Oscar Predictions: Best Original Score – Hildur Guðnadóttir Eyes History-Making Noms, But Can She Nab Two?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Dec. 2, 2022

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2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Original Score

The Batman
THE BATMAN, Paul Dano as The Riddler, 2022. ph: Jonathan Olley / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: (updated commentary to be added later).

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See the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) in Columbia Pictures' DEVOTION.
Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) in Columbia Pictures’ DEVOTION.

And The Predicted Nominees Are:

Rank

Film

Composer(s)

Distributor

1

“Women Talking”

Hildur Guðnadóttir

MGM/United Artists Releasing

A group of women in an isolated religious colony as they struggle to reconcile their faith with a string of sexual assaults committed by the colony’s men.

2

“The Fabelmans”

John Williams

Universal Pictures

A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.

3

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Alexandre Desplat

Netflix

A darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale of a wooden puppet that transforms into a real living boy.

4

“The Woman King”

Terence Blanchard

Sony Pictures

A historical epic inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.

5

“Babylon”

Justin Hurwitz

Paramount Pictures

Set in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to talkies, focusing on a mixture of historical & fictional characters.

Next in Line

6

“Devotion”

Chanda Dancy

Sony Pictures

A pair of U.S. Navy fighter pilots risk their lives during the Korean War and become some of the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.

7

“The Batman”

Michael Giacchino

Warner Bros.

When a sadistic serial killer begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city’s hidden corruption and question his family’s involvement.

8

“Empire of Light”

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Searchlight Pictures

“Empire of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.

9

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Ludwig Göransson

Marvel Studios

The nation of Wakanda is pitted against intervening world powers as they mourn the loss of their king T’Challa.

10

“Emancipation”

Marcelo Zarvos

Apple Original Films

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

Other Top-Tier Contenders

11

“Living”

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch

Sony Pictures Classics

12

“RRR”

M.M. Keeravaani

Variance Films

13

“White Noise”

Danny Elfman

Netflix

14

“She Said”

Nicholas Britell

Universal Pictures

15

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Carter Burwell

Searchlight Pictures

16

“Nope”

Michael Abels

Universal Pictures

17

“Tár”

Hildur Guðnadóttir

Focus Features

18

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

Simon Franglen

20th Century Studios

19

“A Man Called Otto”

Thomas Newman

Sony Pictures

20

“The Son”

Hans Zimmer

Sony Pictures Classics

Also In Contention

21

“Doctor Stranger in the Multiverse of Madness”

Danny Elfman

Marvel Studios

22

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Son Lux

A24

23

“Bones & All”

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

MGM/United Artists Releasing

24

“Good Night Oppy”

Blake Neely

Amazon Studios

25

“The Pale Blue Eye”

Howard Shore

Netflix

All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)

“A Jazzman’s Blues”

Aaron Zigman

Netflix

“A Man Called Otto”

Thomas Newman

Sony Pictures

“After Yang”

Aska Matsumiya, Ryuichi Sakamoto

A24

“Aftersun”

Oliver Coates

A24

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

Volker Bertelmann

Netflix

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”

Soundwalk Collective, Dawn Sutter Madell

Neon

“All the Old Knives”

Rebekka Karijord, Jon Ekstrand

Amazon Studios

“Am I OK?”

St. Vincent, Craig Wedren

HBO Max

“Ambulance”

Lorne Balfe

Universal Pictures

“You Won’t Be Alone”

Mark Bradshaw

Focus Features

“Amsterdam”

Daniel Pemberton

20th Century Studios

“Argentina, 1985”

Pedro Osuna

Amazon Studios

“Armageddon Time”

Christopher Spelman

Focus Features

“Art & Krimes by Krimes”

Amanda Jones

MTV Documentary Films

“As They Made Us”

Kevin Besignano

Quiver

“Athena”

Surkin

Netflix

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

Simon Franglen

20th Century Studios

“Babylon”

Justin Hurwitz

Paramount Pictures

“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”

Bryce Dessner, Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Netflix

“Beast”

Steven Price

Universal Pictures

“Black & Blues”

Terence Blanchard

Apple Original Films

“Black Adam”

Lorne Balfe

Warner Bros

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Ludwig Göransson

Marvel Studios

“Blonde”

Nick Cave, Warren Ellis

Netflix

“Bodies Bodies Bodies”

Disasterpiece

A24

“Bones & All”

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

MGM/United Artists Releasing

“Breaking”

Michael Abels

Bleecker Street

“Brian and Charles”

Daniel Pemberton

Focus Features

“Broker”

Jung Jae-il

Neon

“Bros”

Marc Shaiman

Universal Pictures

“Bullet Train”

Dominic Lewis

Sony Pictures

“Call Jane”

Isabella Summers

Roadside Attractions

“Catherine Called Birdy”

Carter Burwell

Amazon Studios

“Causeway”

Alex Somers

A24/Apple Original Films

“Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Este Haim, Chris Stracey

Apple Original Films

“Close”

Valentin Hadjadj

A24

“Corsage”

Camille

IFC Films

“Crimes of the Future”

Howard Shore

Neon

“DC League of Super Pets”

Steve Jablonsky

Warner Bros

“Death on the Nile”

Patrick Doyle

20th Century Studios

“Decision to Leave”

Jo Yeong-wook

Mubi

“Devotion”

Chanda Dancy

Sony Pictures

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

Danny Elfman

Marvel Studios

“Dog”

Thomas Newman

MGM/United Artists Releasing

“Don’t Worry Darling”

John Powell

Warner Bros

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

John Lunn

Focus Features

“Elvis”

Elliott Wheeler

Warner Bros.

