Movie Music 2008: Oscar-Nominated Scores

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Soon, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present its Oscars for the 80th time. But in the category for Best Original Score, there's controversy this year that has nothing to do with the just-concluded writer's strike.

Film-music specialist Andy Trudeau has been breaking down the nominations for Weekend Edition Sunday for the last 12 years. He joins Liane Hansen to talk about the newest wrinkle in the proceedings.

For this year's awards, the Academy made a rule change prohibiting studios from sending soundtracks to Oscar voters. As Trudeau understands it, the move was made so that voters make their decisions based on how the music works only within the context of the film.

"I really think this is a mistake," Trudeau says. "I think the best film music not only serves its film, but it has qualities that are rich enough to open up when you hear it again and again and again. And I think it's those kinds of scores that are the ones the Oscars should be honoring."

Trudeau discusses the merits of each of the five nominated scores, noting that this year's soundtracks are especially strong. After he's done, he submits his pick: the score to Atonement, written by Dario Marinelli.

"I think it's a wonderful irony that the year the Academy bans sending copies [of the score] to the voters, we get such a batch of nominations," Trudeau says.

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