A trio of acclaimed film scores on Rolling Stone‘s radar — Karen O and Carter Burwell’s Where the Wild Things Are, Brian Eno’s The Lovely Bones and T Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton’s Crazy Heart — have all been ruled ineligible for Best Score at the 82nd Academy Awards, the Wrap reports. While the reason why Karen O and Burwell’s Wild Things work was disqualified has not been confirmed, the Academy rulebook mandates scores “assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.” A similar ruling blocked last year’s The Dark Knight score, composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, from consideration, even though it went on to win Best Score at the Grammys.
Crazy Heart, a film about an aging country musician starring Jeff Bridges, likely also suffered from the Academy’s collaborative score rule; according to the Wrap, Fox Searchlight didn’t even list the score as a “for your consideration” on Crazy Heart‘s Oscar screeners. Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers commended Burnett and Bruton’s work on the film, writing in his review that the duo pen “original tunes that fit Bridges like scuffed boots that have paid their dues on the road.” Crazy Heart‘s score was honored as the year’s best by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
In the case of Eno and The Lovely Bones, the ambient music great’s absence from the 81-film score shortlist is easy to explain: Eno simply declined to file the necessary paperwork to have his score be considered, according to the Wrap, who note Eno said he didn’t have time for the publicity campaign needed to win an Oscar fight. Had Eno’s Lovely Bones score — which remains unavailable for purchase despite the film’s theatrical release — been submitted for the Oscars, it likely would have been ineligible because he makes use of some of his previously released compositions. As Rolling Stone previously reported, a similar situation occurred in 2007, when Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood, the favorite to take home the Oscar, was ruled ineligible because Greenwood reused music from his own Popcorn Superhet Receiver and Bodysong compositions.
Other scores ruled ineligible include Jason Schwartzman and Michael Andrews’ work on Funny People and Burwell’s The Blind Side. Composer Alexandre Desplat had four film scores on the shortlist, including his work for The Twilight Saga: New Moon. As Rolling Stone reported last month, Karen O’s “All Is Love” is among the tracks on the Best Original Song shortlist.
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