musicmoves.txt - While predicting the future is something...

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While predicting the future is something we can only dream of, I have always found that digging into the past reveals recurring patterns that tend to point in a particular direction. Even so, with this year s Oscar race for the Best Original Score, I have to admit, predicting a winner has proven particularly difficult because, as we shall see, there seem to be two strong contenders for the prize: Hans Zimmer s Interstellar and J hann J hannsson s The Theory of Everything. But by considering several relevant factors I discuss below, I predict that the score that will take home the Oscar on Sunday night will be The Theory of Everything. Double Nominations It sometimes happens that more than one score by the same composer is nominated in the same year, as this year with Alexandre Desplat for both The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game. Some may feel that such double nominations dash the hopes of such composers due to a splitting of votes in their favor. Whatever the reason, Oscar history shows a distinct pattern. If we omit the early years of the Oscars and begin with 1946, when the list of nominees for Best Original Score (or its equivalent) was shortened from twenty (yes, twenty!) to only five, then there have been twelve years when double nominations occurred. The composer to receive the double nomination lost in eleven of those twelve years, the only exception being 1977, when John Williams won for Star Wars and was also nominated for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (Ironically, Williams has been on the losing end of a double nomination in seven other years.) This statistic does not bode well for Desplat, especially since it took a film of monumental impact to overcome the disadvantage of the double nomination, and while the films Desplat scored are both highly acclaimed, neither is the phenomenon that Star Wars was. Thus, one could almost eliminate both of Desplat s scores on this point alone. Past Oscar Wins As I noted above, one of the best ways to make an Oscar prediction is to consider recent winners. Over the past ten years, the film that won the Best Score Oscar was also nominated for Best Picture in all ten years. This year,
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