Every family has its rivalries. In the case of Hollywood’s Newman musical dynasty, it’s a friendly feud that’s playing out very publicly at the Golden Globe Awards.
Randy Newman, the iconic piano man famous for “I Love L.A.,” “You can Leave Your Hat On,” and “Short People”—and for composer of iconic scores for films including Toy Story (and plenty of other Pixar pictures), Ragtime, Awakenings, and The Natural—is up for Best Original Score at tonight’s awards for Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. His biggest rival for the prize? His cousin Thomas Newman, who’s up for Sam Mendes’s 1917. Believe it or not, neither one has ever won a Golden Globe before.
Thomas was born into the family business. His father, Alfred Newman—Randy’s uncle—won nine Oscars for iconic movie soundtracks and scores for films such as Wuthering Heights, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, All About Eve, and The Diary of Anne Frank. He was also a conductor, arranging scores for George Gershwin, Charlie Chaplin, and Irving Berlin.
Thomas’ resume includes the the scores for Scent of a Woman, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Erin Brockovich, The Iron Lady, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but his best-known scores have come from his fruitful collaboration with Mendes: American Beauty, Revolutionary Road, and both of Mendes’ James Bond films, Skyfall and Spectre.
The Newman cousins have troves of award noms: Thomas has been nominated for 14 Oscars, four Golden Globes, and has won two BAFTA’s, six Grammys, and one Emmy. Randy’s had seven Globe noms, 20 Oscar noms for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and he’s won two Oscars. For some reason, Golden Globe wins have eluded both. Some even refer to it as the “Newmans’ Golden Globe Curse.”
But the curse is set to be broken on Sunday night. Awards prognosticators give Thomas and his 1917 score the odds, even with three other films in the category: Little Women, Joker, and Motherless Brooklyn. But according to Vanity Fair, neither Newman has called the other one with congratulations, but they may have cause to tonight.
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