Road to the Oscars: Best Original Score

The world of film sound is a tricky one for non-sound people: Your brain will process everything that you hear, but you may not know why it is good or bad. And to a lesser extent, this also true with film scores…

I am here to help you out, and since it is that time of the year again, let’s start with films nominated for the Academy Awards. During the next two weeks, I will be writing reviews/analysis on four of the five films nominated:

  • Interstellar (Hans Zimmer)
  • The Imitation Game (Alexandre Desplat)
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (Alexandre Desplat)
  • The Theory of Everything (Jóhann Jóhannsson) [EDIT: Being that the Academy Awards are over and this soundtrack did not get as much attention as the other ones nominated, I decided to leave it alone for the time being. If you would like to see a blog post on it, simply use the contact form or leave a comment, and let me know! Thank you for reading.]

(The only reason I am not including Mr. Turner is that currently there is no way of watching the film legally in most of the U.S.A., until it comes out in Home Video and On Demand)

While I plan to reference the music theory behind it, I will do my best to put it down in words that can be understood by everyone. The same goes for the dramatic analysis that comes with the process of writing these scores – since, like Elmer Bernstein once said, “The dirty little secret is that we’re not musicians – we’re dramatists.” So whether you are a music professional, filmmaker, film buff, or just an enthusiast, you should be able to follow along!

Is there any particular film you would like to hear about first? If there is, please let me know in the comments below.



Diego Delfino
Diego Delfino
Diego Delfino is an Argentine-Italian composer living in the United States, a film sound instructor at SAE Atlanta, and a former student of LSU, SAE, and the School of Music of Buenos Aires (EMBA). You can find out more about him at, as well as listen to some of his musical compositions.

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