For our first Rundown article, we’re starting off with the only major category that has no guild to offer up as a precursor. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Original Score and Best Original Song as well as general commentary about the race. Next week, we’ll start off on Monday with a category that may not have much impact on the rest of the Oscars.
Best Original Score
- Anna Karenina
- Life of Pi (R) [New] (O) (O)
- Argo (R) [New] (R) [New]
- Lincoln (O)
(color and symbol key at bottom of page)
Wesley Lovell: There are two films here that I think could win, but at this juncture anything is possible. Alexandre Desplat is quickly becoming the modern John Williams. Yet, he’s never won. While Argo doesn’t exactly feature a score that jumps out at you, it’s a more typical work for winners of this category than others here. I think if it’s going to be a Best Picture winner, this is one of the categories it needs to win. Still, I think the film to beat is Life of Pi. When you have a film that relies predominantly on visuals and not reams of dialogue, the score has to work and it indeed does. That accomplishment alone should put it over the top.
Peter J. Patrick: Jaunty, uplifting scores are generally favored in this category. Life of Pi and Argo both fit that definition with Life of Pi being the catchiest. It will win. If there is an upset, Argo will take it.
Tripp Burton: This is an interesting category this year, with five of the biggest names in contemporary film music all nominated together. I’m giving the edge to first-time nominee Mychael Danna, whose Golden Globe-winning score (although that is not a good predictor here) seems to be the much-nominated Life of Pi‘s best shot at taking home an award. If Lincoln starts to pick up steam, though, John Williams could be picking up his sixth Oscar.
Best Original Song
- Before My Time – Chasing Ice
- Everybody Needs a Best Friend – Ted
- Pi’s Lullaby – Life of Pi
- Skyfall – Skyfall (O) (O) (O)
- Suddenly – Les Misérables
- Everybody Needs a Best Friend – Ted (O)
- Pi’s Lullaby – Life of Pi (O) (R) [New]
(color and symbol key at bottom of page)
Wesley Lovell: A James Bond theme has never won an Oscar. Not even the best entries in the series like “Goldfinger” or “Diamonds Are Forever.” This is also the first time the franchise has earned a nomination here in more than two decades. Combine that fact with the presence of the uber-popular Adele having written and sung the song and you have the best case I could ever imagine for the franchise finally taking home the gold. Yet, something in the back of my mind wants to predict for disappointment. None of the rest of the songs are really that catchy, but any of the others could easily win. However, I think with the 40th anniversary of the franchise, the presence of Adele and the prominence of Skyfall this season, I’d be surprised if it didn’t win. As for the runner-up? I’m really not sure. I don’t know that they’ll want to reward Seth MacFarlane for hosting the show before he hosts it and Ted may be too raunchy for the Academy’s tastes. Yet, I have a hard time deciding who else could win. I want to lean towards Les Misérables picking up one of the few awards it will nab, but Evita was the last musical to win an Oscar for the sole newly written song in a film. I guess it could go to “Pi’s Lullaby,” but even that selection seems wrong.
Peter J. Patrick: This award generally favors the biggest name star either as composer or performer. No one is bigger right now than British phenomenon Adele. She’ll win easily for “Skyfall.” Nothing else has a chance, but for the sake of naming a runner-up, I’ll cite “Pi’s Lullaby.”
Tripp Burton: I am not as sold on Skyfall‘s inevitable win here as a lot of others seem to be, but it does seem like the most likely winner. Although no Bond song has ever won here, it has the right mix of big, much-awarded composer-star in Adele with a Bond film that people love more than most and a song that people have already anointed one of the all-time best Bond songs. None of the big musicals of the past decade have managed to win a Best Song award (Chicago, Phantom of the Opera and Dreamgirls all lost here, the latter three times), so Les Misérables isn’t the runner-up as much as the song from Life of Pi, which could sneak in as a dark horse.
Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists
Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton
(New) = New Prediction
(O) = Original, Post-Nomination Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series Prediction