Oscars: Academy Rules 'Green Book' Ineligible for Best Original Score (Exclusive)

The executive committee of the Academy's music branch concluded that the score, which was composed by Kris Bowers, does not meet the requirements of the Academy's Rule Fifteen, section II-E.
Courtesy of Patti Perret/ Universal Pictures/Participant/Dreamworks
'Green Book' co-writer/director Peter Farrelly, flanked by Viggo Mortensen (left) and Mahershala Ali

Green Book, Peter Farrelly's period-piece dramedy about the black concert pianist Don Shirley (Oscar winner Mahershala Ali) and his less cultured white driver Tony Lip (Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen), is likely to land a bunch of Oscar nominations, and maybe even a few wins.

But best original score will not be one of them.

The executive committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' music branch met Nov. 29, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, and reviewed the score, which had been flagged for review by the branch's score subcommittee, which was established just last year to review cue-sheets of submitted music.

The executive committee concluded that the score, which was composed by Kris Bowers, does not meet the requirements of the Academy's Rule Fifteen, section II-E.

That rule says, “A score shall not be eligible if: 1. it has been diluted by the use of pre-existing music, or 2. it has been diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs or any music not composed specifically for the film by the submitting composer.”

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that original music accounts for only about 25 minutes of the film. The rest of it takes cues from pre-existing songs.

The Academy confirmed the decision to THR.

It should be noted that the very same rule led to the disqualification of Birdman from the best original song race four years ago. That film, of course, still went on to win the best picture Oscar.