As the Golden Globe awards were nearing and Academy voters were deciding who to nominate in the music categories, Variety commissioned a final few stories related to songs and scores from calendar year 2019. Chris Willman and I shared a byline as we examined how period films handled music (my portions involved 1917, Ford v Ferrari and Little Women). Then, because Globe voters nominated Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber for their new song in Cats, but Oscar voters failed to place it on the shortlist for nomination, I went back through recent Globe history to try and determine the odds of them actually rewarding Swift for a tune in one of the year’s most lambasted films. And finally, the Society of Composers & Lyricists held its inaugural awards, handing out most of its film awards to women, including the now ubiquitous (at award ceremonies, anyway) Icelandic composer Hildur Guonadottir for her Joker score.
Between October and December, my calendar is filled with screenings, composer interviews, live Q&As, and most importantly writing about all of this for Variety. All of this was spread across a series of stories that attempted to cover most of the major candidates for awards consideration at year’s end. The first story, Oct. 29, covered seven early contenders (Joker, Harriet, Ford v Ferrari, Motherless Brooklyn, Pain & Glory, Judy, Us). A second, Nov. 14, examined offbeat approaches (Monos, The Lighthouse, Uncut Gems). A third, Dec. 4, looked at documentary scores (The Biggest Little Farm, The Elephant Queen, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, Apollo 11). And a fourth, also Dec. 4, discussed eight more scores (1917, Little Women, The King, The Song of Names, The Aeronauts, A Hidden Life, The Good Liar, Jojo Rabbit).