Another year, another Best Picture contender whose score is deemed ineligible for recognition by the Academy—and this year the list of original music compositions that have been preemptively denied includes Black Swan, True Grit, The Kids Are All Right, and The Fighter. In the case of The Kids Are All Right and The Fighter, it’s a refrain familiar from past denials of films like Where The Wild Things Are and Crazy Heart: Each score was deemed as “diminished” for making predominant use of songs, which are vulgar, vulgar abominations.
And much as Jonny Greenwood’s acclaimed work for There Will Be Blood was shafted for incorporating preexisting pieces by Brahms and Arvo Part, Clint Mansell’s Black Swan score has been disqualified because it makes (necessary) adaptations of Tchaikovsky’s "Swan Lake"—a shame, considering it’s the rare film score for which a big interpretive dance number wouldn’t be totally embarrassing. Perhaps most egregious of all, True Grit will not be nominated because of its use of 19th-century hymns by longtime Coen Bros. composer Carter Burwell, who has somehow never been nominated for an Oscar. (Probable common exclamation around the Burwell household, “You know who does have an Oscar? Three 6 Mafia!”)