Most of the Oscar snub talk yesterday revolved around the unrecognized dramatic talents of Albert Brooks and Patton Oswalt, but another, less heralded oversight has rankled music fans: How could Cliff Martinez's great and integral score to Drive not get a nomination? The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones makes the case for Martinez as well as last year's winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, whose music for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was also ignored in favor of two John Williams scores (The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse), one by Howard Shore (Hugo), Ludovic Borce (The Artist), and Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Solder Spy). "Why is the Academy ignoring two solid works by rock musicians, one of whom already has an Oscar and the other of whom has scored almost thirty movies (including Contagion, also a 2012 contender)?" Frere-Jones writes. "Iglesias would be a worthy winner, but the Academy has taken an odd turn away from the strongest, least clichéd music being made for mainstream movies."
While Drive got an overall shaft from the Academy, Martinez's synth-heavy music seemed like a natural for some kind of consolation nomination. (Apparently it wasn't even eligible, given the rather outdated rule excluding scores that use "tracked themes or other preexisting music.") Even more than Ryan Gosling, the Drive score is the star of the movie: Without it, Refn wouldn't have been able to establish his film's late-night '80s L.A. ambiance nearly as vividly. It could be credibly argued that Drive is one of the great musicals of recent years, certainly rock musicals anyway. Consider this: Do you think people will still be listening to any of the nominees this time next year, as opposed to Drive or Dragon Tattoo? Check out samples from the Drive soundtrack below.