Oscar Pick, Best Original Score

Oscar Pick, Best Original Score (photo)

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The nominees for best original score this year leave me in a tough position. I’ve never hidden my disdain for Hans Zimmer’s bloated, heavy handed electro turd style, but some of the work he did with “Inception” was truly ingenious. On the other hand, I’ve been admiring Alexandre Desplat’s excellent film scores for a long time and his score for “The King’s Speech” is rousing.

Before I cut to the chase, here are the nominees for Best Original Score:

How to Train Your Dragon” — John Powell
Inception” — Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech” — Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours” — A.R. Rahman
The Social Network” — Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

If the Golden Globes are any indication, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross may well win the Oscar for their “The Social Network” score. It would be well deserved, the score served the film magnificently and I’ve even listened to it on it’s own several times (though it tends to bring about an unease that turns into a burning desire to delete my facebook account).

I’ve never been great at picking Oscar winners, usually half the nominees are not ones I would have chosen, and when it comes to scores, I have difficulty weighing merit versus likability — or how well a score served the film it was created for versus how much I like listening to it on it’s own — two distinctly different kinds of scores, probably requiring different awards. And this dilemma is on full display this year in Desplat versus Zimmer.

Zimmer’s handiwork with Edith Piaf and the ingenious way her song “Non, je ne Regrette Rien” is incorporated throughout the entire score, at various speeds, deserves recognition. But so does his penchant for ruining films with his loud, flatulent noise. Since the real genius to the music in “Inception” is the way in which is was used to move between levels in the film’s reality, I see it more as sound design and would not choose to give Zimmer an Oscar for it. Outside of joking around in slow motion, I’d also never want to listen to the score on it’s own.

Thus, the Oscar goes to: Alexandre Desplat for “The King’s Speech.”

“The Threat of War” by Alexandre Desplat — “The King’s Speech”

Listen to that piece of music build, from just inklings at first, into grave and somber tones, and then (around 2:25) Desplat’s tentative piano gives way to the threat of violins, stirring up from underneath, until there is naught but a dance of menacing strings.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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