British pop chanteuse Adele and co-writer Paul Epworth won the original song award for "Skyfall," and Canadian composer Mychael Danna won the prize for original score for "Life of Pi" at the Oscars on Sunday night.
This year's score contest pitted several of Hollywood's biggest names and perennial awards contenders (John Williams for "Lincoln," Thomas Newman for "Skyfall," Alexandre Desplat for "Argo" and Dario Marianelli for "Anna Karenina") against one another in a prestige symphonic smackdown. Danna also earned a song nod for "Pi's Lullaby"; he wrote the music, and Bombay Jayahsri did the lyrics.
By contrast, the song category welcomed musical upstarts like show host Seth MacFarlane, who directed the sleeper-hit comedy "Ted," voiced its potty-mouthed ursine plush-toy antihero, and also somehow found time to write lyrics to Walter Murphy's music for "Everybody Needs a Best Friend."
Outsiders from other disciplines also elbowed their way into this category. Musical theater composer Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyricists Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil were nominated for "Suddenly," from the film version of their international stage smash "Les Misérables."
Adele staked her claim to being the 21st century Shirley Bassey, turning up the brass and Bonding her voice to the 007 franchise with the "Skyfall" title song.
But perhaps the biggest surprise nominee in the song category was the improbable duo of Scarlett Johansson and violin virtuoso Joshua Bell teaming up to perform J. Ralph's "Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice," a documentary about how the world's melting ice reserves are wreaking havoc on global ecosystems. It's one of only a handful of documentaries to produce a nominee in this category.
The 85th Academy Awards are being held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night, in a televised ceremony hosted by MacFarlane.
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