104 Original Scores in 2012 Oscar race

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – One hundred four scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2012 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 85th Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below in alphabetical order by film title:

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Henry Jackman, composer
“After the Wizard,” Stephen Main, composer
“Alex Cross,” John Debney and Sebastian Morton, composers
“The Amazing Spider-Man,” James Horner, composer
“Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli, composer
“Argo,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Battleship,” Steve Jablonsky, composer
“The Bay,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer
“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, composers
“Being Flynn,” Damon Gough, composer
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” Thomas Newman, composer
“Big Miracle,” Cliff Eidelman, composer
“Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story,” David Cieri, composer
“Brave,” Patrick Doyle, composer

“Brooklyn Castle,” B. Satz, composer
“Chasing Ice,” J. Ralph, composer
“Chasing Mavericks,” Chad Fischer, composer
“Chicken with Plums,” Olivier Bernet, composer
“Chimpanzee,” Nicholas Hooper, composer
“Cloud Atlas,” Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek, composers
“Compliance,” Heather McIntosh, composer
“Contraband,” Clinton Shorter, composer
“The Dark Knight Rises,” Hans Zimmer, composer
“Dark Shadows,” Danny Elfman, composer
“Darling Companion,” James Newton Howard, composer
“Deadfall,” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, composers
“The Dictator,” Erran Baron Cohen, composer
“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” John Powell, composer
“End of Watch,” David Sardy, composer
“Ethel,” Miriam Cutler, composer
“Flight,” Alan Silvestri, composer
“For a Good Time, Call…” John Swihart, composer
“For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada,” James Horner, composer
“Frankenweenie,” Danny Elfman, composer
“Fun Size,” Deborah Lurie, composer
“Girl in Progress,” Christopher Lennertz, composer
“The Grey,” Marc Streitenfeld, composer
“The Guilt Trip,” Christophe Beck, composer
“Hidden Moon,” Luis Bacalov, composer
“Hitchcock,” Danny Elfman, composer
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Howard Shore, composer
“Hotel Transylvania,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
“House at the End of the Street,” Theo Green, composer
“The Hunger Games,” James Newton Howard, composer
“Hyde Park on Hudson,” Jeremy Sams, composer
“Ice Age Continental Drift,” John Powell, composer
“The Impossible,” Fernando Velázquez, composer
“Jack Reacher,” Joe Kraemer, composer
“John Carter,” Michael Giacchino, composer
“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” Andrew Lockington, composer
“Lawless,” Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, composers
“Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna, composer
“Lincoln,” John Williams, composer
“Lola Versus,” Will Bates and Philip Mossman, composers
“Looper,” Nathan Johnson, composer
“The Lucky One,” Mark Isham, composer
“LUV,” Nuno Malo, composer
“The Man with the Iron Fists,” RZA and Howard Drossin, composers
“Marvel’s The Avengers,” Alan Silvestri, composer
“The Master,” Jonny Greenwood, composer
“Men in Black 3,” Danny Elfman, composer
“Middle of Nowhere,” Kathryn Bostic, composer
“Mirror Mirror,” Alan Menken, composer
“The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” Geoff Zanelli, composer
“On the Road,” Gustavo Santaolalla, composer
“The Pardon,” Ashley Irwin, composer
“Parental Guidance,” Marc Shaiman, composer
“People Like Us,” A.R. Rahman, composer
“The Possession,” Anton Sanko, composer
“Prometheus,” Marc Streitenfeld, composer
“Promised Land,” Danny Elfman, composer
“The Raid: Redemption,” Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese, composers
“Red Tails,” Terence Blanchard, composer
“Rise of the Guardians,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
“Ruby Sparks,” Nick Urata, composer
“Safe House,” Ramin Djawadi, composer
“Safety Not Guaranteed,” Ryan Miller, composer
“Saint Dracula,” Sreevalsan J. Menon, composer
“Savages,” Adam Peters, composer
“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” Rob Simonsen and Jonathan Sadoff, composers
“The Sessions,” Marco Beltrami, composer
“Sinister,” Christopher Young, composer
“Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer
“Smashed,” Eric D. Johnson and Andy Cabic, composers
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” James Newton Howard, composer
“Taken 2,” Nathaniel Mechaly, composer
“Ted,” Walter Murphy, composer
“Think Like a Man,” Christopher Lennertz, composer
“This Means War,” Christophe Beck, composer
“A Thousand Words,” John Debney, composer
“The Three Stooges,” John Debney, composer
“Trashed,” Vangelis, composer
“Trouble with the Curve,” Marco Beltrami, composer
“21 Jump Street,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2,” Carter Burwell, composer
“Until They Are Home,” Jamie Dunlap, composer
“War of the Worlds The True Story,” Jamie Hall, composer
“The Watch,” Christophe Beck, composer
“West of Memphis,” Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, composers
“Where Do We Go Now?” Khaled Mouzanar, composer
“Won’t Back Down,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer
“The Words,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer
“Wreck-It Ralph,” Henry Jackman, composer
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Alexandre Desplat, composer

A Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be made available with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

To be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.


  1. Joey 3 years ago

    Well, I don’t know if he’ll be nominated this hear, but I’m happy to hear that Johnny Greenwood isn’t ineligible again for The Master like he was for There Will Be Blood.

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  2. Chris138 3 years ago

    It’s good to see that Hans Zimmer’s work for The Dark Knight Rises isn’t ineligible. I remember Batman Begins was disqualified and there was some controversy for The Dark Knight’s score a few years back. It probably won’t be nominated but I do think it’s one of the standout scores so far this year.

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  3. JP 3 years ago

    Woow! Greenwood is eligible! He must be nominated for this and for There Will Be Blood, one of the most remarkable achievements of scoring in the last decade! Same for Zimmer in The Dark Knight Rises. Hope they join John Williams, Beasts and one of Desplats.

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  4. unlikely hood 3 years ago

    I have no idea who will win this, but I would bet money right now on Best Original Song – “Skyfall” by Adele, etc.

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  5. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    I’d probably want to see:

    “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, composers
    “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna, composer
    “Lincoln,” John Williams, composer
    “The Master,” Jonny Greenwood, composer
    “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer

    But there’s so much I haven’t listened to, so what do I know…

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  6. Calpurnia 3 years ago

    Where the hell is Moonrise Kingdom?!?! I didn’t know it wasn’t eligible…

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  7. gwynn1984 3 years ago

    I could be wrong, but isn’t there a precedent for this list coming out and then having certain scores ruled ineligible? I feel like some of the disqualifications of recent years have come AFTER the eigible list has been published.

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  8. Joey 3 years ago

    Any word on when Original Song is going to be announced, or do they not announce a shortlist? I just want to know when we are going to find out that Skyfall is ineligible. Which I don’t want to happen!

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  9. PJ 3 years ago

    Heck yeah! The Master is eligible!

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  10. Jeremy 3 years ago

    I’d venture to say that Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, and Life of Pi are locks, which leaves open the final two. I’d want to jump on The Hobbit, just because of its legacy, and there could be a push for Greenwood’s score for The Master, but it’ll all depend on how many other nominations the film gets.

    Desplat’s an Academy favorite, and he’ll probably get in for either Argo or Zero Dark Thirty. I haven’t heard the latter, but I’ve heard interesting words said about it. I want to see Elfman there, either for Frankenweenie or Hitchcock. The former definitely deserves it, and the Academy tends to nominate animated films for their scores so this could be their chance.

    I’m going to go with…
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Life of Pi
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    Then a toss up between Argo, The Master, or Frankenweenie.

    Ultimately, Williams wins.

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  11. Jeremy 3 years ago

    Oh, also, Nathan Johnson’s Looper absolutely deserves to be a part of the conversation, though a nomination is highly unlikely.

