As usual, Hollywood’s top composers are contending for Best Original Score, among them usual suspect Oscar winners John Williams (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk”) and Alexandre Desplat (“The Shape of Water”).
Zimmer’s experimental score for action spectacular “Dunkirk” was inspired by director Christopher Nolan’s pocket watch. That score was composed in collaboration with his credited protege Benjamin Wallfisch, who worked on “Dunkirk” with Lorne Balfe, but only two could be submitted to the Academy, so Zimmer filed alone.
For veteran French composer Alexandre Desplat, Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” provided a rare romantic love story to score, as everything becomes an aquatic metaphor. The composer found a haunting melody that plays like waves, orchestrated in a way that evokes the sensation of being underwater, starting with the opening scene that introduces serenely floating dreamer Eliza (Sally Hawkins).
Earning his second nod is longtime Todd Haynes collaborator Carter Burwell (“Carol”), for Martin McDonagh’s tone-shifting American dramedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
After being left out for “There Will Be Blood” (deemed Oscar ineligible) and “The Master,” Jonny Greenwood finally landed his first Oscar nomination, for his score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s music-laden “Phantom Thread.”
Alexandre Desplat (“The Shape of Water”)
Jonny Greenwood (“Phantom Thread”)
John Williams (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”)
Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk”)
Carter Burwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”)