Another tough category, mainly because the nominees are, if not tremendous, pretty good for what was on offer this year (once you allow for the unfortunate Birdman ineligibility.)
Mr. Turner's score is very effective in its appropriately spare way, but I concur that it seems like the longest of long-shots. Yershon is a virtually unknown commodity, his movie's profile is far lower than his competitors, and it's just not the kind of lush music that nearly always wins.
I actually think the score is one of the best elements of Interstellar -- it's bombastic for sure, but memorably so, both driving and haunting and, aiding its chances here the most, all over the place in that movie. But given that the three Best Picture nominees all seem fully qualified to win the music prize, I think overall lack of enthusiasm for Interstellar will severely limit Zimmer's chances.
I rate the other three nominees completely possible winners, and as in many categories, I'm not quite sure where to bet yet.
Honestly, when I saw The Imitation Game, I thought -- that's the Original Score winner. It's not that the score was tremendous or anything -- like the movie itself, it was traditional British bio stuff -- but the music was very prominent throughout, the main theme is pretty easy to recall, and I thought the Desplat overdue factor would be the icing on the cake. I still rate it a strong possibility -- it's well within the wheelhouse of what voters choose here -- but as with The Imitation Game as a whole, it's had a surprisingly inert precursor run past the consistently strong nomination stage. Losing both the Globe and the BAFTA when it feels like it could easily have taken one or both can't be a great sign.
That said, I'm not sure why The Theory of Everything has seemingly pulled ahead in this category. I have a fairly mixed reaction to the music here. Every time I've heard it -- watching the movie, listening to the score on YouTube, hearing it at awards shows, I think, oh, that's pretty. And then I promptly forget everything about what it sounds like. I wouldn't view it as an exceedingly offensive choice -- you can see why it's getting attention, for sure -- but like the movie as a whole, it's fairly generic stuff, and I'd truly be bummed if it cost Desplat the prize this year, even for the lesser of his two nominations.
I think The Grand Budapest Hotel is the clear best nominee here, the Desplat entry that recalls the level of innovation in many of his earlier scores from a time before he started getting Oscar nods. And it's the nominee here that shows the widest range -- there are so many DIFFERENT memorable music themes here, with the bouncy, jazzy hotel theme featured in the trailer the most catchy of any nominated score. I'm with Mister Tee in hoping that the category shakes out in favor of Budapest, both as a way to honor the oft-ignored composer and his sprightly work on this film. The BAFTA and Grammy wins suggest maybe a fairly wide range of people are responding well to this score, and perhaps Oscar will follow suit?