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January 16, 2014
86th Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced
John Williams continues his streak with a 49th nom by Marilee Bradford

John Williams

John Williams

BEVERLY HILLS, California—John Williams once again bettered his own standing as the most nominated composer in Hollywood history when the 86th annual Oscar nominations were announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Williams, 81, earned his 49th nomination for his touching score to The Book Thief, the story of a foster child's survival during the height of Nazi Germany. Two years ago, Williams surpassed Alfred Newman (whose record of 45 had stood for more than 40 years) as the most nominated composer, with his scores for The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, followed last year by his nomination for Lincoln.

Williams is the second most-nominated individual in Oscar history, second to Walt Disney with 59.

Thomas Newman

Thomas Newman

Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat

Among this year's other Oscar music contenders are Thomas Newman (receiving his 12th nomination) for his score to the heartwarming Saving Mr. Banks and Alexandre Desplat (with his sixth nomination) for the Judi Dench tour-de-force Philomena. Both Newman and Desplat received nominations last year (for Skyfall and Argo, respectively).

Also nominated in this category are two acoustic-electronic combo scores for futuristic films, both composed by Hollywood newcomers: British-born Steven Price for his score to Gravity, and the team of William Butler (of rock group Arcade Fire fame) and Canadian-born Owen Pallett for Her.

Bruce Broughton

Bruce Broughton

Dennis Spiegel

Dennis Spiegel

The Original Song category includes the beautiful dark horse nominee "Alone Yet Not Alone," the title song of a little-known indie Christian film, with music by Bruce Broughton (28 years after receiving a nomination for his enduring score to Silverado), and lyric by Emmy-winning Dennis Spiegel.

U2's Paul Hewson (Bono), Dave Evans (The Edge), Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen – last nominated for "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs of New York (2002) – received their second Oscar nomination for "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

The three remaining songs were written by first-time nominees: "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 with music and lyric by rapper Pharrell Williams; "The Moon Song" from Her with music by rock band Yeah Yeah Yeah vocalist Karen O and lyric by O and the film's director Spike Jonze; and the triumphant "Let It Go" from Disney's animated Frozen with music and lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Broadway's Tony-winning Robert Lopez (Book of Mormon and Avenue Q).

The Academy Awards will be presented Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and televised by ABC.

The nominees:

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
  • William Butler and Owen Pallett – Her
  • Alexandre Desplat – Philomena
  • Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks
  • Steven Price – Gravity
  • John Williams – The Book Thief
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
  • "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone – Music by Bruce Broughton, Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
  • "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 – Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
  • "Let It Go" from Frozen – Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • "The Moon Song" from Her – Music by Karen O, Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
  • "Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson
©2014 Marilee Bradford
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