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Movie Music UK Awards 2011

SCORE OF THE YEAR

  • MARK McKENZIE for The Greatest Miracle
  • LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
  • DARIO MARIANELLI for Jane Eyre
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse

Of all the scores to make an impression on me in 2011, none did so with more power and beauty than Mark McKenzie’s THE GREATEST MIRACLE. Although the film itself is by all accounts horrible – a poorly animated Mexican film about life and Catholicism – the under-valued McKenzie’s music soars, imbued with a sense of spirituality, peace and beauty that was unmatched in the year. Running him a close second were the two scores from veteran John Williams – THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN and WAR HORSE – the latter of which won him the IFMCA Award for Score of the Year. They are filled with everything that is great about Williams’ music, with memorable themes, sparkling orchestrations, and the sense of fun and emotional strength that has made him the most popular and successful film composer of our time. French newcomer Ludovic Bource gave the superb silent film THE ARTIST a sense of time and place through his wonderfully loving homages to the Golden Age of the art, and won an Oscar for his troubles, while the delicate and heartfelt violin performances in Dario Marianelli’s JANE EYRE enraptured me from the moment I heard them almost a year ago, and remain amongst the best that 2011 has to offer.

COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

  • JOHN WILLIAMS
  • MARCO BELTRAMI
  • HENRY JACKMAN
  • MARK McKENZIE
  • CHRISTOPHER YOUNG

With two scores amongst the best of the year, it was almost inevitable that JOHN WILLIAMS would be named composer of the year for his work on Steven Spielberg’s pair, Tintin and War Horse. The effortless charm of the former and the emotional sensitivity of the latter were masterful efforts, and well worth the recognition and acclaim they received. MARK McKENZIE makes the list on the strength of The Greatest Miracle alone, while nominees MARCO BELTRAMI, HENRY JACKMAN and CHRISTOPHER YOUNG all had stellar years writing excellent scores across multiple genres: Beltrami had two excellent horror works in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and The Thing as well as the musically excellent surfing drama soul surfer; Jackman impressed greatly with his animated scores for Puss In Boots and Winnie the Pooh, as well as flexing his action music chops on X-Men First Class; and Young is as good as he ever is, lending his distinctive voice to movies as varied as the gonzo comedy The Rum Diary and the apocalyptic vampire thriller Priest.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

  • LUDOVIC BOURCE
  • SERGIO MOURE
  • MICHAEL RICHARD PLOWMAN
  • JOAN VALENT
  • LUCAS VIDAL

The most important new voice to emerge in film music in 2011 was clearly that of French composer LUDOVIC BOURCE, who received buckets of critical acclaim and every major film music award for his score for the silent film homage The Artist. By channeling everyone from Max Steiner to Erich Korngold to Charlie Chaplin and beyond, Bource created a loving look back at the earliest days of the art of film music, and announced himself as a talent to watch in future. The other four nominees all made great contributions to some little known films: British composer MICHAEL RICHARD PLOWMAN with his scores for the low budget trio A Lonely Place to Die, Age of Heroes and Treasure Guards, all of which are available on Moviescore Media; Spanish composer SERGIO MOURE for the astonishing werewolf comedy Lobos de Arga; his compatriot JOAN VALENT for the powerful comedy/drama La Chispa de la Vida, and the Los Angeles-based Spaniard LUCAS VIDAL, who broke out in 2011 with his score for the eerie thriller MIENTRAS DUERMES, but who will arguably receive more attention in 2012 when his first mainstream Hollywood score, THE RAVEN, comes to town.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • BRET McKENZIE for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets
  • MARY J. BLIGE, THOMAS NEWMAN, HARVEY MASON, JR. and DAMON THOMAS for “The Living Proof” from The Help
  • BRET McKENZIE for “Life’s A Happy Song” from The Muppets
  • ALAN MENKEN and DAVID ZIPPEL “Star-Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger
  • HOWARD SHORE, ELIZABETH COTNOIR and ISABELLE GEFFROY for “Coeur Volant” from Hugo

With 2010 having been such a wasteland for great movie songs, it took The Muppets to bring back the happiness in 2011, with Flight of the Conchord’s front man BRET McKENZIE bringing his unique sense of humor to the absurdity and pathos that the Muppets always have. His two songs – “Man or Muppet” and “Life’s a Happy Song” – enlivened the movie no end with a mixture of self-reflection, surreal laughs and great songwriting, and stand as my two favorites of the year. Hot on their heels is the equally surreal parody song “Star-Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger by ALAN MENKEN and DAVID ZIPPEL, playing up the flag-waving Americana to absurd levels, but remaining musically excellent and providing an excellent counterpoint to Alan Silvestri’s barnstorming score. MARY J. BLIGE, THOMAS NEWMAN, HARVEY MASON, JR. and DAMON THOMAS allowed their song “The Living Proof” from The Help to give voice to the oppressed African American housekeepers the film follows with dignity and tradition, while HOWARD SHORE, ELIZABETH COTNOIR and ISABELLE GEFFROY gave “Coeur Volant” from Hugo a wonderfully vibrant Gallic flair to Martin Scorsese’s film about a young boy discovering the birth of cinema.

