These TRULY deserved the Academy Award (2000-1991)


12 juin 2008, 18h25m

This is the second part of eight I will write about what I consider to be music for movies, films, screenplays or whatever you want to call it that deserves to be awarded with the Oscar.
As I wrote in the last journal entry I originally only thought about my opinion concerning this "honour" to create my personal tag ""

However, this entry will be a little different from the others as in the years 1996-'99 two Oscars were given, one for the Music Score of a Dramatic Picture and one for a Comedy Picture.

Here are links to the other journal entries belonging to this (still shamefully incomplete) series:

Part 1 (2008-2001)
Part 3 (1990-1981)


2000 was the initial year, so to speak, for writing these journals, as I realised that Rachel Portman's absolutely phantastic work for "The Cider House Rules" wasn't the winner. Although I am very contended with the fact that John Corigliano received the award for "The Red Violin", which I enjoy every time I listen to it (as much as the film, by the way, which to watch is quite pleasurable), I just think that Portman's score is simply amazingly beautiful and was truly the best that year. It must have been quite a hard choice nonetheless, as the other competing scores were Thomas Newman's "American Beauty", John Williams's "Angela's Ashes" and Gabriel Yared's "The Talented Mr. Ripley", all of which are truly phantastic. So, although I would have chosen another one, those nominations left actually nothing to wish.


'99 was the last year so far in which two composers were awarded, and Stephen Warbeck received one statue for his music for "Shakespeare in Love" in the category comedy or musical picture. This is totally fine with me, as this work is lovely and pretty, whereas I really don't like, for example, "The Prince Of Egypt". Hans Zimmer was nominated for the music and Stephen Schwartz for the featured songs, and I REALLY can't stand those Disney movies with all that ridiculous singing. And to be honest, I find Zimmer's music most of the time just boring. Oh, speaking of Disney, another nominated film was "Mulan", composed by Jerry Goldsmith, Matthew Wilder and David Zippel... Then there was Randy Newman's "A Bug's Life", and I only mention it here because I find it quite intruiging that this movie is based on the main idea of Akira Kurosawa's movie "The Seven Samurai". I'm not interested in Newman's music that much though.

The awarded composer for a dramatic picture was Nicola Piovani with "La Vita è Bella". I find this choice quite inacceptable. Even John Williams's "Saving Private Ryan" would have been a better choice, but there was also David Hirschfelder's GORGEOUS composition for "Elizabeth"! The other two were "The Thin Red Line" by Zimmer and "Pleasantville" by Newman, and as I said before, I have ressentiments against these two composers, so my choice is absolutely clear.


I'm really happy that Anne Dudley won the Oscar, as her work for "The Full Monty" is quite nice, BUT I would be happier if she had composed "My Best Friend's Wedding", but as that's not the case I'm sorry but have to present James Newton Howard with the naked man. I mean, as much as I admire Danny Elfman, I would not believe if someone would tell me that "Men in Black" is worth the award.

Ha, surely I will not please most of the people who enjoy listening to filmmusic with this entry, but as I believe that not many will read what I write this doesn't matter - and I wouldn't care anyway. But, you see, I simply don't think that James Horner's composition for "Titanic" deserved the Oscar that year, but John Williams for "Amistad" actually did... Oh, of course the other three are quite wonderful also, namely "Good Will Hunting", "Kundun" and "L.A. Confidential", but Williams music is just so very EPIC and underlines the movie SO GOOD...


Aah, '97 was such a wonderful year, was it not? The two awarded scores are PHANTASTIC, and most of the other nominees are too. But first things first: The most gorgeous Rachel Portman received, as the first woman ever in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an Academy Award of Merit for her music for the adaption for the screen of Jane Austen's wonderful "Emma"!!! I shed myriads of joyful tears every time I listen to it. Um, anyway, forget it, but isn't that score just GREAT? However, strangely enough this year saw one of the few scores by Randy Newman which I quite like, and even more strange is the fact that I even like the movie: "James And The Giant Peach". And I also enjoyed watching "The First Wives Club" and listen to Marc Shaiman's music... But the mainly important thing is, of course, that Rachel won.

Oh, how deep was my desire to chose Patrick Doyle's incredible music for "Hamlet" to be the score that deserves the award the most, but, actually, I cannot change it, Gabriel Yared's "The English Patient" is just insanely wonderful. (But let me tell you this: it's not that bad and Mister Doyle has no reason to be miserable about not being chosen, as he won the award the year before. Well, um, actually he didn't, but in MY world he did...)


My goodness, Disney again. And, how awful is this: "Pocahontas"! Alan Menken won the Oscar together with Stephen Schwartz for that terrible music composed for that terrible movie. No no, that's not acceptable. I chosed Thomas Newman and his score for "Unstrung Heroes" instead. Surely most of you would say that Randy Newman (again that person) was the one who deserved the award for "Toy Story", but, believe me, that's just not true...

Ah yes, here it is: Patrick Doyle's award-winning music for "Sense and Sensibility", Jane Austen of course, again Jane Austen, it couldn't be anything else... That beautiful music for that lovely movie, casting Emma Thompson, who won an academy award for the best adapted script and was also nominated for the best leading role. Well, actually "Il Postino" won, composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov (or just Luis Bacalov if you want). How VERY laughable! I mean, PLEASE, another nominated score that year was "Braveheart", another one "Apollo 13", and one of those would have been a really good choice, but "IL POSTINO"? That's just not fair.


