Last year, Alexandre Desplat finally won an Oscar on his 8th nomination in just 9 years (for "The Grand Budapest Hotel," though he was competing against himself for "The Imitation Game"), but this year he was rejected entirely, despite having quite the illustrious score of "The Danish Girl" in contention.
Of the current nominees, Carter Burwell's beautiful work on "Carol" is the absolute standout, but it will be hard for any of these contenders to challenge Ennio Morricone, who has never won an Oscar before. Morricone's work on "The Hateful Eight" is about the only thing everyone agrees is perfect about the movie (aside from Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh), and he must just take the win here.
Below is Anne Thompson's take on how things might shake down in the race for best original score. Check out Thompson on Hollywood's Oscar predictions pages for more awards season analysis. Click here for more category breakdowns on Indiewire.
Predicted Winner: Ennio Morricone, "The Hateful Eight"
Potential Spoiler: John Williams, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
For more insight into the 2016 awards season, visit the Indiewire Awards Season Spotlight homepage here.