IFMCA 2018 Nominations

The votes are in. Below are the 2018 nominations for Best Scores. The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 15th IFMCA Awards on February 21, 2019.

Shortly after this date, I will be publishing FILMIC TRACKS “Best of 2018”.

INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED; JAMES NEWTON HOWARD LEADS THE FIELD WITH FOUR NOMINATIONS

FEBRUARY 7, 2019. The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2018, for the 15th annual IFMCA Awards. In one of the most open fields in IFMCA history, composer James Newton Howard received the most nominations with four, closely followed by Nicholas Britell, Alexandre Desplat, Ludwig Göransson, Justin Hurwitz, and John Powell, who each received three.

67-year-old American composer James Newton Howard is nominated for his work on two scores – “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” the second film in the Harry Potter spinoff series, and the controversial Jennifer Lawrence Cold War spy thriller “Red Sparrow” – and is one of the five nominees for Composer of the Year. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen called Fantastic Beasts an “accomplished and mature fantasy score” which “sits comfortably with Howard’s accomplished genre works and competes favorably for a place amongst 2018’s best scores,” while IFMCA member Mihnea Manduteanu described Red Sparrow as “beautiful and passionate” and “melodic and furious”. Howard previously received IFMCA Score of the Year honors in 2006 for “The Lady in the Water”. His other major score in 2018 was for the lavish fantasy “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” which was inspired by Tchaikovsky’s seminal ballet.

39-year-old New York-born composer Nicholas Britell is nominated for Composer of the Year, and received two nods in the Drama Score category for two very different works – the sensitive 1970s drama “If Beale Street Could Talk” based on the novel by James Baldwin, and the bitingly satirical political drama “Vice,” which looks at the life and career of former US Vice President Dick Cheney. IFMCA member Kaya Savas said that Beale Street was “a gorgeous and deeply moving experience” which “explores the depths of love in all its shapes and forms”, while IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that Vice “keyed the audience in to the [satirical] joke while not overselling it to the point of obviousness,” and that Britell “made his score genuinely interesting and appealing from a musical point of view – something that many composers fail to do”.

57-year-old French composer Alexandre Desplat, who won the IFMCA Score of the Year award in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is nominated in the genre categories for three of his uniquely varied scores: the quirky comedy western “The Sisters Brothers,” the historical thriller “Operation Finale” which looks at Jewish secret agents tracking down Nazis after the end of World War II, and director Wes Anderson’s typically idiosyncratic animated film “Isle of Dogs”. IFMCA member Olivier Desbrosses described Isle of Dogs as “a score rich in oriental percussions, original and ambitious”.

Ludwig Göransson, the 34-year-old Swedish composer, enjoyed a truly tremendous year in 2018 and is nominated for Score of the Year, Composer of the Year, and Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror Score for his groundbreaking work on the enormously successful Marvel super hero film “Black Panther”. IFMCA member James Southall called Black Panther a “very distinctive sounding score” which contains “expansive arrangements of the main themes” and “complex, multi-layered percussion”. Göransson’s other work in 2018 included a second massively popular super-hero film, “Venom,” the remake of the classic revenge thriller “Death Wish,” and the boxing drama “Creed II,” the eighth film in the long-lasting Rocky series.

34-year-old American composer Justin Hurwitz is nominated for three awards – Score of the Year, Drama Score, and Film Music Composition of the Year – all for his work on director Damian Chazelle’s “First Man,” which looks at the impact of the Apollo 11 moon landings on the families of men involved. Similarly, 55-year-old British composer John Powell is nominated for three awards – Score of the Year, Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror Score, and Film Music Composition of the Year – all for his outstanding work on “Solo”, the Star Wars spin-off movie looking at the early life of the smuggler and rogue Han Solo. Powell previously won the IFMCA Score of the Year Award in 2010 for “How to Train Your Dragon”. IFMCA members Asier Senarriaga and Óscar Giménez called Solo “a spectacular score that combines the classic ideas of Williams with the talent of Powell,” and proclaimed it “the score of the year”.

The other two nominees for Score of the Year are American composer Marc Shaiman, who is nominated for his work on “Mary Poppins Returns,” the lovingly-crafted sequel to the classic Disney musical; and American composer Mark McKenzie, who received his nomination for his stunningly beautiful score for the Mexico-produced animated film “Max and Me,” which looks at the life of the Polish saint Maximilian Kolbe, who was executed in Auschwitz.