1995, another year of pure disgrace. Four phantastic compositions were nominated, and one shitty piece of crap. Now guess which of those won? Yes, you're right, the shitty piece of crap did. This is so disappointing. I mean, we had Thomas Newman with "The Shawshank Redemption" and with "Little Women", both of which are stunningly beautiful, then there was "Forrest Gump", and Alan Silvestri did such a good job with it, and don't forget Elliot Goldenthal's "Interview With The Vampire", which also is so wonderful. All those works are incredible, but who won instead? Hans Zimmer did, with "The Lion King", that horrible movie that is decorated with those atrocious songs written by Elton John. I even can't understand why it was nominated at all. Anyway, I believe that "Little Women" was the outstanding composition that year, and thus award it myself.


1994 the winning score was "Schindler's List" by John Williams. Truly his music - for a wonderful movie by the way - is very good... but I had to choose between two compostions which are better, more differentiated, more expressive - and less "affirmative", so to speak. Elmer Bernstein's "The Age Of Innocence" is the first one. What a pleasurable surprise it was to see that this wonderful composition was nominated for an award (I didn't knew that before...), but, unfortunately for this work, a breathtaking gem was also nominated: Richard Robbins's "The Remains of the Day". This needs no further explanation, it's simply one of the best filmscores I have ever listened to. But surely you realised that this again is a score for a film that featured Emma Thompson...


One year before the nomination for "The Remains of the Day" Richard Robbins was nominated for "Howards End", another of all those phantastic movies produced by Merchant Ivory Productions for which Robbins composed the score (and in which Emma Thompson played a wonderful leading role). Of course he didn't win. The responsable people truly were all idiots as they decided that (Argh, I can't write that name again) a Disney film featured the best music: Alan Menken's "Aladdin"... There was this wonderful, wonderful work done by Mark Isham for "A River Runs Through It", and there was John Barry's "Chaplin", which is also just great - but they chosed Menken, what is especially so very terrible because this wasn't the first time. In fact, it was his THIRD award...


The second time Alan Menken was the "winner" of the Oscar wasn't such a horrible choice in my opinion as his work for "Beauty and the Beast" is really quite nice - but nothing more, and thus it didn't deserve the award. What I believe instead to be the one score in 1992 which is outstanding enough is James Newton Howard's "The Prince of Tides". Oh, John Williams's "JFK", of course, is really good though.


1991 saw three phantastic Oscar-nominations, Maurice Jarre's "Ghost", Dave Grusin's "Havana" and John Barry's "Dances With Wolves", and I am very happy that Barry's insanely beautiful compostition was awarded. I have to admit though, that I would have agreed to any other of those three to be the best anyway...

You can continue with Part 3 (1990-1981) if you like.


  • Bastard1

    Cool list, but why's it reverse chronological?

    14 juin 2008, 2h02m
  • Epitymbidia

    Because I know most of the relevant (here: Oscar nominated) scores of the last thirty/fourty years, whereas many of the older ones are totally unknown to me, what means that I have to search, find, listen and compare them, and that surely will take a lot of time. So I began with those I have already built my opinion of. Another point is that many people who listen to filmmusic only know works from the last ten or maybe twenty years, and a lot aren't interested in older ones. I think that's not only a question of compositional style but also of the listener's age and, of course, the individual preferences. So, to sum that up, I think I just started with the ones that are considered actual, relevant and important and that most of the potential readers of such a journal could talk about.

    14 juin 2008, 16h48m
  • airfigaro

    Well Done. Nice. I like to read these lists... Makes me want to go and listen to the scores! airfigaro

    15 juin 2008, 5h22m
  • Epitymbidia

    Thanks, I'm quite glad that you like them. Hopefully I will not bore you with the six that are still to come...

    15 juin 2008, 6h41m
  • hervoice

    I just had to tell you that i've really liked all these film score lists you've written so far. Lovely (:

    21 juin 2008, 23h16m
  • Epitymbidia

    Oh, that's quite interesting, as I would have never guessed that one could think of a score by Rachel Portman as to be composed by James Newton Howard... I don't see many similarities between those two concerning their specific style anyway, as especially Rachel Portman has many memorable peculiarities which appear in most of her scores.

    4 jui. 2008, 19h55m
  • Elikrotupos

    I love Oscars, but I love also Disney and Zimmer. And I'm Italian. After reading this article i had stomachache... Anyway, good review :)

    29 août 2008, 14h12m
  • Epitymbidia

    Why did you have an aching stomach after reading this journal? Because you are Italian and Italian people can't stand to read that another guy doesn't like Hans Zimmer? Ok, um... surely not. But why then?

    30 août 2008, 14h16m
  • Elikrotupos

    no, because you can't stand winners like "Life is beautiful" or "Il postino". I meant that you "disliked" a lot of scores that I adore (disney's, zimmer's, italians). But obviously these are opinions. As I wrote in the other post, this journal have been an excellent reading and I found in it some good pieces of advice about new scores to listen.

    1 sept. 2008, 13h18m
  • Elikrotupos

    Anyway, it's true: italian people can't stand others opinions :P

    1 sept. 2008, 13h19m
  • Epitymbidia

    Ok, you got me. I admit that my style of writing may be a little bit too exaggeratedly "disrespectful" when it comes to filmscores that won the academy award and I think that something else should've been the chosen score instead. But you said it: obviously these are opinions... "de gustibus non est disputandum" ;)

    1 sept. 2008, 22h43m
  • BobSewaw

    It's a good list, but I had to stop reading when you gave the Oscar to The Remains of the Day (great) instead of Schindler's list (epic). I also disagree with that aversion towards Newman, Zimmer or Menken (nevertheless, I do think Menken has got too many Oscars). Anyway, we just have different opinions :)

    24 mars 2011, 19h00m
Voir les 13 commentaires
Ajouter un commentaire. Connectez-vous à ou inscrivez-vous (c'est gratuit).