Best Original Score Oscar Contenders: Carter Burwell and Past Nominees

The Peanuts Movie Best Original Score Oscar contender'The Peanuts Movie': 2016 Best Original Score Oscar contender along with 111 other titles.

Oscar 2016: Best Original Score contenders range from 'Mad Max: Fury Road' to 'The Peanuts Movie'

Earlier this month (Dec. '15), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made public the list of 112 film scores eligible for the 2016 Oscar in the Best Original Score category.

As found in the Academy's press release, “a Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be made available with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.”

The release adds that “to be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.”

Previous Academy Award winners and nominees

The list below is comprised of both little-known composers and those whose portfolio includes Oscar wins and/or multiple nominations. Among the latter are:

  • Twelve-time nominee Thomas Newman (Skyfall, WALL-E).
    For the 2016 Best Original Score Oscar, Newman is in contention for Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, Davis Guggenheim's documentary He Named Me Malala, the all-star comedy-drama The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Sam Mendes' James Bond flick Spectre.
  • 1996 winner Gabriel Yared (The English Patient).
    Oscar 2016: Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet and the Antonioniesque Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt drama By the Sea.
  • 2009 winner Michael Giacchino (Up).
    Oscar 2016: the animated feature Inside Out, Colin Trevorrow's blockbuster Jurassic World, and the George Clooney vehicle Tomorrowland.
  • 1992 nominee Mark Isham (A River Runs Through It).
    Oscar 2016: the Britt Robertson-Scott Eastwood romantic drama The Longest Ride.
  • Eight-time nominee James Newton Howard (The Prince of Tides, Michael Clayton).
    Oscar 2016: the Will Smith sports drama Concussion, Edward Zwick's Bobby Fischer biopic Pawn Sacrifice, and the Jennifer Lawrence star vehicle The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.
  • Two-time nominee Patrick Doyle (Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility).
    Oscar 2016: Kenneth Branagh's fantasy Cinderella, starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, and Richard Madden.

Best Original Score Oscar non-nominee Carter Burwell

Carter Burwell, who has never been shortlisted for an Oscar, is a contender for no less than four titles:

It's hard to believe that Burwell – whose credits include Blood Simple, Barton Fink, Hamlet, Kinsey, No Country for Old Men, three Twilight Saga movies, True Grit, and The Fifth Estate – will once again be bypassed by the Academy's Music Branch.

Legend Tom Hardy Best Original Score Carter Burwell'Legend' with Tom Hardy: Music by Best Original Score contender Carter Burwell.

Oscar 2016 eligible scores

The eligible scores along with their respective composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