The other two nominees for Composer of the Year are American composer Alan Silvestri, whose work in 2018 included popular and successful films such as “Ready Player One,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Welcome to Marwen”; and Spanish composer Roque Baños, who showed an impressive amount of versatility and range in scoring films as diverse as the thrillers “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” and “The Commuter,” the sporting drama “The Miracle Season,” director Terry Gilliam’s literary fantasy “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” and three Spanish-language comedies: “Sin Rodeos,” “Miamor Perdido,” and “Yucatán”.

Each year the IFMCA goes out of its way to recognize emerging talent in the film music world, and this year is no exception. The nominees in the Breakthrough Composer of the Year category are a diverse and exciting group. Three of the five composers nominated are already famous in their own right for other artistic endeavors, but are being recognized here specifically for their first ever work scoring feature films; all three are British. Thomas Adès is renowned as one of the world’s leading contemporary classical and concert hall composers, but only wrote his first film score this year with his contribution to the historical literary drama “Colette”. Amelia Warner is an established actress and solo recording artist, but impressed the IFMCA membership with her debut score for the film about the life of the groundbreaking horror author “Mary Shelley”. Meanwhile, Thom Yorke is best known as the Grammy Award-winning lead singer of the alternative rock band Radiohead, and has now followed in the footsteps of his band-made Jonny Greenwood by writing his first score, for director Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the classic horror film “Suspiria”.

The final two composers nominated for Breakthrough Composer are exciting young talents from Spain. Iván Palomares is recognized for his sensitive score for the fantastical yet intimate father-son drama “En las Estrellas,” while Manuel Riveiro is nominated for his outstanding score for the period thriller “La Sombra de la Ley,” in which a dogged cop travels to Barcelona in the 1920s to take on an organized crime gang.

As it has in previous years, the IFMCA takes pride in honoring composers from across the film music world; in addition to the ones already mentioned, this year’s international nominees include South African composer Mark Chait (“Frontier of Love,” Television), Argentine composer Federico Jusid (“Watership Down,” Animation, and “La Catedral del Mar,” Television), Dutch composer Matthijs Kieboom (“Wild,” Documentary), Sweden-based composers Robert Parker and Waveshaper (“Videoman,” Comedy), and Turkish composer Pinar Toprak (“Tides of Fate,” Documentary).

Several other composers are receiving their first ever IFMCA Award nominations this year, including the aforementioned Kieboom, Parker, and Waveshaper, plus Benji Merrison (“Dynasties,” Documentary), Michael Nyman (“McQueen,” Documentary), and Will Slater (“Dynasties,” Documentary).

The International Film Music Critics Association will announce the winners of the 15th IFMCA Awards on February 21, 2019.


The list of nominees is as follows:

FILM SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • BLACK PANTHER, music by Ludwig Göransson
  • FIRST MAN, music by Justin Hurwitz
  • MARY POPPINS RETURNS, music by Marc Shaiman
  • MAX AND ME, music by Mark McKenzie
  • SOLO, music by John Powell

FILM COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • ROQUE BAÑOS
  • NICHOLAS BRITELL
  • LUDWIG GÖRANSSON
  • JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
  • ALAN SILVESTRI

BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • THOMAS ADÈS
  • IVÁN PALOMARES
  • MANUEL RIVEIRO
  • AMELIA WARNER
  • THOM YORKE

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM

  • EN LAS ESTRELLAS/UP AMONG THE STARS, music by Iván Palomares
  • FIRST MAN, music by Justin Hurwitz
  • IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, music by Nicholas Britell
  • MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, music by Max Richter
  • VICE, music by Nicholas Britell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM

  • CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, music by Geoff Zanelli and Jon Brion
  • CRAZY RICH ASIANS, music by Brian Tyler
  • MARY POPPINS RETURNS, music by Marc Shaiman
  • THE SISTERS BROTHERS, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • VIDEOMANNEN/VIDEOMAN, music by Robert Parker and Waveshaper

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM

  • KING OF THIEVES, music by Benjamin Wallfisch
  • LA SOMBRA DE LA LEY/GUN CITY, music by Manuel Riveiro and Xavier Font
  • MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, music by Lorne Balfe
  • OPERATION FINALE, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • RED SPARROW, music by James Newton Howard

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM

  • BLACK PANTHER, music by Ludwig Göransson
  • FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD, music by James Newton Howard
  • JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM, music by Michael Giacchino
  • READY PLAYER ONE, music by Alan Silvestri
  • SOLO, music by John Powell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM

