The nominees for Best Original Song are:

J. Ralph(“Before My Time”) for Chasing Ice
 Alain BoublilClaude-Michel SchönbergHerbert Kretzmer (“Suddenly”) for Les Misérables
Mychael DannaBombay Jayshree  (“Pi’s Lullaby”) for Life of Pi
AdelePaul Epworth (“Skyfall”) for Skyfall
Walter MurphySeth MacFarlane (“Everybody Needs a Best Friend”) for Ted

Adele and Paul Epworth’s “Skyfall” for Skyfall will be the first Bond song to ever take home the award. Can you believe it? “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Goldfinger,” “Die Another Day…” (crickets). Since this is all but guaranteed, let me devote this space to my last tirade against the biggest snub at the Oscars this year. Adele and Epworth may have had some competition in this category if John Legend’s “Who Did That to You” from Django Unchained was nominated. Like “Skyfall,” the song fits the movie’s tone and theme perfectly, not to mention the singers’ voices have been proven to stop people in their tracks (ok, me, one person, but others will agree I am sure). Along with “Skyfall,” “Who Did That To You?” was not only one of the best movie songs of last year, but it may one of the best songs (period!) of the new decade. Seriously. Give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter (@Chris_Hanna). I won’t even talk about the other nominees for respect to the only song that actually belongs in this category, (which has been kind of a joke in the past, so I’m not surprised why it’s especially messed up this year). – Chris Hanna

Every Bond song is awesome, but Adele and Paul Epworth’s “Skyfall” is one of the best, ever (after Tina Turner’s “Golden Eye”).  It’s the obvious winner, but this is such an amazing song. Daniel Craig said he cried when he first heard it. I mean, if it made James Bond cry, I think that’s only a plus. – Radina Papukchieva

The nominees for Best Musical Score are:

Dario Marianelli for Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat for Argo
Mychael Danna for Life of Pi
John Williams for Lincoln
Thomas Newman for Skyfall

The score for Life of Pi was absolutely beautiful, and also, Mychael Danna has never been nominated before, but his musical credits include Capote, Little Miss Sunshine, and  (500) Days of Summer.  However, I just YouTube-ed Lincoln’s score and it’s really good too. The string orchestra arrangement is exquisite.  I’m going to stop using superlatives now and just embed some links here so you can listen for yourself.  But I’m gonna hope for Mychael Danna’s score for Life of Pi – RP

Like Colleen Atwood for costumes, John Williams, too, must be nominated every year. The man is a legend and has already won five Oscars: his first in 1971 was for Fiddler on the Roof. He then won for Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. and most recently, in 1993, Schindler’s List. Legend. He’s been nominated for 48 Oscars. Legend. I have really (really!) enjoyed Alexandre Desplat’s work over the years. He’s been nominated five times, this year for Argo, and has yet to win. It would be great to see Williams end his 19-year drought, and Desplat finally take home an Oscar, but I’m betting on Canadian Mychael Danna for Life of Pi, a first-time nominee this year (in two categories, this one and original song for same film). I think this award is sometimes given out to a newcomer to establish them in the industry. Williams is way past that (though he’s always great) and Desplat’s resume is nuts. A quick look at his IMDb page shows you how busy he’s been. In 2012, he scored Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom, Rust and Bone and Rise of the Guardians.
Let me reel in, though. Danna’s score for Life of Pi is the best one among the nominees. Lincoln’s sounds familiar, and Argo’s isn’t as sweeping of Pi’s. — CH

The nominees for Best Achievement in Sound Editing are:

Erik AadahlEthan Van der Ryn for Argo
Wylie Stateman  for Django Unchained
Eugene GeartyPhilip Stockton for Life of Pi
Per HallbergKaren M. Baker  for Skyfall
Paul N.J. Ottosson for Zero Dark Thirty

I’m no pro, but Skyfall was one of my favourite movies of the year, and it looked and sounded amazing.  Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are very similar on a technical level, and Life of Pi had a great score, but in terms of sound, other than the tiger roaring I can’t think of anything special about it. That scene with the train crashing towards the end of Skyfall is probably enough for it to win the Oscar. I hope so, at least. – RP

I agree with Radina. Every scene in Skyfall looked and sounded perfect. I will give credit to ZDT, though, which had the most sound. And Django Unchained, which had a great soundtrack. But that is neither here, nor there. — CH

 The nominees for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing are:

John T. ReitzGregg RudloffJosé Antonio García for Argo
Andy NelsonMark PatersonSimon Hayes for Les Misérables
Ron BartlettDoug HemphillDrew Kunin for Life of Pi
Andy NelsonGary RydstromRon Judkins for Lincoln
Scott MillanGreg P. RussellStuart Wilson for Skyfall

Almost the same list of nominees here, but I think Sound Mixing should go to Les Misérables because all the performances were recorded live.  This is the best thing about the film, in general (other than Anne Hathaway) and even though Russell Crowe’s singing made me cringe, I still liked it, because it felt real.  It’s a whole new way of making musicals that shows perfection in imperfection.  – RP

I agree with Radina again for the same reasons. However, there were quite a few scenes in Les Mis where the singing, often when more than one person was singing at a time, was hard on the ears. Lots has been made about Tom Hooper’s braveur to record the singing live on set, so I think the award will go to Les Mis even though I don’t think it necessarily deserves it.    — CH


Up next: The Best for Last!

By Chris Hanna and Radina Papukchieva
Twitter @Chris_Hanna and @Papukchieva


About The Cafe Phenomenon

"The Cafe Phenomenon" refers to a situation, specifically in a cafe, where you are sitting with a friend and engaging in conversation with them, but you suddenly find yourself unable to listen because the background noise of the cafe distracts you from what they are saying (the background noise could be any thing: the gossip at the next table for example). It happens that, from time to time, in certain contexts the background noise is stronger and more defined than our personal and private one on one conversations. Our blog, made up of a group of friends from Concordia's journalism program, can serve as the background noise penetrating the intimate discussions of our virtual cafe dwellers (hopefully adding insight, relevant coverage, and interesting ideas). Or it can be the friend with whom you are deep in conversation. This, our dear readers, we leave to you.

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