Annal: 2004 Academy Award® for Achievement in Music (Original Score)

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2004.

Album:The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Music from the Motion Picture

Howard Shore

This final chapter of Peter Jackson’s sprawling adaptation of Tolkien’s “Ring” trilogy closes out one of the most accomplished cycles in cinema—and film music—history. As he’s done for the saga’s first two installments, composer Howard Shore has honed a mature, brooding orchestral masterpiece that’s long on subtle shadings of mood and nuance, while eschewing the hollow bombast that’s characterized all too many mainstream action and adventure films for three decades. If anything, he’s pared this chapter of his music for Middle Earth even closer to the bone, the…

Album:Big Fish: Music from the Motion Picture

Big Fish: Music from the Motion Picture

Danny Elfman, Various Artists

Director Tim Burton’s adaptation of author Daniel Wallace’s bittersweet Southern Gothic novel has been billed as his first mainstream character drama, a notion that conveniently ignores the story’s inherent fables and flights of imagination. But composer Danny Elfman understands their every dark nook and murky cranny with this magical, often deftly understated score. While the epic melodrama of his comic book scores (Batman, Spider-Man, The Hulk, et. al.) have made him a mainstream Hollywood music star, longtime fans know that the composer’s…

Album:Cold Mountain: Music From The Motion Picture

Cold Mountain: Music From The Motion Picture

Gabriel Yared

Director Anthony Minghella’s take on Charles Frazier’s bestselling novel is powered by wistful romanticism and a dramatic structure that’s been compared to Homer’s Odyssey. That latter creative tack parallels the Coens’ O Brother, Where Art Thou in crucial ways, and is further enhanced by another T-Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack of Appalachian-inflected folk traditionals, sympathetic originals by diverse songwriters (Elvis Costello and Sting), and a core of gritty performances (the White Stripe’s Jack White and Alison Krauss) that rise above mere…

Album:Finding Nemo: Music from the Motion Picture

Finding Nemo: Music from the Motion Picture

Thomas Newman

Will it become another rich Newman family tradition? Picking up the baton his cousin Randy carried so skillfully on Disney/Pixar’s four previous pioneering computer animation features, composer Thomas Newman was undaunted, bringing his own highly original scoring sensibility to the studio’s latest digital daydream—an effort that’s also the younger Newman’s own debut score for an animated feature. Tom’s consistently unique approach to matters of rhythm and percussion are as forceful and inventive as ever in this undersea adventure, while his passages for orchestra…

Album:House of Sand and Fog: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

House of Sand and Fog: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

James Horner

A California real estate dispute may hardly seem the foundation for riveting drama, but in director Vadim Perelman’s adaptation of Andre Dubus II’s novel it becomes an unflinching, yet crucially non-judgmental study of disparate characters caught up in a spiraling conflict where home is considerably more than a place to live. Composer James Horner takes the medium-budget project as an opportunity to break with much of the melodic expectations of his Hollywood fare, coloring the film’s more personally-scaled drama with an introspective score that turns on…

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