The 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 nominees are Will Butler & Owen Pallett for Her!
William Butler & Owen Pallett
This year the Academy is recognizing Spike Jonze’s indie film, Her, in multiple categories but it’s mainly being celebrated for its musical accompaniments. While the quirky director’s film snagged nominees for Best Picture and Best Production Design, among others, it -- most importantly -- has a stellar score and soundtrack (see our post on Her’s best original song nominee for “The Moon Song”).
The film’s single, “The Moon Song,” is being praised by the indie music community and pop-culture alike, but its soundtrack boasts some fairly strong indie-cred as well. Her’s score was composed by Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, and the band’s longtime collaborator Owen Pallet.
Many reviews of the folksy rock score attribute this year’s attention to the indie-world to Trent Reznor’s Social Network score. With its 2011 Oscar win, the industrial rock score from the Nine Inch Nails singer (with Atticus Rose) apparently opened the flood gates for nontraditional collabs.
While it may be hard to take seriously this film’s seemingly simple love story, according to the Washington Post “Jonze has taken what could easily have been a glib screwball comedy and infused it instead with wry, observant tenderness and deep feeling,” adding that, “ Jonze’s film doesn’t make the comedic conceit or technology the focus. Rather, he’s interested in alienation, and the role that projection plays in constructing love, desire, and identity itself.”
It only makes sense, then, that indie/folk rockers would write its score -- perhaps there’s something about that culture that bands like Arcade Fire and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s just get, something beautiful and uncomplicated. We think that with its smash single, Spike Jonze, Scarlett Johansson, and Joaquin Phoenix behind it, Her’s score is definitely one to watch.