According to Variety, the scores for Black Swan by composer Clint Mansell and True Grit by Carter Burwell have been disqualified from Oscar consideration by  the Academy music branch. Both scores were deemed ineligible because they are “diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music”. The Black Swan score was heavily adapted by Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and much of the True Grit score was based on 19th century hymns.

Also disqualified are the scores for The Fighter composed by Michael Brook and The Kids Are All Right by Carter Burwell, because they are being considered “diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs”. Alexandre Desplat’s score for The King’s Speech, which has been discussed as being potentially disqualified for its use of classical music in some key scenes was ruled eligible for Oscar consideration by the music branch committee.

In related news, Randy Newman recently revealed in an interview on KUSC that he hasn’t submitted his score for Pixar’s Toy Story 3 for Oscar consideration, because parts of the score were written by his orchestrators (including The Matrix composer Don Davis). Even though this affected only about 10 minutes of the score for the movie according to Newman, the composer wouldn’t have felt comfortable accepting the award under the circumstances.

These recent developments make the list of potential score nominations shorter than expected, with the frontrunners being Hans Zimmer for his Inception score, Alexandre Desplat for The Kings’ Speech, A.R. Rahman for 127 Hours and Trent Raznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network. Also possible nominees in our  estimation are the scores for Alice in Wonderland by Danny Elfman, How to Train Your Dragon by John Powell, Tangled by Alan Menken, Get Low by Jan Kaczmarek, The Ghost Writer by Alexandre Desplat and Never Let Me Go by Rachel Portman. The nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced in January.

  1. jXe says:

    go john powell!