“Emancipation”

Marcelo Zarvos

Apple Original Films

“Emergency”

René G. Boscio

Amazon Studios

“Empire of Light”

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Searchlight Pictures

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Son Lux

A24

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Nathan Johnson

Netflix

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

Stephen Rennicks

Searchlight Pictures

“Good Night Oppy”

Blake Neely

Amazon Studios

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Alexandre Desplat

Netflix

“Happening”

Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine

IFC Films

“Holy Spider”

Martin Dirkov

Utopia

“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”

Marcus Norris

Focus Features

“Hustle”

Dan Deacon

Netflix

“I Love My Dad”

Jeremy Bullock

Magnolia Pictures

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

Isabella Summers

Netflix

“Let Me Be Me”

Jackson Greenberg

Greenwich Entertainment

“Lightyear”

Michael Giacchino

Pixar

“Living”

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch

Sony Pictures Classics

“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues”

Terence Blanchard

Apple Original Films

“Luck”

John Debney

Apple Original Films

“Lyle, Lyle Crocodile”

Matthew Margeson

Sony Pictures

“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”

Disasterpiece

A24

“Marry Me”

John Debney

Universal Pictures

“Master”

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

Amazon Studios

“Men”

Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow

A24

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

Heitor Pereira

Illumination/Universal Pictures

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”

Rael Jones

Focus Features

“Summering”

Drum & Lace

Bleecker Street

“Mr. Malcolm’s List”

Amelia Warner

Amazon Studios

“My Policeman”

Steven Price

Amazon Studios

“Nanny”

Tanerélle, Bartek Gliniak

Amazon Studios

“Navalny”

Marius de Vries, Matt Robertson, Anna Drubich

CNN/Warner Bros.

“Nope”

Michael Abels

Universal Pictures

“Pearl”

Tyler Bates, Tim Williams

A24

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

Heitor Pereira

Universal Pictures

“RRR”

M.M. Keeravaani

Variance Films

“See How They Run”

Daniel Pemberton

Searchlight Pictures

“She Said”

Nicholas Britell

Universal Pictures

“Spirited”

Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Apple Original Films

“Spoiler Alert”

Brian H. Kim

Focus Features

“Stars at Noon”

Tindersticks

A24

“Strange World”

Henry Jackman

Walt Disney Pictures

“Tár”

Hildur Guðnadóttir

Focus Features

“The Bad Guys”

Daniel Pemberton

Universal Pictures

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Carter Burwell

Searchlight Pictures

“The Batman”

Michael Giacchino

Warner Bros.

“The Fabelmans”

John Williams

Universal Pictures

“The Good Nurse”

Biosphere

Netflix

“The Gray Man”

Henry Jackman

Netflix

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”

Dave Palmer

Apple Original Films

“The Inspection”

Animal Collective

A24

“The Outfit”

Alexandre Desplat

Focus Features

“The Lost King”

Alexandre Desplat

IFC Films

“The Menu”

Colin Stetson

Searchlight Pictures

“The Northman”

Robin Carolan, Sebastian Gainsborough

Focus Features

“The Pale Blue Eye”

Howard Shore

Netflix

“The Sea Beast”

Mark Mancina

Netflix

“The Silent Twins”

Marcin Macuk, Zuzanna Wronska

Focus Features

“The Son”

Hans Zimmer

Sony Pictures Classics

“The Voice of Dust and Ash”

J. Ralph

Matilda Productions

“The Whale”

Rob Simeonsen

A24

“The Woman King”

Terence Blanchard

TriStar Pictures

“The Wonder”

Matthew Herbert

Netflix

“Thirteen Lives”

Benjamin Wallfisch

Amazon Studios/MGM

“Three Thousand Years of Longing”

Junkie XL

MGM/United Artists Releasing

“Ticket to Paradise”

Lorne Balfe

Universal Pictures

“Till”

Abel Korzeniowski

Orion/United Artists Releasing

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Lorne Balfe, Harold Faltermeyer, Hans Zimmer

Paramount Pictures

“Turning Red”

Ludwig Göransson

Pixar

“Vengeance”

Finneas O’Connell

Focus Features

“Wendell and Wild”

Bruno Coulais

Netflix

“Where the Crawdad Sing”

Mychael Danna

Sony Pictures

“White Noise”

Danny Elfman

Netflix

“Wildcat”

Patrick Jonsson

Amazon Studios

“Women Talking”

Hildur Guðnadóttir

MGM/United Artists Releasing

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on ABC on Sunday, March 12, 2023.

2022 category winner: “Dune” (Warner Bros.) – Hans Zimmer

About Variety Awards Circuit:

Variety’s unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online and provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year’s awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes — Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety’s leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.

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