Before the big winners are announced February 27, let's take a listen to all of the involved parties. Yes, this is still Randy Newman's favorite season, but Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor could be taking home the statue this time around for The Social Network score.
Below, make up your own mind with clips from all of the nominated scores and the songs up for Academy Awards.
The Original Score category seems to be a real horserace. Each score nominated is very strong and tells a unique story that complements the movie it belongs to.
How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
John Powell's score for How to Train Your Dragon invokes medieval battles and fantasy, and though the movie was geared to families, this score is very sophisticated. It could be a surprise winner.
Inception - Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer's score for Inception is pure Zimmer -- macho, paranoid, and busy. Nobody scores a chase like Zimmer, but is it enough to win the Oscar?
The King's Speech - Alexandre Desplat
Andre Desplat's score for The King's Speech is subtle and regal but might get lost among the other more powerful scores.
127 Hours - A.R. Rahman
A.R. Rahman's haunting 127 Hours score is a departure from his previous Slumdog Millionaire score, and it just might just take home the Oscar.
The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross scored The Social Network, and its buzzing, techno-electronica score works well for the movie but might be too much for the academy, which tends to vote for the more "lush and traditional" scores. Then again, it did just win the Golden Globe.
Music (Original Song)
The Original Song category is filled with all the old academy standbys -- a Disney Princess Ballad, a Disney "pal" song, a slightly new-age song and a slice of Americana. While all of them are good, none of them is a complete standout.
"Coming Home" from Country Strong - Music and lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges, and Hillary Lindsey
Gwyneth Paltrow surprised everyone this year when she decided she could sing. This track from Country Strong is a typical country music ballad, full of home, sentiment, and apple pie. If this were a stronger year, "Coming Home" might get lost in the shuffle, but this year, it might just go the distance.
"I See the Light" from Tangled - Music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Glenn Slater
Disney songs have a strong track record with the academy, with Oscar wins for Aladdin, Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Alan Menken knows his way around a Disney tune for sure, but "I See the Light" is no "Under the Sea."
"If I Rise" from 127 Hours - music by A.R. Rahman; lyrics by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
127 Hours has an indie-film vibe, and this song has an indie vibe to match. With music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by singer Dido and Rollo Armstrong, "If I Rise" tells a story of redemption and might just be different enough to be the standout song in this field of contenders. Rahman has already won an Oscar for his quirky and all-too-catchy "Jai Ho."
"We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 - music and lyrics by Randy Newman
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Toy Story 3 was arguably one of the best pictures of 2010, and while this Toy Story was fresh and vibrant, Randy Newman's "We Belong Together" should have been called "You've (Still) Got a Friend in Me," The only way this song should bring home the prize is if voters actually vote for the movie when voting for best song.