Star Trek & Giacchino Nominated by Film Music Critics + Saldana at DGA Awards + Final Oscar Predictions

The International Film Music Critics must really like Michael Giacchino, because they nominated him for nine of their awards, including three for Star Trek (plus Wrath of Khan got a nod too). In other award coverage, Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana presented at Saturday night’s DGA Awards (we have pics below). Plus the Oscar Buzz is heating up on the 2009 Star Trek film with final predictions before the nominees are announced in a few days. 


Film Music Critics nominate Giacchino for "Star Trek" (& more) + TWOK release
This has been a good award season so far for Michael Giacchino. He has already picked up a Golden Globe for "Up" and nominated for four Grammys (for "Up" and "Star Trek"). And yesterday the International Film Critics Association announced their nominees for the year and Giacchino picked up nine nominations, including three for his Star Trek score, plus Composer of the year. In addition, the Film Music Critics also nominated Film Score Monthly’s 2009 extended release of James Horner’s "Wrath of Khan" score for Best New Release/Re-Release of an Existing Score.

The categories Giacchino is nominated in related to Star Trek are:

AVATAR, music by James Horner
DRAG ME TO HELL, music by Christopher Young
STAR TREK, music by Michael Giacchino
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON, music by Alexandre Desplat
UP, music by Michael Giacchino

AVATAR, music by James Horner
THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, music by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna
KNOWING, music by Marco Beltrami
STAR TREK, music by Michael Giacchino
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON, music by Alexandre Desplat

AVATAR – “War,” music by James Horner
DRAG ME TO HELL – “Concerto to Hell,” music by Christopher Young
THE RED CANVAS – “Ballet for Brawlers,” music by James Peterson
STAR TREK – “Enterprising Young Men,” music by Michael Giacchino
UP – “Married Life,” music by Michael Giacchino

Alexandre Desplat
Michael Giacchino
James Horner
Brian Tyler
Christopher Young

And the extended release of James Horner’s "Wrath of Khan" score is going up against another Horner score and two from fellow Trek vet Jerry Goldsmith.

BACK TO THE FUTURE, music by Alan Silvestri; Douglass Fake, producer (Intrada)
INNERSPACE, music by Jerry Goldsmith; M.V. Gerhard and Mike Matessino, producers (La-La Land)
THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN, music by James Horner; James Horner, Simon Rhodes and Douglass Fake, producers (Intrada)
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, music by James Horner; Lukas Kendall, producer (Film Score Monthly)
TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, music by Jerry Goldsmith; Bruce Botnick, Lukas Kendall and Mike Matessino, producers (Film Score Monthly)

A complete list of nominees is available at The Wrap. The next step for Giacchino and Star Trek music is the Grammys, which air tomorrow night (Jan. 31).

Michael Giacchino with "Up" director Pete Doctor battle with their Golden Globes – Giacchino just nominated for nine IFCA Awards

Zoe at the DGA Awards
One of two guilds that didn’t nominate Star Trek for an award this year was the Director’s Guild, which held its award show Saturday night. If Trek director JJ Abrams attended, he wasn’t spotted on the red carpet, but Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana was there to present the nomination plaque to her Avatar director James Cameron. If you are curious, the award for best Feature Film Director went to Kathryn Bigelow, for The Hurt Locker. Here are some pics of Zoe at the event.

Zoe Saldana with her "Avatar" director James Cameron at DGA Awards

Zoe Saldana with Cameron and Sam Worthington after presenting Cameron with nominee plaque at DGA Awards

Zoe Saldana on the red carpet at the DGA Awards

Oscar predictions: Will Star Trek be on the list (including best picture?)
The nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday morning, and JJ Abrams’ Star Trek can potentially match or beat the franchise record (which currently stands at four nominations for STIV). Over the last couple of days many Award watchers have been putting out their predictions. Although it is still a long-shot, Star Trek is being predicted to be a nominee for Best Picture by some, including:

And many Oscar watchers put Star Trek the ‘maybe’ Best Picture nominee list, including the LA Times, Awards Circuit, and InContention.

As for other awards, various Oscar watchers are predicting Star Trek to be in serious contention for nominations for Best Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Makeup. Plus the film is considered "dark horse" or possible consideration for Best Art Direction, Best Costumes, Best Score, and  Best Adapted Screenplay.

