You know Jeff Beal’s music from such shows as Rome and Monk, but lately he’s gained even greater fame for his music from the Kevin Spacey political series House of Cards (earning three Emmy nominations for that series alone). He’s just finished scoring the third season of the binge-worthy Netflix series, and this story examines just how he’s been doing it — including some very complimentary words from producer Beau Willimon. (There wasn’t room in the story, but I can also highly recommend his music for the upcoming CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers.)
Now that the 87th Academy Awards are in the record books, a rundown and a little historical perspective. The hot ticket for music mavens on Oscar weekend is always the Society of Composers & Lyricists’ champagne reception for song and score nominees, and we were delighted to attend again this year. Then, last night’s ceremonies, which included plenty of music including performances of all five nominated songs. “Glory” was especially moving for those in the audience, and won the gold statue moments later. Composer Alexandre Desplat beat the odds by winning (for The Grand Budapest Hotel) despite having two nominations this year. I talk about that, and other musical details of the show, in this weekend wrapup.
This week, Variety publishes my rundown of nominees in the original-score and original-song categories. I interviewed all four score nominees (Alexandre Desplat has two) and at least one of the songwriters for each of the five song nominees, along with providing their Oscar track records. For the first time in Academy history, none of the five score nominees is American, a fascinating statistic that underscores the increasingly international nature of music-making for movies.
The intro to the song story was truncated. One of the points I had hoped to make was about whether music-branch voters actually watched the song DVD. I suspect not, since Begin Again was no. 15, Selma no. 59, Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me no. 67, The Lego Movie no. 72, and Beyond the Lights last at no. 79. They skipped lively, fun songs from animated and kids’ films like Rio 2, The Book of Life and Muppets Most Wanted. Voting results suggest that the nominees continue, for the most part, to be those with substantial publicity budgets — and that campaigning matters.