Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross have two scores on Oscars’ shortlist of 15 candidates for best original score, but such top names as Hans Zimmer and Tamar-kali were shut out of the category.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its shortlists in nine categories, including best original score, on Tuesday (Feb. 9).
Reznor & Ross are shortlisted with both Mank and Soul. They collaborated on the latter film with Jon Batiste. Reznor & Ross are one of two composing teams on this year’s shortlist. Dustin O’Halloran & Volker Bertelmann are shortlisted with Ammonite. By comparison, just one composing team was shortlisted in each of the two previous years that the Academy revealed its shortlist in this category.
If both Mank and Soul are nominated, which seems likely, Reznor & Ross will be the first composer or composing team with two nominated scores in the same year since Alexandre Desplat had double nominees six years ago: The Grand Budapest Hotel (which won) and The Imitation Game.
All five recently announced Golden Globe nominees for best original score made the Oscar shortlist. They are, in addition to Mank and Soul, The Midnight Sky (Alexandre Desplat), Tenet (Ludwig Göransson) and News of the World (James Newton Howard).
If The Midnight Sky winds up with a nomination, this would be Desplat’s 12th nomination in the past 15 years — more than any other composer in this time frame. Desplat won for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Shape of Water.
Howard has yet to win an Oscar despite eight nods over the years (six in scoring categories).
Thomas Newman is shortlisted with The Little Things. This would be Newman’s 15th nomination in this category, which would enable him to surpass Alex North as the composer with the most scoring nods without a win. (Of course, Newman could win on April 25 which would make him lose this distinction.)
Terence Blanchard is shortlisted for his work on Da 5 Bloods. Blanchard was nominated two years ago for BlacKkKlansman, which, like Da 5 Bloods, was written, directed and produced by Spike Lee. If Da 5 Bloods is nominated, Blanchard will become the just the second Black composer – following Quincy Jones — to receive two or more career nods for scores. Jones has received three.
Here’s a list of the 15 shortlisted scores, listed alphabetically by film title:
Dustin O’Halloran & Volker Bertelmann
Blizzard of Souls
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures)
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix)
The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se) (Netflix)
The Little Things (HBO Max/Warner Bros.)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Mulan (Disney +)
News of the World (Universal)
James Newton Howard
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste
Tenet (Warner Bros.)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
These 15 scores were selected by the Academy’s 376-member music branch from 136 scores that were eligible in the category. The members of the music branch will also select the five nominees, which will be revealed on March 15. All Oscar voting members will vote to determine the winners, which will be announced on April 25.
Highly touted scores that failed to make the shortlist include Shirley (Neon) Tamar-kali; The United States Vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu) Kris Bowers; Wonder Woman 1984 (HBO Max/Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer; Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios) Abraham Marder & Nicolas Becker; Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix) Hans Zimmer & David Fleming; Cherry (Apple TV+) Henry Jackman; Emma. (Focus Features) Isobel Waller-Bridge & David Schweitzer; The Glorias (Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment) Elliot Goldenthal; I’m Your Woman (Amazon Studios) Aska Matsumia; Onward (Pixar) Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna; Over the Moon (Netflix) Steven Price; and Wolfwalkers (Apple TV+/GKIDS) Bruno Coulais & Kila.