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.
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Read more about entry and rules here. Make your initial Oscar predictions now. Change them later as often as you wish up until Oscar Day. Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.