2019 Oscar Nominations Predictions – Best Score & Best Song

We’ve hit the stretch in writing these predictions articles where I get tired of writing preambles and start getting lazy. So…


Best Original Song – The Nominees:

  • Black Panther – “All the Stars”
  • Boy Erased – “Revelation”
  • Mary Poppins Returns – “The Place Where Lost Things Go”
  • Mary Poppins Returns – “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”
  • A Star is Born – “Shallow”

In the Mix:

  • Dumplin’ – “Girl in the Movies”
  • Ballad of Buster Scruggs – “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings”
  • RBG – “I’ll Fight”
  • Sorry to Bother You – “OYAHYTT”

“Shallow” is going to win.

Mary Poppins Returns is a lock, even though I weirdly thought the music in the film was not very strong. For a musical, I just found some of the chorus numbers grating.

Both the Black Panther songs and score are bangers; they’re great. So that one ought to get in. The rest of it is pretty much a toss up. But Troye Sivan is trendy (I think), and he also acts in Boy Erased. He wrote the song after already being cast in the role, so his familiarity with the project gives the song some synergy.

I don’t remember “I’ll Fight,” but if RBG gets into the Best Documentary category, the song could fall in line with it. Otherwise, the song from Ballad of Buster Scruggs could get some recognition. It’s a strangely sweet song for the scene it underscores, but it is a good tune.



Best Original Score – The Nominees:

  • Blackkklansman
  • Black Panther
  • First Man
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Mary Poppins Returns

In the Mix:

  • Isle of Dogs
  • A Quiet Place
  • Annihilation
  • Ballad of Buster Scruggs

I love the Blackkklansman score. It has a groove to it that really blends well into the movement between scenes. It may be a tad too repetitive, with that one lick playing again and again. That may hurt its overall chances, but I’d vote for it.

Black Panther and If Beale Street Could Talk, however, have distinct scores that are used harmoniously with the films. These are likely nominations.

I’m not 100% on First Man as a lock for a score nomination. It will pick up Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, but the score is not returning to my memory very quickly. I do know that the studio sent out CDs of the score with FYC screeners, so that could tip the scales.

I know, too, that the FYC package for Isle of Dogs included the score. It is a distinct score, and the FYC reminder of that could get it into the larger awards season conversation.

Otherwise, there is A Quiet Place, a film with so little spoken dialogue that the score is an integral and noticeable part of the experience.

This is a category with a lot of wiggle room. All of the above films have unique sonic landscapes that set it apart from the competition. It will come down to personal tastes of the Academy. As much as I love the ominous, unsettling score of Annihilation, it may be too radical a choice for the voting Academy. Something like If Beale Street Could Talk is clearly more palatable.


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


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