Sunday, February 1, 2015

Awards-Nazi Award Nominations: Best Adapted Score / Music Supervision

I only began rewarding this less heralded corner of movie music just last year, and I can see why so few people even bother. Unlike last year, which had many great examples of movies using previously composed music to great effect, this year I could barely scrape together the minimum of three examples that I felt merited recognition. You can forgive me for allowing this to be my only award category with fewer than five nominees (now that I've finally come around on Best Makeup & Hair).

Anyhow, here they are: My Best Adapted Scores of the year:

Selma (Morgan Rhodes)
DuVernay stages a number of the film's most significant scenes with images in the absence of dialogue, leaning on the musical selections to do the 'talking'. Every song chosen to underscore the drama fits the setting and subtext perfectly. The lyrics of Martha Bass' "Walk With Me" take on a whole new life when juxtaposed against the Pettus Bridge sequence.

Into the Woods (David Crane, Jonathan Tunick)
The orchestrations are more robust than you could achieve with the limited number of musicians in a pit band, but they avoid adding too many ornamental flourishes that could drown out the articulation of the lyrics. Get a load of this lovely recording of “On the Steps of the Palace” (with due credit to Ms. Kendrick):

Whiplash (Justin Hurwitz, Andy Ross)
The reinvigorated arrangements old jazz standards are absolutely scintillating, and they have to be since it's a big part of the actual narrative. This is especially so in the big finale which sends the audience out of the theatre with Andrew's drums still beating in their heads; Nirvana for jazz lovers!

Just missed:
Beyond the Lights (Julia Michels, Happy Walters)
Inherent Vice
Jersey Boys (Ron Melrose)


  1. How come 'Inherent Vice' is adapted?

    1. Not counting Greenwood's stuff, there's a lot of pre-existing music selections.

    2. The question should be; how comes no nomination for Inherent Vice?