Oscar also-rans Alexandre Desplat, Patrick Doyle, Danny Elfman, and Thomas Newman are all in the hunt for their first win this year in Best Original Score. Their work numbers among the 104 compositions deemed eligible by the academy this week.
To prevail, they will have to edge out five-time Oscar champ John Williams ("Lincoln") who is in first place with odds of 27/10. Williams has racked up a staggering 47 nominations, an achievement second only to Walt Disney (59).
Identifying trends in this category is difficult. Last year's winner was Ludovic Bource for the music that accompanied the silent action of "The Artist." Other recent winners include contemporary films ("The Social Network"), period pictures ("Atonement"), animated flicks ("Up"), and fantasy epics ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King").
While Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's score for "The Social Network" featured untraditional, ambient music, traditional orchestral scores typically prevail as do those featuring and influenced by world music styles such as those for "Babel," "Frida," and "Slumdog Millionaire."
Four-time nominee Desplat ("Argo") is next at 25/1, tied with nine-time nominee and one-time champ Hans Zimmer ("The Dark Knight Rises"). Desplat also has "Rise of the Guardians" and "Zero Dark Thirty" in contention.