LOS ANGELES — The often-nominated Diane Warren and past winners Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell are among the nominees for music awards at the 2024 Oscars. The hyper-competitive original song and original score categories include nominees from the films “Barbie” to ”Oppenheimer” and beyond.
Warren is vying for original song with “The Fire Inside” from “Flamin’ Hot.” She is joined in the category by Ronson and Wyatt for “I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie,” Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson for “It Never Went Away” from ”American Symphony,” and Scott George for “Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Rounding out the category is “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie” by Eilish and O’Connell.
There’s a lot that is noteworthy here: Two of the five songs come from the stellar “Barbie” soundtrack, both from previous winners in the category. Siblings Eilish and O’Connell won best original song at the 2022 Academy Awards for their James Bond theme “No Time to Die.” Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt won the prize in 2019 for “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” alongside Lady Gaga and Anthony Rossomando. “The Fire Inside” marks Warren’s 15th Oscar nomination. Could it be her first win?
The nominees for original score are: “American Fiction,” Laura Karpman; “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” John Williams; “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Robbie Robertson; “Oppenheimer,” Ludwig Göransson; and “Poor Things” by Jerskin Fendrix.
At 64, Karpman has the first nomination of her career. It’s also a first nomination for Fendrix — for the first film he’s ever scored. Roberston’s nomination for “Killer of the Flower Moon” is posthumous. The lead guitarist and songwriter of The Band died in August.
The animated short category includes an entry based on music. Writer/director Dave Mullins and producer Brad Booker are nominated for “WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko.”
A look at some of the nominees and their reactions.
Warren describes the song as bringing “a little reggaeton to the Oscars.”
“I’m thrilled. Beyond. And now the number of Oscars I’ve been nominated for has caught up to my emotional age, which is (15). I’m just kidding. Kind of.
I was in front of the TV with about 20 of my friends, a bunch of them stay up all night with me as we do. It’s called a sleepless sleepover.
It’s still exciting. I’ve yet to win an Oscar, you know, with my 14 other nominations which may continue, you know. But you win when you get nominated. There’s only five songs down that that are chosen by the best of the best in film music on the planet. It’s the best composers, songwriters, music editors, I don’t take it lightly when they choose a song of mine.”
Ronson wrote “I’m Just Ken” with Andrew Wyatt. This is the second nomination for both collaborators; the first won them original song for “Shallow” in 2019.
“It’s a huge honor. I was actually on the plane when I found out, the flight had taken off and the wi-fi wouldn’t work. I couldn’t watch the livestream. Then I got a barrage of texts but also my 1-year-old daughter was sleeping next to me on the plane, so I was dead quiet, kind of sitting on my hands. It was exciting, and I kept it to myself.
“It’s different than ‘Shallow,’ because ‘Ken’ is almost this left-field — in the film, it is this 11-minute prog rock dream ballet, shred fest that (director) Greta (Gerwig) and Ryan (Gosling) made people fall in love with with all these beautiful touches … We wanted to write a song that made the listener feel something that wasn’t necessarily silly, but of course Ken is silly — so it had to have that.”
This is Batiste’s second nomination — he won best original score in 2020 for his work on the animated film “Soul.” Batiste provided a statement, thanking the Academy.
“Making music is an act of survival. There was a stretch of time during which my wife, Suleika, was in the hospital and we weren’t sure she’d make it. This song began as a lullaby, so she could have a restful aura in the hospital room.
Congratulations to my co-writer, Dan Wilson. We are grateful to be surrounded by love.”
This is Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell’s second nomination. They previously won best original song at the 2022 Academy Awards for their James Bond theme “No Time to Die.” The duo issued a statement saying they are “truly honored.”
“We are so incredibly honored to receive a nomination for “What Was I Made For?” As lifelong fans of film, music in film and the Academy Awards, this means everything to us. We are so grateful to the Academy, its members, and to be recognized alongside so many songwriters that we respect and admire. We are truly honored. Thank you.”
This is Göransson’s third nomination. In 2018, he won the Oscar for his “Black Panther” score.
“It was an exciting morning… The way that Chris Nolan uses music in his storytelling is so unique and special and inspiring.
… So, give all the music awards to Nolan and his collaborators. I’m just very grateful to be working with him, and this is our second film together. To be recognized on this score especially, it was a very personal score. It was also obviously extremely challenging to achieve these emotions and to tell the story of this complicated man’s feelings, his ambition and what he’s going through in his journey and from his perspective because the only way to do that is, I’ve had to go to some to some uncomfortable places.”
This is Fendrix’s first nomination and first time scoring a film. He called AP from the English countryside and plans to celebrate the nomination with a “nice walk in the woods.”
“It feels so surreal. I don’t think it’s entirely settled yet. For the whole film. I think we’ve just had such an incredible sweep of nominations. I really adore all of my colleagues and so I think it really feels like such a group achievement. And everyone’s really proud of one another.”
This is Karpman’s first Oscar nomination.
“I have just now stopped weeping uncontrollably… I’m still in my bathrobe.
What can I tell you? I’m 64 years old, and I’ve spent my life doing this, and I have never, ever, ever thought that this — first of all, I didn’t think it would ever be available to me, much less accessible. But, you know, this is a very, very special project. The movie is a gem. I knew it the moment I saw it.
It means a lot of things to me. I mean, in the most personal sense. My whole life, I’ve had this kind of deep connection with jazz. It floats in and out of scoring and to get a nomination like this for a score that’s so sort of imbued with jazz, which is kind of my language and my first language, it’s very deeply meaningful.”
“I only wish that Robbie Robertson had lived to see his work recognized—our many years of friendship and Robbie’s growing consciousness of his own Native heritage played a crucial role in my desire to get this film onscreen.”
This is Mullins’ second nomination and Booker’s first.
MULLINS: I can’t feel my feet right now, so I’m just waiting for feeling to come back into my extremities.
It’s humbling — there are so many good films out there, and to get picked out of 96 films — to be in the top five — it is indescribable.
BOOKER: Our reason for engaging Sean (Lennon) on this and going on this journey with Sean and the Lennon estate was to bring John and Yoko’s 50+ year old anti-war, peace movement back into the fore in this crazy world we live in.