Great Film Scores That Didn’t Get Oscar Nominations, Part 2

Let’s continue the set of great scores that never received any love from the most coveted prize in Hollywood.

Ennio Morricone composed many wonderful film scores – Days of Heaven (1978) is a particular favorite of mine – but it is a real shame that the Academy showed him no love for Cinema Paradiso (1988). Along with the main theme, the love theme (here performed by Itzhak Perlman) has a sweetness that makes the film extra special.

Errol Morris’s groundbreaking documentary The Thin Blue Line (1988) may blur the line between fiction and non-fiction filmmaking, but as to whether Philip Glass’s score is great, there is no question. It really gets under your skin.

Cousins (1989) has a beautiful love theme composed by Angelo Badalamenti (best known for his work with David Lynch). I don’t think that the film is too well-known, although you might recognize it as a remake of the French film Cousin, cousine (1975).

Dead Poets Society (1989) was scored by the late, great Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia). This theme, “Carpe Diem,” is especially good.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) is well-regarded as Steven Soderbergh’s debut film, but besides his great screenplay, the music by former Red Hot Chili Pepper member Cliff Martinez is memorably otherworldly. “What Other Men?” here is complemented by pieces like “Sniff the Jacket,” “I’m Gonna Drawl” and the piece that opens the film, “Garbage.”

My favorite Tim Burton film shall always and forever be Edward Scissorhands (1990), in large part due to Danny Elfman’s gorgeous and ethereal “Ice Dance.”

Ah, Point Break. One of the best movies of 1991. “Love on the Beach” is an excellent theme, but then I could have picked from a number of other scores by Mark Isham, including his memorably unsettling score for Reversal of Fortune the previous year.

I have probably mentioned on many occasions how much I enjoy Wojciech Kilar’s score for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). The chosen clip is “Mina/Dracula,” but it was nearly impossible for me to pick just one part of the score to highlight; “Dracula – The Beginning,” “Love Remembered” and “Love Eternal” are close runners-up.


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