The 2021 Oscars ceremony took place last night, with the Oscar for Best Original Score going to Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste for their music to the Pixar animation Soul. It is the third major award the trio has won for the film so far this season, previously picking up both the BAFTA and Golden Globe in this category.
Jon Batiste becomes the second black composer in Oscars history to win the award for Best Original Score, following Herbie Hancock in 1986 with Round Midnight – another film with a jazz-infused score. It is Batiste’s first Oscar, with composing duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross having previously won in 2011 for their work on The Social Network – their very first film score.
Reznor and Ross received a second nomination this year for their work on Mank, the David Fincher film for Netflix about the life of screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz. Both Soul and Mank appeared on BBC Music Magazine‘s list of scores predicted to appear in this year’s Oscar nominations.
Soul was also up against Da 5 Bloods (Terence Blanchard), Minari (Emile Mosseri) and News of the World (James Newton Howard) in this year’s Oscar nominations for Best Original Score. It also won in the Best Animated Film category – a feat replicated only once in Oscars history by Up in 2009.
All three composers appeared on stage together at the Oscars, with Jon Batiste giving the acceptance speech. ‘God gave us twelve notes. It’s the same twelve notes Duke Ellington had, Bach had and Nina Simone had. I’m just thankful to God for those twelve notes. That’s so dope.’
The triple win comes after an identical successful run from Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir last year, who won the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for her music to Joker. In doing so, she set the record for the highest number of awards won by a female composer in a single season. She also became the first woman to win in the Best Original Score category at the Golden Globes.
The Oscar for Best Original Song went to ‘Fight for You’ from Judas and the Black Messiah by H.E.R., D’Mile and Tiara Thomas.
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