Who Will Win Best Score?
By JIM FUSILLI
With 10 and 11 nominations, respectively, “The Artist” and “Hugo” received the most Oscar nods of any film for 2011. In addition to vying for Best Picture, the two are among the five nominees for Best Original Score. Ludovic Bource’s music for “The Artist” supports not only the film’s comedic and dramatic sequences but also several of its rousing musical dance numbers. For “Hugo,” Howard Shore brings an additional layer of magic to the tale of a young Parisian boy who reinvigorates the forgotten French filmmaker Georges Méliès. The winners will be announced Sunday night.
Scores by Alberto Iglesias, for “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy,” and John Williams, for “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse”—the last also a Best Picture nominee—round out the category. And whereas last year’s winner, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s work for “The Social Network,” was built largely on electronic music and ambient sounds, all five nominees this year utilize a full orchestra.
Mr. Williams, who has won five Oscars and is a 47-time nominee, has created a delightful musical backdrop for Steven Spielberg’s “Tintin,” beginning with its sly, slinky, jazz-inflected overture. Muscular when needed to be, tender without becoming cloying, the score respects the performance-capture 3-D film’s appeal to adults and children, tightening the tension without resorting to terror. As the boy detective and his dog careen from Belgium to the Middle East, the music takes on an international flair. Characters who appear buffoonish or unreliable are judged less harshly thanks to the music; and, sure enough, they soon rise to prove their mettle. Though it’s tempting to compare this score to Mr. Williams’s work for the “Indiana Jones” franchise, a better analogy is the witty, complex music he wrote for Mr. Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” which similarly added depth and dimension to that film.