2023 Oscars Best Original Score nominees: 2 past champs, 2 veterans and a trio of rookies

The films in the running for the 2023 Best Original Score Oscar are “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Babylon,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and “The Fabelmans.” Our current odds indicate that “Babylon” (69/20) will take the prize, followed in order of likelihood by “All Quiet on the Western Front” (19/5), “The Fabelmans” (4/1), “The Banshees of Inisherin” (9/2), and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (9/2).

Four of the seven individual artists included in this lineup are returning contenders, with the newcomer subset consisting of Son Lux bandmates and fellow “Everything Everywhere All at Once” nominees Rafiq Bhatia, Ian Chang, and Ryan Lott. Bhatia and Chang are two of only nine Asian composers to ever achieve academy recognition and could become the first such champions since A. R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”) in 2009.

John Williams (“The Fabelmans”) stands out from the category veterans in that he has competed for this award 48 times and won it on five occasions. With his five additional bids for Best Song, he ranks as the most Oscar-nominated living person and, at 91, is now the oldest competitive Oscar hopeful ever. Three of the films for which he has triumphed – “Jaws” (1976), “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1983), and “Schindler’s List” (1994) – were, like “The Fabelmans,” directed by Steven Spielberg. His other two victories came for “Fiddler on the Roof” (1972) and “Star Wars” (1978).

Hoping to maintain a perfect record in this category is “Babylon” composer Justin Hurwitz, who was previously feted for his “La La Land” score in 2017. This marks his fifth collaboration with filmmaker Damien Chazelle, after “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” “Whiplash,” “La La Land,” and “First Man.” He also has a song win to his name for the “La La Land” tune “City of Stars.”

Hurwitz is now involved in a rematch with Volker Bertelmann (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), who was initially nominated here for “Lion” in 2017. Williams and Carter Burwell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) have already faced off two times, with the former having been recognized in 2016 and 2018 for the “Star Wars” entries “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” against the latter for “Carol” and “Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing Missouri.” Those two contests were ultimately won by Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”) and Alexandre Desplat (“The Shape of Water”).

With its Best Song nomination for “This Is a Life,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has a chance at becoming the first film since “La La Land” to win both music Oscars. The only other movies that have achieved this feat since the turn of the century are “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2004) and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

The films that won in this category most recently are “Dune” (2022), “Soul” (2021), “Joker” (2020), and “Black Panther” (2019). This year’s winner will be revealed during the 95th Academy Awards ceremony, airing March 12 on ABC.

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