CV: Notable Music from This Year’s Oscar “Best Picture” Nominees


Now that the Grammys are over, it’s time to think Oscars. There’s no doubt that good music can make a film stand out, and this year’s Oscar Best Film nominees are no exception to this golden rule. Check out some of the best songs from this year’s Academy Award-worthy films: FILM: American Sniper (dir. Clint Eastwood). U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission, which is to protect his comrades, to heart and becomes the most lethal sniper in American history. Yet once he returns home, he finds that his days at war continue to haunt him.

SONG CHOICE: American Sniper Main Theme-

Intense and emotional, this song is a moving, powerful blend of sound.

FILM: The Grand Budapest Hotel (dir. Wes Anderson). A witty tale about a popular and prestigious 1930s European ski resort. Gustave, the main hotel concierge, takes Zero, a junior lobby boy, under his wing and makes him his protégé. When one of Gustave’s lovers dies mysteriously, he finds himself as the main suspect in her murder.

SONG CHOICE: The Grand Budapest Hotel Score by Alexandre Desplat (*“MUSIC-Original Score” Nominee)-

FILM: Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu). Former movie superhero Riggan Thomson (played by Michael Keaton) is working on an exciting Broadway play that he hopes will reinvigorate his career. Yet right before opening night, his main-choice actor is injured, and he’s forced to hire a new actor that shakes things up. Riggan also deals with the trials and tribulations of his daughter, girlfriend, ex-wife, and possible psychosis.

SONG CHOICE: “Night Chatter” by Phillips Andrew-

A fast-paced track that evokes a sense of intensity, chaos and mystery in the film.

FILM: Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater). The inevitable ups and downs of growing up are seen from a young boy’s perspective (played by Ellar Coltrane). Over 12 years, the film offers snapshots of growing up, from birthday parties to family trips, to popular culture (including music) from the time.

SONG CHOICE: “Do You Realize” by The Flaming Lips-

Poignant and well-placed in the film, this song evokes a sense of nostalgia and time during the “growing up” years.

FILM: The Imitation Game (dir. Morten Tyldum). During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. (IMDb)

SONG CHOICE: The Imitation Game Full Soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat (*“MUSIC-Original Score” Nominee)-

This beautiful soundtrack provides the ultimate background for the emotional, intense, mysterious ride that is The Imitation Game.

FILM: Selma (dir. Ava DuVernay). During 1965, Selma, Alabama became an important place for black suffrage. This film recreates the history of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers’ struggle to fight for their rights.

SONG CHOICE: “Glory” by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (*“MUSIC-Original Song” Nominee)-

A powerful, soulful anthem combining gospel music and spoken word for this important historical film.

FILM: The Theory of Everything (dir. James Marsh). In the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking learns that he is suffering from motor neuron disease. While his health is deteriorating, he and his love interest Jane Wilde break serious ground in the fields of science, medicine, and time study.

SONG CHOICE: “Chalkboard” by Jóhann Jóhannsson (*“MUSIC-Original Score” Nominee)-

A gorgeous, emotional melody with intense, building strings and piano notes that evokes the incredible powers of the mind.

FILM: Whiplash (dir. Damien Chazelle). A young jazz student earns a top seat in a prestigious jazz band taught by a ruthless teacher (played by J.K. Simmons) who uses intense tactics to push his students to achieve musical perfection.

SONG CHOICE: “Caravan”-

A drum-heavy, incredibly fast-paced jazz melody that has a significant role in the film.

Other notable Oscar songs (“MUSIC-Original Song” Nominees):

…So there you have it, folks. Pop some popcorn, watch these films, and let these songs pull you into the world of the story.

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