The Original Scores for ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ ‘Silence’ and ‘Arrival’ Have Been Disqualified from the Oscars

With awards season fast approaching, the competition is heating up. However some of this year’s Oscars hopefuls have been disqualified in the original score category for containing pre-existing music. The big three that didn’t make the cut were Manchester by the Sea, Arrival and Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film Silence.

According to the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences’ Rule 15 II E in the eligibility guidelines, a score “shall not be eligible if it has been diluted by the use of pre-existing music, or it has been diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs or any music not composed specifically for the film by the submitting composer.”

Johann Johannsson’s score for Arrival was eliminate because it contains Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight,” which was already used in the film Shutter Island. Similarly, Lesley Barber’s score for Manchester by the Sea was left out of contention because it includes numerous pieces of classical music.

“It certainly comes as a disappointment to learn that my score to Manchester by the Sea was deemed ineligible by the Academy,” Barber told Variety in a statement. “While I accept the Academy’s decision, I also support my director’s decision to use these [classical] pieces and I’m also very proud of the substantial contribution (referenced correctly in many reviews) that the original score made to the film as well.”

The difficulty with this category is that there is no objective way to determine which scores contain too much pre-existing material and which do not.

The 89th Academy Awards air on Feb. 26, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.