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Jonny Greenwood’s score ineligible for Oscars

Jonny Greenwood’s “There Will Be Blood” score was named ineligible by the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today.

The Playlist reports that sources told LA Times that Jonny Greenwood’s score would not make the cut because, “the majority of the music was not composed specifically for the film,” which was later confirmed by Variety, saying the disqualification was attributed to a designation within Rule 16 of the Academy’s Special Rules for Music Awards (5d under “Eligibility”), which excludes “scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music.”

Greenwood’s score is only 35 minutes of original music and the rest of the film contains roughly 46 minutes of pre-existing work (including selections from the works of Arvo Pärt, and Johannes Brahms’ “Concerto in D Major”). Approximately 15 minutes of Greenwood’s 2006 composition “Popcorn Superhet Receiver” is also part of that latter 46-minute figure, but again, it’s a pre-existing piece of music. [thx to the Playlist]

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  • that really sucks. We all know jonny would have won anyways. Maybe the grammys or oscars are afraid of having a memember from radiohead or radiohead themselves winning a grammy because it might bring down tv ratings like radiohead said in meeting people is easy.


  • BULLSHIT. Total robbery and meaninglessness to any other score that makes the cut.

  • Well, the award’s called Best Original Score, right, so they have a point. But to stick to that point so rigidly feels a bit like the older kids teasing the new kid in town, for they’re afraid his toys might actually be better then theirs.

  • That’s disappointing. He’ll get ’em next time.

  • Ah, who gives a shit anyway? The Oscars is a load of arbitary nonsense

  • WTF! He named the title of the album ‘There will be blood’ how obvious does it have to be that it was for the film!

  • fuckers, poor jonny, u were snubbed big time

  • Who the hell is Oscar?

  • booooooooooooooooo

  • burn hollywood, burn!

  • what.

  • The Oscars always have ridiculously strict rules, its a stupid ceremony really, why are only films in English eligible for Best Picture? It’ll be funny to see what the writer’s strike does to the ceremony.

  • That’s ridiculous. He so would have won.
    Who the hell disqualified him?
    Music is music, regardless of its source.

  • Just a lucky break for everyone else who now stands a chance simply because he was disqualified. Doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still the best score of the year (or the past few years) and one of the best pictures of the year as well. Mr. Greenwood is on his way to becoming the next Bernard Hermann.

  • Bull.



  • On the bright side, this means I won’t have to watch to Oscars then. I was only going to watch to see if Jonny wins, but I’m off the hook now. The broadcast is the most boring thing ever.

  • Hm, this is rather stupid. Then again, the Oscars are rather stupid, as are the Grammys and the Emmys. TV award shows are stupid.

  • this movie was boring and sucked pretty bad, i have to say. i had such high hopes since Punch Drunk Love is one of my fav’s. Too much ado about nothing.

  • eminem won an oscar so its not like they are afraid of anything new. its a shame though as i watched the nonminations hoping to hear his name the oscars will probably be cancelled anyway so who cares!

  • three six mafia won an oscar for best soundtrack, (diff category) does johnny really want to be honoured by an academy that honours 3 middle aged men with gold plated teeth that rap about sippin on sizur

  • and i liked hustle and flow too

  • That’s okay. Jonny’s an Oscar-winner in all our hearts.

  • What a bunch of rubbish.
    Bastards. Jonny would have kicked their asses anyways. He’s a winner in my eyes.

  • This fucking blows. I saw the movie last night. I just wouldn’t be the same without the music!! It is getting no recognition from the academy now. This movie score is going to go down in history as one of the best scoring of all time, and it will have no oscar to show for it. just doesn’t seem right….

  • They’re just afraid of Jonny. Rules my ass.

  • Aaggh, I have a lot to say about this 🙁

    “why are only films in English eligible for Best Picture?”

    actually not true at all. the voters just have shit taste in which few “foreign” films they ever choose to vote for best picture noms- not that the choices are bad films, but I would say Crouching Tiger not to mention Life is Beautiful aren’t exactly the absolute best non-English films to have been made in the past 30 years, yet they were the ones to be nominated (and well, if you want real embarassments, in the early ’80s such auteurs as James L. Brooks and Syndey Pollack both managed to win “best director” over the final masterpieces of Kurosawa and Bergman who had never before won anything). and the foreign film category itself is entirely fucked- look at this year, no Persepolis and no recognition for the movie that won at Cannes- as usual if the film happens to be anything not involving the Holocaust or anything actually inventive like Michael Haneke or Von Trier etc. however it is certainly technically possible for non-English films to be nominated in ANY category- i.e. Persepolis at least got a best animated film nomination- it simply doesn’t happen very much because the voters are too conservative/stupid to want to read subtitles or watch films outside the Hollywood mode of storytelling. the foreign film nominations are usually “films your retired bourgeois grandparents would enjoy” Chocolat sort of things. but in the past few years at least the acting categories have been a bit better about including some token performances from movies not in English.