We will find out how Trek does early Tuesday morning, look for an update at

Will "Star Trek" see the love from the Academy?


Photos: WireImage

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Cool! I hope Trek gets some nods, it certainly deserves them

I hope Michael wins something for his Trek score. I just heard the War track from Avatar (haven’t seen the film yet) but to be honest it sounds kind of bland. It sounds like any other epic piece of soundtrack. This could be replaced with something from X-Ray Dog or by Horner himself and few would notice a difference. Up is the only serious contender to me as it did manage to move me, together with the images shown (such as the Married Life bit and on the end with the Adventure Book) but Trek’s score stands more on its own as Labor of Love for example moves me even without the video part (which it works extremely well with, best short scene ever). Enterprising Young Men is great but it only made a real impact when I watched it for the first time and saw the Star Trek title pop up and such.

On a side note, is there a competition for trailer (music)? Because I just watched Trailer 3 (that came with James Bond 22) of Trek09 and it blew me away again. One of the best trailers ever. That should win some awards too. The Kirk taking command was done excellently in that trailer as it actually had a musical buildup. In the movie it was extremely bland as there was no musical buildup so Kirk just sat down and there was no magic which there should’ve been as it was the culmination of 3/4 of the movies. That and Spock saying the Final Words are my biggest problems with the movie even moreso than the lack of Nero’s backstory (it’s nice so that people can see it in the Countdown books but it makes him very flat in the movie) and Delta Vega.

Avatar’s score was entirely forgettable; a mix of Horner’s better scores, notably Glory. (And it’s a mediocre film — I mean, come on; but I don’t really want to get into it with die hards.)

I know Giachino’s score is divisive in terms of tone amongst Trek fans who prefer one sound or another but he did develop strong themes for Kirk/Starfleet/The Enterprise and Spock/Vuulcn as well as a lot of his signature propulsive pieces made up of driving strings, brass stings, and relentless percussion.

As a big movie score fan and collector for twenty years, Giachino’s Star Trek was the best pundtrack I bought last year and I don’t buy that much anymore. I’d love an expanded release of the the full score — settling over the rings of Saturn, a must.

Sorry for the spelling mistakes. My computer has gone sideways. But, I hope, my ideas were made clear.

From the musical scores nominated, the only tunes that stay in my head are from Star Trek. Hope he wins!

I don’t want Star Trek to get any nominations. The bar will then be set way too high for the sequel. Any sequel following an Oscar-nominated film is bound to fail at the box office and with the critics. After that we know the score. Paramount cuts budget and we’re back to cardboard sets. Or we wait for another “25 years”.

But if it does win something, I won’t complain.


Yeah, after all, look at The Godfather and The Godfather II…..what a disaster!

#5 makes a great point – it really is a tune that stays with you – the others are forgotten already

I will say I just finally saw Avatar last night. Aside from a general sense of military and big-orchestral sounds… I can’t recall anything about the score. Sheesh.

But, I do remember Trek’s score very well.

I kinda expect Avatar to sweep. Hollywood doesn’t ignore things that bring in two billion dollars.

Glad to see that ‘Enterprising Young Men’ is getting the attention it deserves.
I LOVE that piece of music.

For those who haven’t heard this yet, here is my version of that track from the film.

Hope you like it.

How exciting! I hope Trek comes off with many nods/awards!

#3 I agree with you I would love to have an expanded version of the ST09 soundtrack. I too loved when the E settled into the rings of Saturn.

#2 I felt like something was a little amiss with the scene of Kirk sitting in the chair too. I didn’t realize it until you said something about it. That would have been a difficult scene to place music to if you think about it. No one really had any confidence in Kirk at that time-it was a bit unsettling for those on the bridge, even for Kirk.

But, I think for Kirk it was bittersweet since he came to know Spock Prime and that he would need to take advantage of Spock’s vunerable state of mind to gain control of the E. I don’t know if he really felt triumphant about getting the chair in the way he had to do it.

I think we fans knew he was supposed to be there but he didn’t- that could explain the lack of a grand musical score when he sat in the chair the first time.

ST09 music gave me chills while watching the awesome scenes in various clips, (had several in the film too many to list) and Up made me tearful with the music and the sentimental scenes and all! (the very reason I don’t watch mushy romance movies! NEVER have shed a tear watching animation before! LOL)

Horner’s work in Avatar wasn’t memorable. I even told my family that when we left the theater, there was no epic music in the film-I couldn’t remember it by the time we hit the road from the lot of the theater.