  • Adult Beginners. Marcelo Zarvos.
  • The Age of Adaline. Rob Simonsen.
  • Altered Minds. Edmund Choi.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. Mark Mothersbaugh.
  • Anomalisa. Carter Burwell.
  • Ant-Man. Christophe Beck.
  • Beasts of No Nation. Dan Romer.
  • The Big Short. Nicholas Britell.
  • Black Mass. Tom Holkenborg.
  • Bridge of Spies. Thomas Newman.
  • Brooklyn. Michael Brook.
  • Burnt. Rob Simonsen.
  • By the Sea. Gabriel Yared.
  • Carol. Carter Burwell.
  • Cartel Land. H. Scott Salinas and Jackson Greenberg.
  • Chi-Raq. Terence Blanchard.
  • Cinderella. Patrick Doyle.
  • Coming Home. Qigang Chen.
  • Concussion. James Newton Howard.
  • Creed. Ludwig Goransson.
  • The Danish Girl. Alexandre Desplat.
  • The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Joseph Trapanese.
  • Dukhtar. Peter Nashel.
  • The End of the Tour. Danny Elfman.
  • Everest. Dario Marianelli.
  • Ex Machina. Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow.
  • Far from the Madding Crowd. Craig Armstrong.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey. Danny Elfman.
  • 5 Flights Up. David Newman.
  • Frame by Frame. Patrick Jonsson.
  • Freedom. James Lavino.
  • Furious Seven. Brian Tyler.
  • The Good Dinosaur. Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna.
  • Goosebumps. Danny Elfman.
  • Grandma. Joel P. West.
  • The Hateful Eight. Ennio Morricone.
  • He Named Me Malala. Thomas Newman.
  • Hot Pursuit. Christophe Beck.
  • Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Christophe Beck.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. James Newton Howard.
  • The Hunting Ground. Miriam Cutler.
  • I Smile Back. Zack Ryan.
  • I'll See You in My Dreams. Keegan DeWitt.
  • In the Heart of the Sea. Roque Baños.
  • Inside Out. Michael Giacchino.
  • The Intern. Theodore Shapiro.
  • It Follows. Disasterpeace.
  • Jalam. Ouesppachan.
  • Jurassic World. Michael Giacchino.
  • Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. Gabriel Yared.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service. Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson.
  • Krampus. Douglas Pipes.
  • La Jaula de Oro. Jacobo Lieberman and Leonardo Heiblum.
  • The Lady in the Van. George Fenton.
  • The Last Witch Hunter. Steve Jablonsky.
  • Learning to Drive. Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks.
  • Legend. Carter Burwell.
  • Little Accidents. Marcelo Zarvos.
  • The Longest Ride. Mark Isham.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road. Tom Holkenborg.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Daniel Pemberton.
  • The Martian. Harry Gregson-Williams.
  • Max. Trevor Rabin.
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. John Paesano.
  • Meru. J. Ralph.
  • Minions. Heitor Pereira.
  • Mr. Holmes. Carter Burwell.
  • Mistress America. Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips.
  • My All American. John Paesano.
  • Nachom-ia Kumpasar. Ronnie Monsorate.
  • 99 Homes. Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales.
  • Our Brand Is Crisis. David Wingo.
  • Pan. John Powell.
  • Paper Towns. Son Lux.
  • Paranoid Girls. Javier del Santo.
  • Pawn Sacrifice. James Newton Howard.
  • The Peanuts Movie. Christophe Beck.
  • Pixels. Henry Jackman.
  • Poached. Mark Orton.
  • Pod. Giona Ostinelli.
  • Poltergeist. Marc Streitenfeld.
  • Racing Extinction. J. Ralph.
  • Room. Stephen Rennicks.
  • Salt Bridge. Marciano Telese.
  • San Andreas. Andrew Lockington.
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Thomas Newman.
  • Set Fire to the Stars. Gruff Rhys.
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie. Ilan Eshkeri.
  • Sicario. Jóhann Jóhannsson.
  • Southpaw. James Horner.
  • Spectre. Thomas Newman.
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water. John Debney.
  • Spotlight. Howard Shore.
  • Spy. Theodore Shapiro.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. John Williams.
  • Steve Jobs. Daniel Pemberton.
  • Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans. Jim Copperthwaite.
  • Stonewall. Rob Simonsen.
  • Suffragette. Alexandre Desplat.
  • Taken 3. Nathaniel Mechaly.
  • Ted 2. Walter Murphy.
  • Testament of Youth. Max Richter.
  • The 33. James Horner.
  • Tomorrowland. Michael Giacchino.
  • True Story. Marco Beltrami.
  • Trumbo. Theodore Shapiro.
  • Truth. Brian Tyler.
  • Victor Frankenstein. Craig Armstrong.
  • The Walk. Alan Silvestri.
  • The Water Diviner. David Hirschfelder.
  • Wolf Totem. James Horner.
  • Z for Zachariah. Heather McIntosh.

The 2016 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Original Score, will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The 2016 Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. In the United States, the Oscarcast will be televised live by ABC, beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscar show will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories around the world.

See Best Original Score-related post about Hans Zimmer opting out of the Oscar Race.”


Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) website.

Image from Best Original Score Oscar 2016 contender The Peanuts Movie: 20th Century Fox Animation.

Image of Tom Hardy in Best Original Score Oscar 2016 contender Legend: Universal Pictures.

Best Original Score Oscar Contenders: Carter Burwell and Past Nominees © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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