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Posted at 8:31 AM ET, 02/28/2011

♪♫ Trent Reznor's Oscar shocker

By Melissa Bell
trent reznor
(Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

There were many things confusing about the Oscar show Sunday night. Was James Franco stoned? Did we really need to see James Franco in a pink dress? Where did all that cute chemistry go between James Franco and Anne Hathaway? Why, James Franco, why?

But the most confusing of the Oscars? The award goes to Trent Reznor. I'm thrilled he won the award. His music made "The Social Network" gleam in all its creepy undercurrents, and his songs have been making films more outstanding for years. But last night's clean-cut appearance and short, sweet acceptance speech in which he thanks his wife goes against every single Trent Reznor virtue I value.

Reznor happily married? He's supposed to be twisted and dark and (Warning: the following link will take you to a place where he uses Melissa Leo-kind-of words) hates to love you! Reznor in a tux? He's supposed to be sporting scraggly hair and trying to murder David Bowie.To a generation of maudlin teenagers, Reznor created a soundtrack of violent, borderline-psychotic love songs filled with surrealist imagery and angst. As a palate cleanser to Sunday night's buttoned-up Reznor, a quick rundown of the dark side of the singer:

By Melissa Bell  | February 28, 2011; 8:31 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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this post would be accurate if the author had been in a coma for the past decade.

Posted by: heathj82 | February 28, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Heathj82, Okay, fine, he's shown a less than alternative side to himself over the past decade. But never on so public a stage. I stand by it. Don't get me wrong. This Reznor seems like a genuinely lovely old fellow. I just miss the old Reznor a bit.

Posted by: Melissa Bell | February 28, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

God forbid an aging rock star have actual self respect. The reason I respect Mr. Reznor as an artist is because he knows his limits, and understands how he needs to change in order to stay relevant.

I'd rather watch Trent acting like a honest human being, relatable and down to earth than cringe at Steven Tyler's pathetic antics on American Idol or Bret Michael's pretending he has hair on Rock of Love.

Posted by: Frothy_Ham | February 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The guys is a living human being, he was miserable long enough for you. Now he's happy, married, a father and a respected figure in the entertainment industry. Cut him some slack. Next up, the HBO mini series and the Broadway version of Fight Club. EGOT.

Posted by: duckofdeath | February 28, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's the score on the score.

There has been a great amount of media excitement about the "groundbreaking" score for Social Network.

However, music for film is probably the least understood art form in the cinema. Though fashion may play a role, the principles remain the same whether it's an orchestral score, a song over a scene or solely an electronic palette that's being used. Without going into great detail here, that basic principle is–a second by second relevance to a scene's emotional landscape in tone, musical color and theme. The score is an unseen "actor" in the screen play and is to be chosen for it's character and not because it is so "cutting edge" or excluded BECAUSE it uses acoustic instruments, but rather because this "actor" knows how to ACT and can best tell the story.

Scores that are sound design and are atmospheric may be closer to sound effects, at least by definition, in that no distinct musical note or melody can be discerned but WILL synchronize to the images (a precept). In a case like this, "Best Score" is a misnomer in that there is NO actual music.

In one interview, Trent talks about the "rigidity" of today's scoring, however he confuses style with longstanding film scoring techniques and principles. These principles are immutable and can't be changed. For example: you MUST sing in tune and ON KEY. Any variation of this is called "bad singing" and you will NOT make it to American Idol or on the stage of the Academy Awards to sing Best Song. Blindly throwing music at the picture is called "bad scoring" because there is no dramatic concept being used to highlight and guide the scene as they unfold.

If David Fincher placed Trent's "delivered" music in the picture, that creative placement is called "underscoring" and it can be argued that David Fincher MADE the music relevant (work) scene by scene with judicious editing of the picture and music… and deserves to share in the award.

Posted by: FilmMusicBuff | March 1, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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