Pros and cons of Oscar's nominated composers

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James Horner
"Avatar"

Pros: Everyone's seen the film and Horner's score supplies a lot of the emotional impact that the amazing effects can't deliver by themselves.
Cons: Horner already has an Oscar for a record-breaking James Cameron epic.

 
Alexandre Desplat
"Fantastic Mr. Fox"

Pros: Desplat's a director's darling and his score redoubles "Mr. Fox's" charm; could benefit from split votes over "Avatar and "Up."
Cons: Voters looking to reward an animated film will probably turn to "Up."

 
Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
"The Hurt Locker"

Pros: Could easily become part of "Hurt Locker" Oscar fever; score adds an emotional edge the film might otherwise lack.
Cons: The score's subtle, stealth approach may make voters forget the film had music.

 
Hans Zimmer
"Sherlock Holmes"

Pros: Easily Zimmer's best score since "Gladiator." If just the composers who got started with Zimmer vote for him he'll have a leg up on the competition.
Cons: Films with this much head-butting rarely win music Oscars.

 
Michael Giacchino
"Up"

Pros: Giacchino has racked up every major award for his score other than the Oscar. His scoring of the film's three-hanky opening sequence is unforgettable.
Cons: "Up" has been the slow and steady winner so far, but it has to maintain momentum to voting day.
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