Oscar Turns Deaf Ear To DARK KNIGHT Music

The executive committee of the Motion Picture Academy's music branch has removed The Dark Knight from consideration for a Best Score Oscar.
The decision was made based on the listing of five composers on the official music cue sheet for the film score: Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard--who are credited on the film itself -- plus composer Lorne Balfe, music editor Alex Gibson and ambient music designer Mel Wesson. According to Variety, Zimmer's and Howard's contributions fall short of 70%, thus putting the entire opus out of the running.

Multiple-nominee Howard and Oscar-winner Zimmer (The Lion King), both of whom will receive official letters this week, declined to comment on the ruling.

However, others are vocally lamenting the technicality-induced snub. BEN CHILD of the Guardian (UK) said that, "[w]ith its staccato bass throbs, epic brass stabs and signature pitch-bending strings, the lowering soundtrack to The Dark Knight is one of the more distinctive scores of the past year."

Because the two composers' previous collaboration, Batman Begins, was similarly disqualified in 2005, they took (what they thought were) preventive measures this time by having the other three team members sign an affidavit stating that Zimmer and Howard were the primary musicians.

Unfortunately, even this gesture -- plus four hours of discussion -- failed to sway the committee's judgment.

Although this action reduces the number of potential Oscar nominations for The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's Batman films may serve as martyrs and pave the way for a brighter musical future. Movie scores by multiple composers are becoming ever more common and, because the crediting of all contributors is vital for royalty payments, the Academy likely will address this issue again.

[Thanks to movies.ie]
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