Management Recordings
    Exclusive Worldwide Licensing Representative/Royalty Recovery
    Divisions of John Luongo Management, LLC
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Twitter: @luongojohn

Newsletter Sign-up

Subscribe to our Music Supervision 101 / SongHunters Newsletter!
(Not the same as our SongHunters'
Providers List)

Our Book:

Music Supervision 2: The Complete Guide to Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games, & New Media

SCH10174 Music Supervision

Available at

The newly revised, definitive book on music supervision, which guides you through real-world scenarios and legal landmines, explores sound design, and profiles key players.

Music supervision, or matching music to all the different mediums from films to ring tones, is one of the fastest-growing careers in the music industry, but finding the winning song for a national ad campaign or compiling a platinum movie soundtrack takes more than just good taste. Music supervision today requires serious multi-tasking and the ability to navigate licensing, relationships, and cultural trends with ease. This book guides you through real scenarios and legal landmines you might encounter; it explores sound design and profiles key players with insightful interviews, while providing project form templates that will save time for seasoned music supervisors.

This is the only guide to the career of music supervision and is ideal for the music student, musician, industry executive and of course, for those who want to break into the field of music supervision. Authors David Weiss, Ramsay Adams and David Hnatiuk are all renowned figures in the procurement and supervision of music and they apply their combined knowledge and experience to give the best possible advice and tell you how to get the job!