Canadian composer Mychael Danna wins Best Score for ‘Life of Pi’

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
February 25, 2013

With two nominations and a Golden Globe in hand coming into Sunday night's Oscars, Canadian composer Mychael Danna was easily the Great White North's best Oscar hope.

See also: 2013 Oscar winners

The Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based Danna was up for the Best Original Score and Best Song ("Pi's Lullaby") prizes for his work on director Ang Lee’s "Life of Pi." The first-time Oscar nominee won the former category, beating out movie music legend John Williams ("Lincoln") for the Academy's top music prize.

Danna's "Pi's Lullaby" lost to Brit singer Adele's chart topping ballad for "Skyfall" in the Best Song category.

See also: Canada's 'War Witch' loses Best Foreign Language Film to Austria's 'Amour'

Having composed music for so many Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning movies in the past (including "The Sweet Hereafter," "Capote," "Water," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "Moneyball"), it's a little surprising that the Canadian hasn't even been nominated before now. The composer's big Oscar night is the culmination of several successful collaborations between he and Lee. Danna's Hollywood breakthrough came courtesy of the Taiwanese director in 1997, when the filmmaker picked him to score “The Ice Storm.” Danna also orchestrated the director's revisionist Western "Ride with the Devil," and contributed music to the Academy Award-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and the director’s comic book flop “Hulk.”

When he's not working with Lee, Danna also frequently collaborates with Canadian filmmakers Atom Egoyan and Deep Mehta. Perhaps there's a future Oscar winning score in the cards for a Danna and one of these directors.

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