BAFTA Music Nominees Revealed
Five composers are up for Best Original Score at the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards, the nominations for which were announced yesterday in London.
The Awards season is well and truly underway. Hot on the heels of the 80th Golden Globes just last week, the list of nominees for this year’s BAFTA Film Awards have been revealed.
Both the Globes and the BAFTAs are seen as a sure insight into how the Academy Awards list will shape up – those Oscar nominees will be announced on Tuesday (24 January).
The Original Score BAFTA winner can never be second guessed; some years it aligns with the Oscar that follows (or vice versa) and some years it really surprises. Five scores are up for the gong this year; here’s a rundown…
2023 BAFTA Music Nominees
It was composer Justin Hurwitz who took home the Golden Globe last week for his music for this sparklingly colourful take on the dizzy excesses of life in early Hollywood, directed by Damien Chazelle. Hurwitz has form, too, with a previous BAFTA win and two Oscars for Chazelle’s La La Land.
All Quiet on the Western Front
This riveting World War One film has an impressive 14 nominations, and Bertelman’s uncompromising, contemporary music might well scoop the score prize. Formerly better known as ‘Hauschka’, Bertelmann has been making his mark as a film composer and has previously been nominated for both a BAFTA and an Oscar for his 2016 score for Lion (jointly with Dustin O'Halloran). They recently impressed with their score for Francis Lee's Ammonite, though this score is very much Bertelmann's.
The Banshees of Inisherin
Very much a frontrunner with ten nominations, this unusual and evocative comedy drama won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, plus an acting gong for Colin Farrell. Carter Burwell remains one of cinema’s most inventive composers and has been crafting beautifully simmering and quietly brilliant scores for decades.
His most recent nominations have been for Carol and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri This score is no exception, typically curious and atmospheric. A composer who is yet to win big, perhaps Burwell’s time has come at last?
Everything Everywhere All At Once
One of the big surprises of the year is this multi-dimensional (quite literally) film from Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. It has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike, and now awards juries, too, with wins at the Globes for actoes Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan. It’s a high-profile debut, then, for Son Lux (aka Rafiq Bhatia, Ryan Lott and Ian Chang), the band behind the ultra-contemporary, seeringly emotional soundscapes. With a total of ten nominations, it could be the surprise winner of the night.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio
Carter Burwell may be the longest serving composer on the list, but Alexandre Desplat is the most lauded, with two Oscars and three BAFTAs already on the mantle. Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous, heartfelt animated feature won a Golden Globe and is set to (surely) pick up further animation gongs. Desplat’s contribution is far reaching, with a clutch of colourful original songs and a typically sweet and sweeping orchestral score. Might it be a fourth BAFTA for the Frenchman?
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Notably absent from the list is John Williams, whose score for Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film itself has equally been largely ignored in the other categories, save for a single nomination for Original Screenplay. Hildur Gudnodóttir’s Women Talking was also up for a Globe, though the film’s UK release date (10 February) likely meant it couldn’t be in the running for a BAFTA. She did win a Critics Choice Award for her contribution to Tár last week, however.
The 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards take place on Sunday 19 February in London and will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm.
Michael is the Reviews Editor of BBC Music Magazine. He was previously a freelance film music journalist and spent 15 years at St George's Bristol. Michael specialises in film and television music and was the Editor of MusicfromtheMovies.com. He has written for the BBC Proms, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, Hollywood in Vienna and Silva Screen Records.