Oscars: French Composer Alexandre Desplat Gets Double Nomination

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Alexandre Desplat

"It's like being hit twice in the head," says the eight-time nominee, who has yet to win an Academy Award.

Among Oscar nominees this year, Alexandre Desplat had twice as much reason to celebrate.

The French composer picked up two Academy Award nominations on Thursday, with best score nominations for both The Imitation Game and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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“It’s like being hit twice in the head, you know?” Desplat told The Hollywood Reporter. “When you get one already it’s a miracle, so when you get two it’s a double miracle.”

The double mention marks Oscar nominations seven and eight for Desplat, who has yet to win Hollywood’s greatest honor. One of the most prolific composers around, Desplat could theoretically have swept the best score category, given that he had five scores that qualified this year, including those for Unbroken, Monuments Men and Godzilla.

But Desplat is far from being the most nominated, or even the most snubbed film composer at the Oscars. John Williams has 44 best score nominations to his name, along with five Oscar wins in the category (for Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. and Schindler's List), while the dubious title of most snubbed goes to Alex North, who received 14 nominations but never won the top prize. The Academy finally awarded North, who scored such films as Spartacus and Cleopatra, an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 1986.

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The most honored composer in Oscar history is Alfred Newman, who won nine times, including for The King and I in 1956.

When the original score nominations were announced Thursday, Desplat was mentioned twice in a row, which drew laughs from the live audience. He will compete against Hans Zimmer and his Interstellar score, the Mr. Turner score from Gary Yershon and Johann Johannsson for The Theory of Everything.

Desplat, who last year became the first-ever composer to lead the competition jury at the Venice Film Festival, noted he is not the first composer to get a nomination double dip either. “I remember John Williams got two not long ago,” he said, referencing Williams’ nominations for both The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse in 2011. “I’m very fortunate. How will I celebrate? I’ll be on the phone for the next two hours.”

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