2018’s five worthy Oscar best-score nominees

Posted on: March 2, 2018

This year’s five nominees for Best Original Score Oscar “serve splendidly in support of story and character,” writes Jim Fusilli in Thursday’s (3/1) Wall Street Journal. The scores all make significant use of orchestral instrumentation. “They are Hans Zimmer’s score for ‘Dunkirk’; John Williams’s for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’; Jonny Greenwood’s for ‘Phantom Thread’; Alexandre Desplat’s for ‘The Shape of Water’; and Carter Burwell’s for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.’ [In] Mr. Zimmer’s gyring electronic score … are the synthesized musical equivalents of racing machinery … [and] a new variant of Edward Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ theme from his ‘Enigma Variations’ … [Williams’s] ‘The Last Jedi’ score borrows from his earlier music for the series …. Mr. Williams deftly reinvents [leifmotifs] to create additional visceral connections…. For ‘Phantom Thread’ … Mr. Greenwood crafted a romantic score that, particularly in two long, sumptuous pieces that open the film, recalls the period’s popular, classically influenced orchestral works…. For ‘The Shape of Water,’ … Mr. Desplat’s music binds an ambitious film that has a big heart and a message of hope. Mr. Burwell’s score for ‘Three Billboards’ is the only nominee that relies primarily on the folk idiom…. The underscoring by Mr. Burwell illuminates subtext and complex character.”

Posted March 2, 2018