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Oscar Hopes Looking Good in Hollywood for Key Original Song and Score Contenders

Oscar Hopes Looking Good in Hollywood for Key Original Song and Score Contenders

Tuesday night’s Hollywood Music in Media Awards offered the first LA showcase for a handful of Oscar music contenders. While most below-the-line categories get their own standalone award special at some point during the season, these folks do not. (Typically, we wait for the Globes and other televised events to see these performances.) 

Held at the Fonda Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the HMMA, now in its fifth year, featured an opening act performance by “Birdman” drummer Antonio Sanchez, happy to be there and at his drum kit playing for an audience. Improvised a week before the film began, Sanchez’s jazzy, driving, all-drums score played well for the group, a contingent of LA music industry types that also handed him the best feature score prize. (Exclusive TOH! interview with Sanchez here.)

Another frontrunner looking good throughout the modestly scaled evening was the original song “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again,” written by Gregg Alexander, frontman of the erstwhile New Radicals, along with Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood. The song is performed by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine in the Weinstein-produced musical romance.

Alexander, who accepted the feature film song prize, gave what was apparently his first performance since the New Radicals disbanded 15 years ago. When I met him earlier last night, he seemed unaware that he was nominated for something, much less looking at an Oscar nomination down the line.

Other winners included Howard Shore for last year’s “Desolation of Smaug,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2” composer John Powell, who is unlikely to squeak into Oscar contention, and “Merchants of Doubt” documentary composer Mark Adler. Rest of the winners here.

The Hollywood Music nominees for feature film —  the winning “Birdman,” “Imitation Game,” “Theory of Everything,” “Interstellar,” “Fury,” “The Judge” and “Gone Girl” — remain the frontrunners for the Oscar at the moment. Buzz keeps building around Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” work especially. We tracked the original score contenders, and revealed our picks, here.

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