After the fantastic reviews and jaw-dropping box office ($129 million and counting), there is one sad story surrounding “True Grit,” the Oscar fate of Carter Burwell.
A director’s and critical favorite thanks to his film scores for “Fargo,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Being John Malkovich,” “The Big Lebowski” and “Gods and Monsters,” Burwell is the only member of the “Grit” crew guaranteed not to receive an Academy Award nomination on Tuesday morning. In fact, Burwell has never received an Oscar honor. This time around, Burwell’s “Grit” score was deemed ineligible because it features to much sourced or referenced material to the Academy’s liking (“Black Swan’s” Clint Mansell suffered a similar blow). In this case, it’s truly too bad the Academy doesn’t have a more general “Best Music” category. There have been numerous cases of mixed scores that have deserved recognition over the years and Burwell’s decision to reference 19th century hymns for “Grit” is one of them.
To effectively prove this pundit’s point, Paramount Pictures has provided Awards Campaign with a special making of feature that finds Burwell explaining how the score came about and the process of working with his longtime collaborators, the Coens. You can watch it embedded in this post. It’s well worth checking out.
And as for Burwell, he’ll have to hold out for a chance at Academy recognition with his next project, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1.”