The nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced this morning, and Quentin Tarantino‘s brutal, slow-burn western epic The Hateful Eight scored nods in three categories: Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance as the feral, fearsome criminal Daisy Domergue, with Robert Richardson‘s sumptuous widescreen cinematography also received well-deserved recognition.
The film’s third and final Oscar nomination was for the music score composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone – the first original soundtrack for a Tarantino film. This marks the sixth time Morricone has been nominated, but he has yet to win. Morricone did receive an honorary award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2007. The award was presented to him by Clint Eastwood, who shot to international movie stardom with Il Maestro’s musical backing.
I’ve embedded Morricone’s Oscar speech, in Italian with Eastwood translating into English best as possible, and you can check it out here below.
The 87-year-old composer’s Hateful Eight score recently won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture, and is currently up for a BAFTA Award.
Tarantino, a self-professed lifelong fan of Morricone’s work, has used The Good, The Bad and The Ugly composer’s music in his past five films, but Hateful Eight was the first time Morricone contributed an original score for the director, and marked his first work on a Western in four decades. The new film also included Morricone’s unused material from John Carpenter’s 1982’s The Thing and also Exorcist II: The Heretic.
In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of red rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former Union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of red rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate general Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to red rock after all…
Morricone was previously nominated for composing original music for Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy, and Malèna. His competition for the award this year includes John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Thomas Newman (Bridge of Spies), Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario), and Carter Burwell (Carol). Best of luck to all of the nominees.
The official soundtrack for The Hateful Eight is currently available on CD and MP3, and will be released later this month on vinyl.