    About Jonny- I saw this coming- but I only remembered their rules yesterday. To be honest I think it’s not such a terrible/unfair decision compared to some of their other ommissions/stupid rules- This rule SORTA makes sense (in its own stupid Oscar way). You can judge how music is used in a film (for which There Will Be Blood deserves the highest credit) or you can judge music (of whatever type) composed specifically for a film. Their category is going for the second.

    Maybe There Will Be Blood’s use of existing music is not as brilliant as 2001 or Trainspotting or whatever your fav example, but it’s very great nonetheless. But to put it in perspective, 2001, which has probably some of the most famous use of music ever in a movie, could not have been nominated in this category either, nor could most Kubrick films (like The Shining with the electronic Penderecki adaptations, or Clockwork Orange with the use of Beethoven), simply cause their music is not “original” for the film, but brilliantly re-appropriated or re-arranged or simply put in brilliant place by the director or the music supervisor who chooses the songs.

    Of course Jonny actually composed lots of original stuff and deserves credit for it. But however much people love saying “OST” and calling every soundtrack that now, There Will Be Blood on the whole really isn’t a proper “original” soundtrack- or at least, the original parts to it are not the MAJORITY of what makes it so great, imo (granted, they have nominated scores like Cold Mountain where the same thing was true, they had a bit of original score and most of it was songs or other music- but usually ones from established composers- I think the difference here is also that Jonny’s own pieces were re-used. if it was just the other classical pieces, he might get away with a nomination for his original work, but they may react against reusing HIS OWN existing pieces as well, as a main part of his contribution, even though that was surely PT Anderson’s decision).

    It’s not that bad- I also remember scores getting flat out disqualified that had almost all original material but just reused one theme by the composer from a prior film (like a sequel which otherwise had totally new music- they even penalized their favorite John Williams for this with some Star Wars sequel).

    Another for instance: there was no nomination for the score of In the Mood for Love a few yrs ago- the theme was adapted from an older movie (never mind the film didn’t get many nominations anyway! a typical omission). I actually thought ANY use of existing music in a score would disqualify it and somehow forgot about this until yesterday- today I’m not surprised at the lack of nomination, but more that they would actually bother to explain why. The Oscar people are acting very defensive lately- they know how ridiculous their rules are getting, esp. the “foreign film” ones (i.e. letting the country’s government pick the films, disqualifying movies that use English in some scenes).

    “Music is music, regardless of its source.”

    Yeah, but can you guys be honest with yourselves and say Jonny’s NEW contributions to There Will Be Blood- even if they are way above x other film soundtracks this year or most years- are really what makes the film so great? The most stunning moment of the movie and the score for me was the scene when the oil rig burns- it was only later I realized that was Part’s Fratres on the soundtrack at the time. I won’t say my respect for Jonny went down- his score is more subtle/doing different things and there’s no requirement the score should have some big dramatic memorable theme to get recognized, it just has to be effective. But at that point I stopped thinking so highly of the score- it’s good, but the shame is that it came so close to being nominated, being in such a huge (for the Oscars) movie and yet failed. The shame is not actually that it’s like the most brilliant thing ever and failed, cause it’s not the most brilliant thing ever. I’m sure if he keeps writing for movies, and he is sure to get many offers from now on, he’ll come up with something as good or better, with at least as much original stuff in it.

    Imo the real problem lies in the fact that so many establishment film composers are known, aside from rarely taking any risks of the type Jonny does or even be capable of such if they wanted, to blatantly recycle their own past themes and not get called on it cause they tweak them slightly. You can’t quite blame them if they’ve gotten themselves into this Hollywood writing mode where they have a MINUSCULE amount of time to write an original score and they’re usually completely at the mercy of the producers etc- but still often it’s not exactly creative, or original in any sense, even if technically “original”, whereas Jonny was honest about re-using existing score, rather than trying to write a piece for the movie that sounded ALMOST exactly like Smear or Popcorn Superhet and pretending it was new- if he’d done that, sad to say, he’d probably have gotten away with a nomination.

    However this year the hypocrisy appears a bit less, since few of the other nominated scores are by established self-ripoffers/composers anyway, so hopefully they are decent enough. Iglesias wrote such nice music for Almodovar but there was nothing so special in the Kite Runner music. It’s largely about professional connections though, I think.

    “Mr. Greenwood is on his way to becoming the next Bernard Hermann.”

    Please please don’t say that quite yet. *cries* I mean seriously, watch Vertigo. If someone said Bernard Herrmann was on the way to writing songs like How to Disappear Completely I’d also wonder what they mean (granted Herrman maybe isn’t purely “original” either as I heard his scores draw a lot from various other composers i.e. Wagner). But watch some films with Toru Takemitsu scores! i.e. Pitfall, Kwaidan… That’s what parts of it/the use of strings to get percussion sounds reminded me more of. The surveying scene! Just compare. (Both may be influenced by Penderecki, not sure.)

