Trent Reznor, Taylor Swift, ‘Midnight in Paris’ win Visual Media Grammys

Mark Deming
Stop The Presses!

This year’s primetime Grammy telecast didn’t offer much cross over action for movie fans, though there was a dash of Hollywood star power on hand two weeks before the Oscars get handed out. For those who love film music, the real excitement was at the afternoon presentation, where the prizes for “Visual Media” (allowing both movies and TV to be covered in one category) were presented.

Trent Reznor (best known as the leader of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross won the Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, for their music for “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Reznor and Ross won the Oscar for Best Score in 2011 for “The Social Network,” and while the Academy overlooked their work on “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” this was doubtless a nice consolation prize.

[ Photos: Famous friends mingle at the Grammys ]

Taylor Swift, who kicked off the primetime telecast with an over-the-top performance of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,”
picked up the award for Best Song Written For Visual Media for “Safe And Sound,” her collaboration with the Civil Wars from the movie “The Hunger Games.”

And in the category of Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, NARAS showed their love for Woody Allen, or at least Allen’s taste in vintage jazz. The Grammy went to the soundtrack to Allen’s “Midnight In Paris,” featuring classic tracks by Sidney Bechet and Josephine Baker, as well as newer recordings of old favorites.

[ Photos: Grammys red carpet report card ]

During the big show broadcast on CBS, the emphasis was on stars from the world of music, with performances taking up more time than the awards themselves. Only a few movie personalities were on board this year. Justin Timberlake, who has been devoting more time to acting than music in the past few years, was reminding folks he is a singer (and has a new album out in March) with a big-band style performance of material from his upcoming “The 20/20 Experience.” Johnny Depp was on hand to introduce a performance by Mumford & Sons, though Depp’s brief, cheerfully lackadaisical appearance seemed to be over before it began. Nicole Kidman was in the audience with her husband, country star Keith Urban, and the television cameramen seemed to enjoy catching her as she reacted enthusiastically to the music (though not as much as Taylor Swift). And near the end of the night, a handful of stars – including Elton John, Zac Brown, Mumford & Sons, and Mavis Staples – paid homage to the late Levon Helm. Helm was best known as the drummer and vocalist with The Band, the group celebrated in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz.” But he also enjoyed a successful career as a character actor, appearing in such films as Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Right Stuff, and Smooth Talk.

In short, as expected, the Grammys were a night for music fans, not movie lovers. But with expected tributes to Hollywood musicals and a live appearance by Barbra Streisand, the Academy Award telecast on February 24 should offer something for everyone, unless you’re eager to see fun. or Kelly Clarkson make an acceptance speech.