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2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Score

Four Oscar newbies, from "La La Land"'s Justin Hurwitz to "Jackie"'s Micachu, are competing with veteran Thomas Newman for "Passengers." (Updated 2/22/17.)

“La La Land”

The most in-demand composers often take on the most assignments. Notably, though, first-time nominee Justin Hurwitz (“Whiplash”) devoted himself for seven years to perfecting the themes in “La La Land,” with superb results. No one can beat him.

Fellow first-timers this year include Nicholas Britell, who composed the haunting score for “Moonlight,” as well as Micachu (aka Mica Levi), who used moodily dissonant violins for “Jackie,” and Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann (Hauschka) who composed the emotional score for “Lion.”

Justin Hurwitz and Damien Chazelle

Anne Thompson

On the other hand last year’s “Bridge of Spies” nominee Thomas Newman has been nominated 14 times, this time for “Passengers.”

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Mica Levi

Daniel Bergeron

READ MORE: 2017 Oscar Predictions

Contenders (in order of likelihood to win):

1. Justin Hurwitz (“La La Land”)
2. Nicholas Britell (“Moonlight”)
2. Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann (“Lion”)
3. Micachu (“Jackie”)
5. Thomas Newman (“Passengers”)

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