  • INCREDIBLES 2, music by Michael Giacchino
  • ISLE OF DOGS, music by Alexandre Desplat
  • MAX AND ME, music by Mark McKenzie
  • SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, music by Daniel Pemberton
  • WATERSHIP DOWN, music by Federico Jusid

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

  • DYNASTIES, music by Benji Merrison and Will Slater
  • FREE SOLO, music by Marco Beltrami
  • McQUEEN, music by Michael Nyman
  • TIDES OF FATE, music by Pinar Toprak
  • WILD, music by Matthijs Kieboom

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A TELEVISION SERIES

  • AIQING DE BIANJIANG/FRONTIER OF LOVE, music by Mark Chait
  • LA CATEDRAL DEL MAR, music by Federico Jusid
  • LOST IN SPACE, music by Christopher Lennertz
  • WESTWORLD, music by Ramin Djawadi
  • YELLOWSTONE, music by Brian Tyler

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA

  • 11:11 MEMORIES RETOLD, music by Olivier Derivière
  • GOD OF WAR, music by Bear McCreary
  • NI NO KUNI II: REVENANT KINGDOM, music by Joe Hisaishi
  • SPIDER-MAN, music by John Paesano
  • TORN, music by Garry Schyman

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE – NEW RELEASE OR NEW RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE

  • BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, music by Wojciech Kilar; album produced by Dan Goldwasser; liner notes by Tim Greiving; art direction by Dan Goldwasser (La-La Land)
  • THE BRIDE WORE BLACK, music by Bernard Herrmann; The Basque National Orchestra conducted by Fernando Velázquez; album produced by Jose M. Benitez and Edouard Dubois; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald; art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
  • DRACULA, music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino and Robert Townson; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (Varèse Sarabande)
  • EL HOMBRE Y LA TIERRA, music by Antón García Abril; album produced by Jose M. Benitez and Miguel A. Órdóñez; liner notes by Miguel A. Órdóñez; art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
  • THE VIKINGS, music by Mario Nascimbene; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. DeWald; art direction by Jim Titus (Prometheus/Tadlow)

BEST ARCHIVAL RELEASE – COMPILATION

  • CARTER BURWELL: MUSIC FOR FILM, music by Carter Burwell; The Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé; album produced by Marijke Vandebuerie and Valerie Dobbelaere; liner notes by Patrick Duynslaegher and Raf Butstraen; art direction by Stuart Ford (Silva Screen)
  • THE COMPLETE LONDON SESSIONS, music by Georges Delerue; album produced by Robert Townson; liner notes by Robert Townson; art direction by Robert Townson, Bill Pitzonka, and Bob Peak (Varèse Sarabande)
  • HARRY POTTER: THE JOHN WILLIAMS SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION; music by John Williams; album produced by Mike Matessino; liner notes by Mike Matessino; art direction by Jim Titus (La-La Land)
  • THRILLER 2, music by Jerry Goldsmith; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick and Leigh Phillips; liner notes by Jon Burlingame; art direction by Nic Finch (Tadlow)
  • A TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL KAMEN, music by Michael Kamen; The Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pablo Urbina; album produced by José M. Benítez and Chris Malone; art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)

FILM MUSIC LABEL OF THE YEAR

  • INTRADA RECORDS, Douglass Fake, Roger Feigelson
  • LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard, Matt Verboys
  • QUARTET RECORDS, Jose M. Benitez
  • TADLOW MUSIC, James Fitzpatrick
  • VARÉSE SARABANDE, Robert Townson

FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR

  • “The Landing” from FIRST MAN, written by Justin Hurwitz
  • “Finale” from MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, written by Max Richter
  • “Overture” from RED SPARROW, written by James Newton Howard
  • “Mine Mission” from SOLO, written by John Powell
  • “The Adventures of Han” from SOLO, written by John Williams

The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing and broadcasting about original film, television and game music.

Since its inception the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 65 members from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to Jonny Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” in 2017, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Arrival” in 2016, John Williams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” in 2014, Abel Korzeniowski’s “Romeo & Juliet” in 2013, Mychael Danna’s “Life of Pi” in 2012, John Williams’s “War Horse” in 2011, John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s “Up” in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s “Atonement” in 2007, James Newton Howard’s “Lady in the Water” in 2006, John Williams’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005, and Michael Giacchino’s “The Incredibles” in 2004.

For more information about the International Film Music Critics Association go to http://www.filmmusiccritics.org, visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @ifmca, or contact us at press@filmmusiccritics.org.

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