The Oscar nominations for 2022 were announced on January 24, and four of the five best score nominations went to previous winners or nominees. I spent some time analyzing the races, and here is a pair of Variety stories that look in depth at the five song and five score nominations with a few words from each nominee included. I also covered the Songwriters Hall of Fame get-together in which four of the five nominated songs were represented, and that story is here. An analysis of the song race, and another of the score race, also ran in Variety. Finally, Volker Bertelmann’s Oscar victory story is here.
The Academy never stops tinkering with the music rules. The latest addition is actually a throwback to an earlier era: There will now be an Oscar “shortlist” for best song and best score of the year, a 15-film list for each category from which the final five nominees will be chosen. It’s a process the Academy music-branch used to follow, back in the ’60s and ’70s, but long ago abandoned. Academy governors refused to discuss the reinstatement of the concept, but I obtained an in-house document and talked to Academy insiders about what it means and how it will be accomplished for this Variety story.