And the Oscar goes to…

By • February 26, 2007

Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla joined the ranks of Alfred Newman, Franz Waxman and Andre Previn when his score for Babel won the Oscar on Sunday night.
Many composers have won the Oscar for Best Original Score, but few have won two in a row. Newman, Waxman and Previn all belong to this group, who just got a new member. Gustavo Santaolalla is the first composer since Alan Menken who has won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score two years in a row (Menken won for Beauty and the Beast in 1991 and Aladdin in 1992). Winning in competition with Philip Glass, Thomas Newman, Alexandre Desplat and Javier Navarrete, Santaolalla commented:
“I want to thank everybody who has been so supportive of my music, and especially to [Babel director] Alejandro González Iñárritu who is my mentor.”
The main composer star of the evening, though, was Honorary Oscar recipient Ennio Morricone. Fittingly, Clint Eastwood, whose rise to stardom was accompanied by Morricone’s groundbreaking spaghetti western music, introduced the honorary Oscar recipient. Morricone praised the directors he’s worked with over the years.
“My deep gratitude goes out to all the directors who had faith in me. I think about my fellow composers who never received this honor. I wish they could all be recognized along with me,” Ennio Morricone said in Italian.
Morricone was honored by Celine Dion who sang newly written words to Once Upon a Time in America, and with a montage of clips featuring his music. The 78-year old composer also said:
“This Oscar is not a point of arrival but a starting point to continue writing with the same passion.”
In the Best Song category, Melissa Etheridge won for “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth.

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