The Academy’s musical choices were all fine in its first staged concert of Academy Award-nominated music. The problems were the host and the interviewer, neither of whom came off well. My editors chose to leave out my recitation of the more ludicrous moments. This is what didn’t make it into the Variety story:
Film critic Elvis Mitchell, enlisted to interview the composers between segments, was hit-and-miss, getting one of the Arcade Fire composers’ names wrong (“William Phillips”? It’s William Butler) and drawing head-scratching and irrelevant parallels with his favorite Western scores (Ennio Morricone for Gravity, Williams’ obscure The Missouri Breaks for The Book Thief, which could not be farther afield from one another).
It’s been in the works for a year, but the pieces are now coming together and the Television Academy is going to stage its own concert of great music from current TV shows. (A few weeks after I broke this story, the Academy asked me to host the concert. I did.)
The Winter Olympics offered an opportunity to explain, in more depth than I’ve ever seen, just how Leo Arnaud’s “Bugler’s Dream” wound up as the renowned brass fanfare so closely associated with the Olympic Games. Along the way I get to discuss John Williams’ own contributions to the Games and report on Dimitri Tiomkin’s surprising salute in this year’s Closing Ceremonies.
The disqualification of “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the Best Song category was much talked-about, yet hardly the first time that a tune from an obscure movie managed to sneak into the category. I attempted to add some historical perspective to the discussion with this Variety story. Then I broke down this year’s nominees in both Song and Score categories.