The inclusion of a Max Richter composition “diluted” the score according to the Academy.
The reason is due to director Denis Villeneuve’s inclusion of the Max Richter piece ‘On the Nature of Daylight’ at several pivotal moments in the film. The Academy ruled unanimously that the preexisting songs would influence voters in judging Jóhannsson’s score, a conflict cited in Rule 15 II E of the Academy’s guidelines. They ruled in the same fashion on Lesley Barber’s score to Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea.
Jóhann Jóhannsson has been nominated twice for Best Original Score, first for 2014’s The Theory Of Everything and again for Villeneuve’s 2015 film Sicaro. Their next collaboration will be next year’s Blade Runner sequel.
Revisit some of Arrival’s haunting score below.