The Super Bowl is over, meaning the next major spectacle many Americans turn their eyes toward to will take place at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. The nominees are out, discussions have begun and friendships are teetering on the rocks even as we speak — “The Descendants” or “The Artist”? “Glenn Close or Meryl Streep?” (They’re different people, right?) And that oh-so-important question: Who’s hosting the Oscars party?

Jacob Axelrad

I may be hyping the event a bit out of proportion, but what’s true is that the debate ensues because we each have our own opinion about who deserves to win, who does not deserve the golden statuette and, crucially, who went overlooked (what, no Oscar nod for “Tintin”?).

I have a complaint as well. For whatever reason, the Academy lost its way when it came to the category of original score. When filling out that section on your Oscars ballots come Feb. 25, you’ll find such names as John Williams (twice), Ludovic Bource, Howard Shore and Alberto Iglesias. You will not, I regret to say, find the name of one Trent Reznor.

Reznor, the sole permanent member, producer and singer-songwriter of the musical group Nine Inch Nails, together with longtime collaborator and producer Atticus Ross, won the Oscar for 2010’s “The Social Network” — the duo’s first foray into movies. But, more importantly, they are two of the most original and groundbreaking film composers to come along in quite some time.

The opening scene of “The Social Network” is but one stellar example of their strengths. Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg, “30 Minutes or Less”) and soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) share one last meal together before Albright gives Zuckerberg the boot “because he’s an asshole.”

Between that now infamous break-up scene and the first scene to portray Zuckerberg in deposition with the Winklevoss twins, Reznor’s score hums along eerily, synthesized beat after synthesized beat, complementing Zuckerberg’s infuriated, adolescent rage to near perfection. Though the Academy may have deemed the movie unworthy of winning the best-picture category, the two men behind the music were properly recognized for their contribution.

While 2011’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” marks only their second cinematic effort, from the opening-credit sequence it’s evident Reznor and Ross have cemented a place for themselves in the film-score hall of fame. With a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” that could have come directly from one of Nine Inch Nails’ albums with its mastery of electronic rock, Reznor and Ross do with sound what the film editors do with the images of bodies emerging from a black sludge that oozes across the screen — they give an ominous sense of foreboding, of something lurking just beneath the surface.

But they weren’t nominated this year, which is upsetting. Perhaps it has something to do with the collective nostalgia Hollywood seems to be experiencing of late. A black-and-white movie could very well win best picture, and Billy Crystal, the host our parents know and love, is back once again. There’s nothing wrong with the composers the Academy chose to nominate. I grew up with John Williams’s themes to “Jurassic Park,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Superman” and “Star Wars” seemingly defining what it meant to have an adventure through movies.

I suppose that in a year when moviegoers and filmmakers alike “collectively looked back,” it makes sense to exclude those who don’t take Hollywood’s glory days as a template. There are some who might say (with a degree of justification) that farming out musical composition to “rock stars” is just a way to save money on the large-scale orchestras required by the likes of “War Horse,” “Hugo” and “Tintin.” This is partially true. Why use a full orchestra when Reznor, aided by Ross, can do his work in a studio, using digital media technology instead of paying union musicians?

This time, I’ll settle for a look back, a celebration of the more wholesome, more traditional movies, like those from Spielberg and scored by Williams. Yet if Reznor’s musical career is any indication, his influence casts a long shadow, and the imitators will come. Winning an Oscar isn’t necessary to show that the hard-edged style of Reznor can do wonders for the movies as well as a 100-piece symphony.

I’ve still got a soft spot for the old-fashioned scores I grew up with. But if I’m going to download a movie soundtrack, it’s got to be Trent. Not because it’s better, but because it’s different. And I’ll listen, with or without the Academy’s approval.

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