What makes a film score worthy of an Academy Award?

A French film composer shares what makes a film's musical score stand far enough out to win at the Academy Awards.
Posted at 9:10 PM, Feb 27, 2023

The Academy Awards celebrates the work of artists both on-screen and off, including the work of writers, editors, costumers and composers.

The race to the award ceremony can oftentimes feel like a political campaign to determine who is most "Oscar worthy."

"I had the chance to experience this adventure for the Oscars in 2012, and it is a real electoral campaign," said Ludovic Bource, a French film composer.

For his work on "The Artist," Bource won the 2012 Oscar for best original score. Despite having no formal training in music composition, the composer won over two scores from Hollywood legend John Williams, who was also nominated that year for his work on both "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin."

Bource says good film score is based on an "alchemy" of story, sensation and strong collaboration with the director.

"Music theme is always a compromise," he said.

This year's Academy Award nominees for best original score honor the composers behind "Babylon," "The Banshees of Inisherin," "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Everything Everywhere All At Once" and "The Fabelmans."

For his work on "The Fabelmans," John Williams has garnered his 53rd Oscar nomination — the most for any living person and second only to Walt Disney with 59.

"The orchestration, the melody — for me, he's the last superhero of music film," Bource said.

At the age of 90, Williams is also the oldest known nominee in a competitive award category.

The winner for best original score will be announced on Sunday, March 12.

A CinemaCon attendee walks past a

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