The score of a film can make or break it. It is the goal of a film to swell in all the right ways, convey emotion, and unite every aspect of the film through music. Judging a score hasn’t always been a part of the Academy Awards, but, since its introduction, it has had the most tumultuous history of any award. It has been split into multiple categories several times and redefined or reevaluated every few years until recently. This year’s nominees each have a unique sound and each deserves a lot of credit.
The nominees for Best Original Score are:
- Dunkirk – As epic in sound as it is visually, the score for this film creates a build that gives this film the feel of a war film, but the excitement of a thriller. Hans Zimmer has scored some of the greatest films of the past thirty years and has won the Academy Award before for his work. He has a way of amplifying the emotion of the film and building on the intensity in an exciting way.
- Phantom Thread – Getting the subtlety right for this film about fashion was a difficult task, but it was done tastefully and artfully. Jonny Greenwood isn’t most well known for his scores, he is known for his role in the band Radiohead, but his work with Paul Thomas Anderson has created some legendary films and this one is no exception.
- The Shape of Water – The uniqueness and quirkiness of this film was mostly achieved thanks to its fine score which painted the world with unusual sounds. Alexandre Desplat has a sound all his own and he used his odd understanding of music to create a score to this film. The film might focus on a woman who is unable to speak, but Desplat helps her communicate in an original way.
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Any list of great film composers wouldn’t be complete without John Williams. Nostalgia aside, the score for this latest film in a franchise which has last over four decades is a completely new experience, yet so intermixed with the original films that it feels perfectly natural. Williams is arguably the best film scorer of all-time and this film might prove it.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Gut-wrenching is what this score needed to be, and gut-wrenching it was. Carter Burwell deserves all the credit for making this film the dark and angry movie that it is because his tones bled through the screen and reached into the soul of every moviegoer. This film was a bleak experience, and it’s hard to compliment someone for that, but we should.
My Prediction to win is…