At any rate Giacchino’s work is excellent in ST09, and in Up- I couldn’t forget either one. I hope he wins for both and then some- he is very talented.

@3 – i laughed out loud when I read your comment, because I find that true regarding most of Horner’s scores – a rehash/combinations of his previous scores. I lost interest in Horner’s work when I heard entire threads of it were rolled into Cocoon and others. Its one thing to have a recurring style, its another to fire up the xerox.

I am delighted that Trek is getting quality recognition, although I personally do not share the enthusiasm here for Giacchino’s ST09 score. I found it tedious and unimaginative, but clearly the best elements are Labor of Love and Enterprising Young Men. I just know there’s no way we’ll be humming or recognizing the theme to ST09 as a legendary piece of film music as we have Goldsmith’s TMP score.

12… Exactly, “Enterprising Young Men” and a few other pieces are excellent, but the score as a whole, not so much, and the end credits theme, merging the main ST2009 score and TOS’s theme, is jarring and they just don’t work well together despite Mr. Giacchino’s best efforts. I do hope Mr. Giacchino wins an Oscar, I just hope its for “Up”. Horner’s “Avatar” score is entirely forgettable.

While Avatar had a good score, it suffers the same fate that all of Horner’s scores have since he’s achieved elite status in Hollywood. He likes to apply the same tonal or thematic structure to his scores and simply modifies them to accommodate the unique environment of the film he’s making the score for. It may make for an efficient way to score a film, but you definitely get a sense of “been there, done that” while listening to his later works and end up with only a couple unique tracks of original music per score, if any at all.

Horner used to be my favorite, and I’ll still place early Horner high on my list of favorites, but newer artists like Giacchino and even more experienced artists like Hans Zimmer, who knows how to keep film scores fresh, have risen on my favorites list due to later Horner cutting corners.

So due to Horner’s paint by numbers composing as of late, (you can so hear the theme to “Glory” when the Na’vi first go to catch their flying creatures) and the sound effects ripped right out of Jurassic Park, “Star Trek” should have those awards in the bag if the Oscar voters even bother to watch movies.

Giacchino should and will win the Oscar — but for UP.

Horner should be automatically disqualified on principle any time he recycles his infamous four-note motif of doom (like he did over and over again with annoying, distracting impunity in AVATAR).

Other scores I’d rather see nominated from last year: Zimmer’s SHERLOCK HOLMES, Mark Isham’s BAD LIEUTENANT, Joe Hisaishi’s PONYO, and especially Clint Mansell’s MOON. (If you haven’t seen MOON in particular, you’re missing out on a truly great science fiction film.)

Best visual effects. Deserving. My one (seemingly odd) beef, not against the effects themselves but the industrial vision of the future — the giant factory farm towers in Iowa (just finished Jonathan Saffran Foer’s “Eating Animals” so this terrified me) the brutalist buildings in San Francisco (which in TMP was planned to have been portrayed as a city taken over by nature) and on Vulcan. It worked in that it seemed a lot more real… but not quite a blueprint for what the future should look like… Can’t it be functional AND not so ugly? I’ve been waiting to find somewhere to post this…

Can’t stop listening to Star Trek 09’s music. I hope Star Trek gets it

Let’s hope it does win Trek XI you got to realise this movie was brilliant in my opinion off course

#14: I agree, Sadly, on Horner’s habits (I feel the same way about several other composers who used to rock me to the core). I dig Avatar, but its soundtrack did the job without really contributing much that’s memorable.

“Up” for the win.

I do like James Horner. But he does, on occasion, copy from himself at times.

Haven’t seen Up or heard Giacchinno’s score from it. But it seems to be the best bet of Michael. Which is unfortunate as I felt his Trek work was pretty good. And his Lost stuff I think is under appreciated as well.


I couldn’t agree with you more about Trek music.

I find Horner to be infuriatingly frustrating in that he has demonstrated the talent to do well but he falls back on habits that I can only describe as “lazy” composing in most of his works. I don’t know, maybe he’s only “inspired” by a few projects?

If any need an ear opener listen to the soundtracks of ST:TMP, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (Cameron connection there too.) and ST:TWOK in that order.