2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Score

Best Original Score is a bit of a mix between celebrity status and merit regardless of the film. Hans Zimmer plays into that perfectly, and his score for Dunkirk is the closest thing to a lock in this category.

He and Benjamin Wallfisch could also compete for Blade Runner 2049, as critics groups have shown that that score is a popular choice, but double nominations for composers aren’t typical — though, it does happen — and the score does find some basis in Vangelis’ for the original film.

While the other Dunkirk film, Darkest Hour, isn’t fairing as well as it would’ve liked in pre-Oscar awards season, one can only assume that the older, whiter Academy will throw it some love, and score seems to be an area to do it. Dario Marianelli’s compositions are rousing and not undeserving of a nomination either.

Another name that plays into that recognition/merit mixture is Alexandre Desplat. Similarly to Marianelli’s, Desplat’s score for The Shape of Water is both fantastic and awards worthy. The film will likely receive multiple nominations in craft categories, so this seems like a safe bet.

Legendary composer John Williams could fare better than he would were his name not John Williams. His work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi is good, but it’s got less of an intrigue factor than his Oscar nominated score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens now that Star Wars is back for good, and the film being slightly controversial doesn’t help either. That doesn’t mean it’s out of contention, but it might point to his work on The Post, which is, truthfully, a bit forgettable, being the place to go for here.

Finally, amid other big names, it might finally be time for Jonny Greenwood to receive recognition. His work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous films has been criminally overlooked. But it seems as though Phantom Thread has a bit more love surrounding it, whereas films like Inherent Vice and There Will Be Blood are more so respected than loved.

There are many that could sneak in here instead of those five. Carter Burwell and Michael Giacchino are both respected composers, and each have two scores in competition. And, since the film likely won’t compete elsewhere, Victoria and Abdul could pick up steam in this category.

The 5
Hans Zimmer — Dunkirk
John Williams — The Post
Dario Marianelli — Darkest Hour
Alexandre Desplat — The Shape of Water
Jonny Greenwood — Phantom Thread

Could contend
John Williams — Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Hans Zimmer, Benjamin Wallfisch — Blade Runner 2049
Carter Burwell — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Michael Giacchino — Coco
Michael Giacchino — War for the Planet of the Apes
Carter Burwell — Wonderstruck
Thomas Newman — Victoria and Abdul

In our dreams
Daniel Hart — A Ghost Story


Featured image via Richard Yaussi.

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