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Comments about the soundtrack for Memoirs of a Geisha (John Williams)
The One that has to win an Academy Award

wb
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  Responses to this Comment:
Bowie
Mastersword006
The One that has to win an Academy Award   Wednesday, November 23, 2005 (3:29 p.m.) 

This is Williams as I most adore him: lyrical, melancholy, and using a tonal palette that is so rich and amazing. If this score (which I have heard in an advance screening of the film (and Williams supplies the emotional drive)does not win the Academy Award this year, there is something wrong with the music branch (perhaps professional envy). In a word, Mr. Williams has put aside musical bombast and created a work of art that stands apart from the film.

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Bowie
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  In Response to:
wb

  Responses to this Comment:
Tomek
Re: The One that has to win an Academy Award   Thursday, November 24, 2005 (12:10 a.m.) 

The entire Academy votes for the winners of the Academy Awards. That's right -- people who know very little about music and who only watch certain films and vote for composers with the most foreign name or that belong to their favourite film -- are the ones voting to crown a winner. The Schindler's List score was voted for by lots of people who just liked the film: the music branch is just 4% of the total Academy, their voting is of little weight.

However, only the music branch nominates score nominees. People with experience in the Hollywood music industry are the ones who select the final five. They consistently nominate John Williams, and I'm sure they won't pass him up this year, because Memoirs of a Geisha is lovely (check it's 4.1+ rating here) and the nominating panel will know this is Williams' year - four scores!! Expect them to also nominate the Munich score if it's any good...

> This is Williams as I most adore him: lyrical, melancholy, and using a
> tonal palette that is so rich and amazing. If this score (which I have
> heard in an advance screening of the film (and Williams supplies the
> emotional drive)does not win the Academy Award this year, there is
> something wrong with the music branch (perhaps professional envy). In a
> word, Mr. Williams has put aside musical bombast and created a work of art
> that stands apart from the film.

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Tomek
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  In Response to:
Bowie
Re: The One that has to win an Academy Award   Thursday, November 24, 2005 (6:47 a.m.) 

> The entire Academy votes for the winners of the Academy Awards. That's
> right -- people who know very little about music and who only watch
> certain films and vote for composers with the most foreign name or that
> belong to their favourite film -- are the ones voting to crown a winner.
> The Schindler's List score was voted for by lots of people who just liked
> the film: the music branch is just 4% of the total Academy, their voting
> is of little weight.

> However, only the music branch nominates score nominees. People with
> experience in the Hollywood music industry are the ones who select the
> final five. They consistently nominate John Williams, and I'm sure they
> won't pass him up this year, because Memoirs of a Geisha is lovely (check
> it's 4.1+ rating here) and the nominating panel will know this is
> Williams' year - four scores!! Expect them to also nominate the Munich
> score if it's any good...

Yes, if Munich will be in the run for the Oscars, then most definetly Williams will get the double nomination this year. I think we can be sure that Memoirs of a Geisha will be nominated, it is a score Academy prefers - emotional, beautiful, serious, with strong ethnic influences (look at wins of Frida, Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon, The English Patient etc.), but whereas it'll be rewarded with the Academy Award, that we can't be sure until Oscars night in late February.

It's very strong score, perfect in technical terms, flawless orchestrations, yet I would point out Zimmer's The Last Samurai and Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger as more emotional, driving works, even if they aren't that complex and ambitious (especially Samurai). I can hear here some slight influences of both Dun and Ryuichi Sakamoto's works (The Last Emperor, another ethnic-influenced Academy Award score that comes to mind) as well as the reflective side of Williams' own Seven Years in Tibet. Overall Geisha is a strong listening experience on album, but I believe (as most of Williams' works) it functions a bit better in the movie and this is probably big chance for a Williams to receive his last Oscar of entire career.

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Mastersword006
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  In Response to:
wb
Re: The One that has to win an Academy Award   Tuesday, December 13, 2005 (7:32 p.m.) 

> This is Williams as I most adore him: lyrical, melancholy, and using a
> tonal palette that is so rich and amazing. If this score (which I have
> heard in an advance screening of the film (and Williams supplies the
> emotional drive)does not win the Academy Award this year, there is
> something wrong with the music branch (perhaps professional envy). In a
> word, Mr. Williams has put aside musical bombast and created a work of art
> that stands apart from the film.

The fact that John Williams has written so many great scores and has only won four oscars for his scores is almost unfair. Depending on the score for Munich, you can bet Geisha will be the frontrunner for best original score (especially with a weak score year).

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