    And here is something we’re all forgetting: the Oscar ceremony has an annoying habit of replaying a bit of the score to the nominated films each time they win something. There Will Be Blood is tied for the MOST nominations of ANY movie this year even if Jonny got screwed- and every time someone else lucky enough not to be screwed, goes up to accept an award for this movie, the entire theatre will be subjected to a bit of Jonny’s score over the loudspeakers. 🙂 If Daniel goes over-time with his speech, they’ll start to play the screeching viola dissonance over him.

    The real robbery was 12 years ago, no best song nomination for the completely ORIGINAL (in 1996- had not even appeared on the soundtrack album much less a Radiohead one) Exit Music.

    Besides Jonny’s getting a shot at the BAFTAs and I’d think this may count for more with him- esp. since it’s actually an American film- than Hollywood praise.

    And after all that, the film itself is quite overrated and forced, full of missed opportunities, though not bad, and so is P.T. Anderson apart from Boogie Nights. I think Jonny’s music could work better in a less showy situation. Each film he’s done so far has been better than the last, let’s hope it just keeps up. Who knows what kind of solo projects he gets next.

  • Greenwood’s score is phenomenal regarding Oscar eligibility or what so ever. It’s a fine work of art and it gives the movie a more powerful feeling.

    The Oscar’s SUCK!!

  • Gosh Paul!! 😀

    And yes, if it’s not composed for the film, then WHY IS THE ALBUM TITLED “THERE WILL BE BLOOD”??? That’s ridiculous. Oscar is now a party for actresses to compete whose dress is the most expensive.

  • Who cares about the Oscars anyway. I’m sure Jonny doesn’t. That’s purely an North American thing. And ‘America’ is not the world.

  • Way to go Paul. Honestly, I am anticipating North American dates more than I care about an Oscar snub. Ennio Morricone never got his Oscar until last year and that was some kind of lifetime award.
    Looking forward to seeing the movie.

  • Weird.
    I could never put together Jonny Greenwood and Oscar. They are just from different worlds.

  • PAUL.

    You wrote too much.


  • no biggy, team jonny moves on!

  • Paul, could you please elaborate?

  • Jaded radiohead fans fear not. Johnny does’nt care and nor should you. Yes the Oscars may be bullshit but if he wanted to win he should have followed the rules. Its not as though they made new rules just so he would lose. Ps people don’t watch the oscars for best soundtrack anyways. What are you thinking?

  • Paul,
    I forgot your taste in films was far superior to anyone elses. Maybe you should make a movie and show them who is the real maestro. Step aside Fellini. Watch out Spielberg here comes Paul. I mean it too. The Oscars are an American tradition. Don’t let it piss you off to much. Make your own award ceremony. It could be called Pauls Intellectual Super Cliche Awards. Don’t read into it to much. You can always tune out that evening. No one has ever forced you to care. Regardless, I do in most ways agree but your response and my response to you post is hardly worth the time. Its like arguing why Mr. T has the best sideburns. Right? love Gare.

  • Hell yeah Mr T. has the best sideburns! 😉

    Lex your comment was priceless!

    Sucks for jonny but I don’t think he’s too worried about it, would have been great though! Deserves all the credit he gets…

  • Never fails to amuse me how so many of the people on this board are adolescent drama queens who only have to be lightly poked with a stick in order to jump around like monkeys on a hot plate. “Greenwood score ineligible for Oscars”. Atease members: “OOOOHHHH MAAAAANN THIS BLOOOWWWSSSS IT’S SUCH BUUULLL SHIIITTT” etc etc etc blah blah blah. Do you REALLY give a shit about whether he’s in contention for a fucking oscar? get some perspective, you whinging ninnies.

  • i think it may be becuase radiohead/greenwood are a pop band, and it would be unfair to let the professional musicians trained properly music AS AN ART to stand against greenwood.

    lets face it, greenwood would win, by NAME, HOWEVER, if it was the score for harry potter ect or a big film it would have worked i think

    the corporate fat cats wouldnt want to promote a film that has no money in it on a big ratings oscar show

    the oscars are a lot than just giving awards

    people want on the show big film – big composer… not rock composer, crap film

  • John Williams has won tons of Oscars, and any classical music fan knows that he blatantly rips off classical artists (especially Holst)all the time and then stamps his name on it! If Williams gets Oscars for his soundtracks, then let Johnny be at least eligible to win one!!

  • Daniel Davies = stupid

  • Reed = yes

  • What a shame. A brilliant score for one of the best films in decades.

  • The Belief-Action Nexus has consulted with the Academy on the basis of detailed stipulations in award criteria. Due to the fact that he does not qualify for Oscar score, the Academy will award him another: Most Underated Bandmate of the 20 and 21st Centuries.

    Have you touched the belief-action nexus? Go wash your hands.

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  • So this is what it is all about: RULES

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