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  12. Bryce Forestierir 3 years ago

    Awesome podcast with the COLLIDER folks Sasha! <3

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  13. Yogsss 3 years ago

    I think is going to come down to:

    “Argo,” Alexandre Desplat, composer
    “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” Howard Shore, composer
    “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna, composer
    “Lincoln,” John Williams, composer
    “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer

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  14. Noah 3 years ago

    I know it will never happen, but Heather McIntosh’s work on Compliance is exquisite and deserves a nod.

    Also, by my count Danny Elfman leads the pack with five scores in contention this year. Damn.

    Sad to see Moonrise Kingdom not on here. And I hope Desplat’s ZDT score is solid, because I can’t handle him getting a nod for subpar work in Argo. He can do much better.

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  15. JCB 3 years ago

    @ unlikely hood : I beg to differ : Pi’s Lullaby will win (I hope). I am shocked at the omission of Moonrise Kingdom.

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  16. Bball_Jake 3 years ago

    I see these getting nominated for Score:
    The Hobbit

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  17. Akumax 3 years ago

    Desplat should win!

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  18. Evan 3 years ago

    It’ll never be nominated because the film has an unwarranted stench about it, but JOHN CARTER had the best score of the year. Giacchino really stretched himself creatively and delivered a diverse, sweeping, and rousing collection of tracks. Very underrated.

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  19. Eric 3 years ago
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  20. Paddy Mulholland 3 years ago

    I could be wrong, but isn’t there a precedent for this list coming out and then having certain scores ruled ineligible?

    Indeed, you are wrong. Ineligible scores have already been filtered out. Silver Linings Playbook is one such score. I presume Moonrise Kingdom is another – there’s a lot of Benjamin Britten on that soundtrack. Also, Tom Tykwer is not listed for Cloud Atlas – the music branch doesn’t allow scores from more than one composer, and Cloud Atlas had three. Nevertheless, you may notice several scores with two credited names on the list, Cloud Atlas being one of them.

    As ever, with the music branch, who the fuck knows?

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  21. Rudi Mentär 3 years ago

    I really loved Streitenfeld`s Score for PROMETHEUS … anyone else?

    and THE HOBBIT sounds often like HUGO. it does not fascinate me as the LOTR-scores did.

    Further more SYFALL sounds like many Thomas Newman-scores and especially Elfman was not able to come out his comfort zone this year.

    I`m routing for Zimmers TDRK, of course, but it probably has to much non-original material (for the academy voters, not for me!).

    John Williams LINCOLN-score is not very easy to listen to, but I expect it to work great with the film. Like Spielberg William’s fate depends on the academy’s love for LINCOLN, I suppose.

    For now I’m really looking forward to Desplats music for TD30 (I hope it will sound different in every way) and I think you should really not underestimate the Academy`s love for Marianelli.

    so far my spontaneuos thoughts. :)

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  22. Rudi Mentär 3 years ago

    thank you, Eric! 😀

    and yes, it sounds different! :)

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  23. steve50 3 years ago

    If I had a vote:

    “Cloud Atlas,” Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek
    “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna
    “The Master,” Jonny Greenwood
    “Argo,” Alexandre Desplat
    & from the snippets I’ve heard “Zero Dark Thirty,” Alexandre Desplat

    This is really a “Sophie’s Choice” this year.

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  24. Paddy Mulholland 3 years ago

    This is really a “Sophie’s Choice” this year.


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  25. Bball_Jake 3 years ago

    the Prometheus score deserves the win, but I know the snobby Academy wont go for it!

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  26. Castle Wilson 3 years ago

    I quite enjoyed the score for Ted. Not Oscar-nominee material, but still.

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  27. Jim 3 years ago

    Obviously, I haven’t seen or heard all of these, but for me the most notable of the year are The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild. And oddly, I would root against Lincoln in this category. It felt distracting and melodramatic. I think it could have been much, much stronger.

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  28. Free 3 years ago

    Add me to the list of those saddened/angered by the Moonrise Kingdom omission. One of Desplat’s absolute best. I’m shocked Beasts, Cloud Atlas, The Master and The Dark Knight Rises were all deemed eligible, given the Academy’s rather bizarre elimination system with such pieces in the past.

