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Oscar Predictions and Other End of 2014 Lists
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/31/2014 - 9:00 PM
Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which are not actually eligible in those categories are marked with an asterisk.


BEST PICTURE

(This year, there will be anywhere from five to ten Best Picture nominees, so I will rank them in order of likeliness -- my guess is that there will be nine, because that’s how many there were the last three years. Which means, of course, there will probably be eight or ten.)

1. BOYHOOD
2. THE IMITATION GAME 
3. SELMA 
4. BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)
5. WILD
6. FOXCATCHER
7. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
8. INTO THE WOODS
9. GONE GIRL
10. UNBROKEN

1. IDA
2. BOYHOOD
3. MR. TURNER
4. UNDER THE SKIN
5. WHIPLASH
6. STARRED UP*
7. CALVARY
8. BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)
9. SELMA
10. SNOWPIERCER 

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Film Score Friday 12/26/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/25/2014 - 9:00 PM
The latest CD from Kritzerland is the first-ever release of the soundtrack to one of 1979's Best Picture nominees, the sleeper hit comedy drama BREAKING AWAY. Peter Yates (Bullitt, The Deep) directed the Oscar-winning screenplay by Steve Tesich, about a group of young "townies" in Bloomington, Indiana, who, at the urging of their Italy-obsessed friend, take part in Indiana University's "Little 500" bicycle race. The four leads were played by then-newcomers Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern, Dennis Quaid and Jackie Earle Haley (at the time, Haley was the most recognizable actor of the group), and Patrick Williams earned his only Oscar nomination for his charming adaptation of classical pieces for the score. The Kritzerland CD features both Williams' adaptations and the unused original cues he composed for the film.


Due to the increasing time demands of my day job (yes, I have one, and I'm not giving it up), this year's CD Checklist and my compliation of Did They Mention the Music? highlights will not be posted until January. However, I am working on an expanded, and probably final, edition of my Top 40 Composer Countdown series, which should also begin next month.

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2014 Memo to the Academy Music Branch
Posted By Cary Wong 12/23/2014 - 3:00 PM


Is this the year of Alexandre Desplat’s first Oscar win? Read my full analysis of the Oscar score and song conversation for 2014 in the magazine. In the meantime, here are my predictions and recommendations:
 
Best Original Score


Most Likely
Alexandre Desplat—The Imitation Game
Alexandre Des

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Aisle Seat 12-23: A Holiday Extravaganza
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/22/2014 - 9:00 PM
From the Aisle Seat offices here in Rhode Island to you and yours, I’d like to wish everyone around the world a Merry Christmas and a most beneficial New Year ahead. Below you’ll find the final disc spins from 2014 including Twilight Time’s last batch of the year, assorted new releases and the most recent Warner Archives titles. Remember to join us on the always-open Aisle Seat Message Boards for festive conversations and the latest news, and we’ll see you on the other side in 2015!
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Film Score Friday 12/19/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/18/2014 - 9:00 PM
Quartet has announced three expanded score CDs expected to be released by the end of the month -- a two-disc version of Jerry Goldsmith's rousing orchestral score for the 1985 remake of KING SOLOMON'S MINES (featuring a remastered version of the complete score as well as the original selection of cues from the LP); a two-disc expanded version of Ennio Morricone's SAHARA, with both the complete score and the original album tracks; and an expanded version of Henry Mancini's terrific score for director Blake Edwards' fourth Peter Sellers/Inspector Clouseau film, THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, featuring the Oscar nominated song "Come to Me." (The rumor is that another original song from the score, "Until You Love Me," sung in drag by a butler character, was actually voiced by Mrs. Edwards herself, Julie Andrews).


Varese Sarabande will release John Frizzell's score for the English-language remake of the thriller Loft, now titled THE LOFT (the original was scored by Wolfram De Marco, with a CD release from MovieScore Media), on January 20.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced their lists of the 114 original scores and 79 original songs eligible for nomination for the music Oscar nominations (see full lists at the bottom of this column). Presumably because of the prominent use of classical pieces in the film, Antonio Sanchez' much-talked about drum score for Birdman was not ultimately eligible. Alexandre Desplat has five scores on the list, and Christophe Beck and Marco Beltrami each have four. The lengthy eligible song list includes numbers from such obscure films as Garnet's Gold, Girl on a Bicycle, The Hornet's Nest, Hot Guns with Guns, Life Inside Out, Life of an Actress: The Musical, Occupy the Farm, The One I Wrote for You, A Small Section of the World, Special, Under the Electric Sky, and Work Weather Wife, as well as several films you've actually heard of. 

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December FSMO Is Now Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 12/18/2014 - 2:00 AM
The ho-ho-holiday edition of FSM ONLINE is now live, and this month it's REALLY full. The cover story is a Doug Adams interview with HOWARD SHORE about his final journey to Middle-earth in THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES, plus ROSEWATER and MAPS TO THE STARS. Also this issue, ALEX EBERT channels '80s-era synth in A MOST VIOLENT YEAR; jazz pianist JASON MORAN scores his first feature with the Martin Luther King, Jr., film SELMA; NORA KROLL-ROSENBAUM and LAURA KARPMAN chat about their collaboration on the HBO doc REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG; Cary Wong looks at awards season in his annual Memo to the Academy; a special director's commentary with JAMES MARSH about THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING; go back 50 years with an in-depth analysis of GOLDFINGER by JOHN BARRY; an interview with author CHRISTINE GENGARO about her book, LISTENING TO STANLEY KUBRICK; a CLOCKWORK ORANGE Score Restore brings back a lost WENDY CARLOS cue; an artistic interpretation of LORD OF THE RINGS, inspired by the scores of HOWARD SHORE; WINIFRED PHILLIPS talks video game scoring and LITTLEBIGPLANET 3; JEROME LEROY shares his experiences with A BETTER PLACE; a review of ALEXANDRE DESPLAT's London Symphony Orchestra concert; more embedded audio clips, and more.

Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Your Friends at FSM ONLINE 

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Aisle Seat 12-16: Holiday Buyer's Guide Part 2
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/15/2014 - 9:00 PM
Norman Lear’s groundbreaking sitcom THE JEFFERSONS (1975-85, Complete Series DVD, Shout!) remains a classic TV comedy. After premiering in January 1975, CBS brought “The Jeffersons” back in the fall of that same year, running it on Saturday nights before shifting it to Mondays in January of ’76. While the show took some time finding its audience (CBS kept shuffling it around the schedule during its first few seasons), “The Jeffersons” continued to keep the laughs on coming as it further settled in, developed its ensemble cast and premise of an African-American drycleaner named George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) whose success enabled him to “move on up” to a deluxe apartment on Manhattan’s East Side.
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Film Score Friday 12/12/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/11/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced two new releases this week: a greatly expanded version of James Horner's score for the 1993 adventure film A FAR OFF PLACE (one of ten Horner-scored films released in theaters that year) starring Reese Witherspoon and Ethan Embry (back when he was Ethan Randall); and the first-ever release Georges Delerue's score for the 1987 TV miniseries QUEENIE, based on Nicholas Korda's novel inspired by the life of actress Merle Oberon, starring Mia Sara, Joss Ackland, Claire Bloom, Kirk Douglas, Joel Grey, Sarah Miles and Topol.


The latest release from Kritzerland is a remastered version of one of the all-time classic science-fiction scores -- Bernard Herrmann's Oscar-shortlisted score for director Robert Wise's 1951 classic THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.


This year's Grammy nominations have been announced, including the following film music-related categories:

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Aisle Seat 12-9: A Cinerama Spectacular
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/8/2014 - 9:00 PM
Some of the most exciting home video restorations of recent years has been the work of David Strohmaier on the original Cinerama features produced for the groundbreaking widescreen format in the 1950s. Flicker Alley released three of the restorations on Blu-Ray and DVD – “This is Cinerama,” “Cinerama Holiday” and “South Seas Adventure” – with additional work undertaken on “Windjammer,” which was shot using a similar, three-camera process known as “Cinemiracle.” Now Mr. Strohmaier is back with three more spectacular Blu-Ray releases, including two of the remaining Cinerama travelogues produced and hosted by Lowell Thomas.
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Film Score Friday 12/5/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/4/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced a historic new CD this week -- the first-ever release of the original score tracks to the 1954 Best Picture winner ON THE WATERFRONT. Waterfront's Oscar-nominated music was the only feature film score composed by Broadway and classical great Leonard Bernstein, and though his concert suite of the score has been oft-recorded over the decades, this is the first true soundtrack release, including previously unheard cues. They are also re-releasing their CD featuring the LP tracks of John Williams' rousing score for the 1986 juvenile adventure SPACECAMP.


Most of you readers are probably more than aware of La-La Land's latest batch of "Black Friday" releases, which are all beginning to ship this week, but for those who aren't they are... the first-ever release of David Arnold's thrilling and funky score for the 2000 reboot of SHAFT, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christian Bale, Jeffrey Wright and Toni Collette (too bad they couldn't get any good actors), with Richard Roundtree reprising his role from the original films and TV series; a four-disc set of music from the red-headed stepchild of the Star Trek franchise, the prequel series ENTERPRISE (later retitled Star Trek: Enterprise), with one disc of music by Dennis McCarthy, one by Jay Chattaway, and two more of various composers from the series including such familiar names as John Frizzell, Mark McKenzie and Brian Tyler; a two-disc expanded version of John Debney's Oscar-nominated score for director Mel Gibson's surprise blockbuster hit THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST; an expanded version of Danny Elfman's score for BIG TOP PEE-WEE; and a four-disc set reprising the label's expanded editions of Eflman's BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, with small improvements made from their previous edition of the first Batman.


Varese Sarabande has announced their latest batch of limited edition CD club releases -- a two-disc Deluxe Edition of Alan Silvestri's exciting score for PREDATOR 2; an expanded Deluxe Edition of John Barry's score for Francis Ford Coppola's 1986 time travel romance PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (the previous Varese release of Peggy Sue featured only a handful of Barry cues plus period songs); Victor Young's Oscar-nominated score for the 1943 version of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (previously released on CD by Stanyan); and a re-release (already sold out at most sites) of their earlier CD Club disc pairing one of Miklos Rozsa's great final scores, for Billy Wilder's less-than-great FEDORA, with his guitar music for CRISIS.


In the coolest film music news of the week, it was announced that Thomas Newman will score his second James Bond film, 2015's SPECTRE, directed by Sam Mendes and starring the current Bond regulars (Craig, Whishaw, Fiennes, Harris, Kinnear) plus Christoph Waltz, Monica Belucci, Lea Seydoux, David Bautista and Sherlock's Andrew Scott.

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Today in Film Score History:
February 1
Herbert Stothart died (1949)
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