The Rundown 2013: Best Original Score / Best Original Song

For our first Rundown article, we’re going to start with the music categories, one of the few sets of categories that don’t have much in the way of precursor attention and no active guild participation. 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 has four titles beginning with The.

Best Original Score

Winner Predictions

  • The Book Thief
  • Gravity (O) (PP O) (TB R) [New]
  • Her
  • Philomena
  • Saving Mr. Banks

Runner-Up Predictions

  • The Book Thief (TB R) [New]
  • Philomena (R) [New] (PP R) [New]

(color and symbol key at bottom of page)

Wesley Lovell: There are no valuable precursors to help us this year, so a lot of this comes down to gut. There are three Best Picture nominees in the list. While I wouldn’t discount John Williams’ score for The Book Thief or the score from Saving Mr. Banks, I suspect Best Picture nominees have an advantage. This was supposed to be one of the races where Gravity and 12 Years a Slave went head to head. That didn’t happen. As a result, Gravity seems like the strongest nominee for a win. It has the biggest and most notable score (there’s plenty going on in the film, but when it comes to the vacuum of space, score tends to stand out. It helped The Artist win. I think Harvey could push Alexandre Desplat to a win and Her could do very well. In the end, this may just be a hunch, but I’m going with Gravity.
Peter J. Patrick: Any of the nominees could win, but I suspect this award will be part of a Gravity sweep. Overdue Alexandre Desplat is probably the closest runner-up for Philomena. The even more overdue Thomas Newman would have a better shot if the best music from Saving Mr. Banks wasn’t the Sherman Brothers’ melodies from Mary Poppins.
Tripp Burton: This is a pretty wide-open race, with no one film really feeling like a slam dunk winner. Gravity is probably the leading contender, especially if it starts steamrolling through the below-the-line nominations, but the score is also one area for which the film has been criticized and it is vulnerable. If it doesn’t win, any of these other films could sneak in for a win, but I am predicting a second-place finish for John Williams. He hasn’t won in 20 years, and this could be one last chance to award the second-most-nominated person in Oscar history.

Best Original Song

Winner Predictions

  • Happy – Despicable Me 2
  • Let It Go – Frozen (WL O) (PP O) (TB O)
  • The Moon Song – Her
  • Ordinary Love – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Ordinary Love – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (WL O) (PP O) (TB O)

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Wesley Lovell: It would take a miracle for a song other than “Let It Go” to win. It’s inspirational, has a huge blockbuster backing it up, and has been pushed ad nauseum since it was decided not to submit any of the other songs in the film for consideration. Could something else top it? Possibly. “Happy” gets under your skin (in a good way) and stays there; “The Moon Song” is a bit too quirky (it’s Karen O. what did you expect?); and U2 are legendary (even if their song isn’t). If I were to give only a couple of categories a vote of confidence with no runner-up, this would be one of them.
Peter J. Patrick: The popular “Let It Go” from Frozen seems unbeatable, but the U2 song from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is one that could upset.
Tripp Burton: This has already proven to be the weirdest category of the year, with the surprise nomination and then revocation of Alone Yet Not Alone. “Let It Go” is the biggest of all these songs, both musically and popularly, so I really don’t see it losing here. But U2 are legendary, they won the Globe, and they could surprise us.

KEY:

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

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