    As of today, I’d say the Academy’ll probably go with:

    Were it me picking:

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  29. Dave L 3 years ago

    My guess is

    The Dark Knight Rises
    Life of Pi
    The Master

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  30. Andrew Sidhom 3 years ago

    I thought Horner’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” score was incredible and if it were me voting, it would be a lock for a nomination. “The Hunger Games” also had a pretty good score.

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  31. Daveylow 3 years ago

    Jeremy writes: “Ultimately, Williams wins”

    I don’t think Williams will win.

    I think Anna Karenina could get in, Marianelli is a favorite.

    I wonder if Moonrise Kingdom was eliminated because there wasn’t enough original music in relation to the music by other composers. When is Desplat ever going to win an Oscar? He’s way overdue.

    I liked the score to Pi and Mychael Danna has never been nominated as far as I know.

    I haven’t heard any of the music from The Hobbit yet and wonder about its quality.

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  32. Daveylow 3 years ago

    I just heard an excerpt from Desplat’s score from Rise of the Guardians. Wow! This may be his gem this year.

    One of my favorite Desplat scores was written for one of the Twilight movies, it was never going to be nominated.

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  33. PaulH 3 years ago

    My Final Five:

    Big Miracle
    The Hunger Games
    The Avengers
    The Dark Knight Rises

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  34. Amir Syarif Siregar 3 years ago

    No one mentioned Dario Marianelli’s great score for ‘Anna Karenina’ eh? Think it’s shoe-in!

    Also… if Thomas Newman’s ‘Skyfall’ make the list, would Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ be eligible too?

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  35. Nik G. 3 years ago

    Oh God…if Williams’s score for Lincoln gets nominated that will be a joke. As much as I loved Lincoln, one of its flaws is definitely the snoozy sappy cheesy score.

    Hopefully it will be

    The Master
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    The Dark Knight Rises
    Anna Karenina
    Argo (or Zero Dark, have to see it first but trailers indicates music to the ears)

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  36. JP 3 years ago

    Adele has Golden Globe win locked. And seriously: she DESERVES that Oscar! She made not only the most popular song written for films in the past years but an absolutely fantastic one.

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  37. John 3 years ago

    Rudi, I loved Streitenfelds score to Prometheus.

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  38. Mikhail 3 years ago

    Best scores so far for me:
    Cloud Atlas
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    The Dark knight Rises
    The Master

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  39. Matt O'Callaghan 3 years ago

    Beasts of the Southern Wild will win IMO. Haven’t seen or heard all of ZD30 but sounds nice.

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  40. kasper 3 years ago

    I think Moonrise Kingdom may be ineligible because LOTS of the music is actually Benjamin Britton…

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  41. Chris Price 3 years ago

    I’m guessing:

    Life Of Pi
    The Hobbit
    The Master

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  42. Bobby 3 years ago

    And the award goes to AR Rahman for “people like us”

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  43. Glenn 3 years ago

    MOONRISE KINGDOM was never going to be eligible due to its heavy reliance on pre-recorded music. Have you looked at the soundtrack? There’s only 17 minutes of Desplat music.

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  44. Nathan 3 years ago

    Cosmopolis isn’t eligible!? That’s a shame.

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  45. Asif Khan 3 years ago

    My Favorites from this list would be….

    -Beasts of the Southern Wild
    -The Dark Knight Rises
    -The Amazing Spider-Man
    -On the Road

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  46. OK 3 years ago

    Great year for soundtracks. I think I’ve listened to 80% of the scores on the list (including all of the major contenders: Argo, The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, DKR, Skyfall, Cloud Atlas, Brave…) so I would choose:
    – Anna Karenina- gorgeous soundtrack, almost like a Tchaikovsky.
    – Lincoln – such an intelligent and well structured soundtrack…
    – John Carter – a masterpiece that no one seems to appreciate.
    – Rise of the Guardians – Desplat best soundtrack in years (among his 5 best scores ever)
    – The Hobbit – the genesis of TLOT and very well thougt to connect with the sequels.

    Runner-ups: Beasts of the Southern Wild and Life of Pi.

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