2017 Academy Awards Preview: Best Original Score

Academy Awards Best Original Score, Academy Awards Jackie, Academy Awards La La Land, Academy Awards Passengers, Academy Awards Moonlight, Academy Awards Lion, Academy Awards

Ennio Morricone at the 88th Academy Awards (Getty)

The Academy Award for Best Original Score goes underappreciated in the world of Oscar. Music can sometimes make or break a scene in a movie, and when it’s done right can drive memorable moments that lead them through awards season.

It is no coincidence that three out of the five films on this list are also nominated for Best Picture. So…To stay in the spirit of celebration we are previewing the 2017 nominations for Best Original Score.


La La Land – Justin Hurwitz

La La Land is a classic musical written and directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Watson. The music for the film was composed by Justin Hurwitz who was Chazelle’s classmate in college.

Hurwitz also scored Chazelle’s other films, the award-winning Whiplash, and Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.

La La Land is nominated for multiple Academy Awards for 2017. The film was made on a $30 Million dollar budget and grossed $342 million worldwide.


Lion – Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka

Lion stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman. The film has received six Oscar nominations and has grossed $76 million worldwide.

The score for the movie was composed by pianist Dustin J. O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann, who is better known by his stage name Hauschka. O’Halloran is also 1/2 of the group A Winged Victory for the Sullen. He has also released multiple solo records.

Hauschka is a German pianist and composer.


Moonlight – Nicholas Britell

Moonlightis a drama directed by Barry Jenkins, based on a the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. The movie was filmed in Miami, Florida and was scored by Nicholas Britell.

Britell is an award-winning composer and his music was featured heavily in Steve McQueen’s Academy Award winning film 12 Years a Slave.


Jackie – Mica Levi

Jackie stars Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy during the days after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Composer Mica Levi wrote the score and is known by her stage name Micachu. She is an English singer, songwriter, and composer who is a classically trained musician and has released several experimental pop records with the band Good Sad Happy Bad.

Mica Levi got her start as a composer with the Jonathan Glazer film Under the Skin. Levi’s work has received multiple awards including a European Film Award and a BAFTA Award.


Passengers – Thomas Newman

Passengers is a science fiction journey starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The two are sleeping in suspended animation and are awakened 90 years to early when the ship malfunctions.

Thomas Newman composed the score to the film. No stranger to composing dramatic film scores, Newman has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards and three Golden Globes for the films The Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition, and Scent of a Woman.

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