Other notable songs from 2011 include JÓN ÞÓR BIRGISSON and CAMERON CROWE for “Gathering Stories” from We Bought a Zoo, BRIAN BYRNE and GLENN CLOSE for “Lay Your Head Down” from Albert Nobbs, CHRIS CORNELL for “The Keeper” from Machine Gun Preacher, ZOOEY DESCHANEL for “So Long” from Winnie the Pooh, ELTON JOHN and BERNIE TAUPIN for “Hello Hello” from Gnomeo & Juliet, ROBERT LOPEZ and KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ for “The Backson Song” from Winnie the Pooh, JEANNIE LURIE, ARIS ARCHONTIS and CHEN NEEMAN for “Pictures in My Head” from The Muppets, MADONNA, JULIE FROST and JIMMY HARRY for “Masterpiece” from W.E., BRET McKENZIE and PAUL ROEMEN for “Me Party” from The Muppets, MARK McKENZIE for “Benedictus Deus” from The Greatest Miracle, and ROBBIE WILLIAMS and BRAD PAISLEY for “Collision of Worlds” from Cars 2.

——————————————————————————–

GENRE AWARDS

BEST SCORE – DRAMA OR ROMANTIC DRAMA

  • JOHN WILLIAMS for War Horse
  • MARCO BELTRAMI for Soul Surfer
  • LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • DARIO MARIANELLI for Jane Eyre

Other notable drama scores from 2011 include Brian Byrne’s ALBERT NOBBS, Nigel Clarke and Csányi-Wills’s WILL, Elia Cmiral’s ATLAS SHRUGGED, Alexandre Desplat’s A BETTER LIFE, THE IDES OF MARCH and LA FILLE DU PUISATIER, Patrick Doyle’s LA LIGNE DROITE, Pascal Gaigne’s A JOURNEY TO EDEN, James Horner’s BLACK GOLD, James Newton Howard’s WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, Alberto Iglesias’s TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, Mark Isham’s THE CONSPIRATOR, Tuomas Kantelinen’s THE ITALIAN KEY, Abel Korzeniowski’s W.E., Thomas Newman’s THE HELP and THE IRON LADY, Conrad Pope’s MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, Rachel Portman’s SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, Chen Qigang’s THE FLOWERS OF WAR, Eric Serra’s THE LADY, and Howard Shore’s A DANGEROUS METHOD.

BEST SCORE – COMEDY OR ROMANTIC COMEDY

  • CHRISTOPHER YOUNG for The Rum Diary
  • ROQUE BAÑOS for Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis
  • CHRISTOPHE BECK for The Muppets
  • SERGIO MOURE for Lobos de Arga
  • JOAN VALENT for La Chispa de la Vida

Other notable comedy scores from 2011 include David Arnold’s PAUL, Christophe Beck’s TOWER HEIST, Ilan Eshkeri’s JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN, Michael Giacchino’s MONTE CARLO, Steve Jablonsky’s YOUR HIGHNESS, Brian Reitzell and Roger Neill’s BEGINNERS, William Ross’s A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS, and Theodore Shapiro’s THE BIG YEAR.

BEST SCORE – ANIMATION

  • MARK McKENZIE for The Greatest Miracle
  • ZACARIAS M. DE LA RIVA for Copito de Nieve
  • HENRY JACKMAN for Puss in Boots
  • HENRY JACKMAN for Winnie the Pooh
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Other notable animation scores from 2011 include Chris Bacon’s GNOMEO & JULIET, Harry Gregson-Williams’s ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, Joel McNeely’s TINKER BELL AND THE PIXIE HOLLOW GAMES, John Powell’s MARS NEEDS MOMS, Greg Sims’ THE LION OF JUDAH, Hans Zimmer and John Powell’s KUNG FU PANDA 2, and Hans Zimmer’s RANGO.

BEST SCORE – THRILLER, ACTION OR ADVENTURE

  • ALAN SILVESTRI for Captain America: The First Avenger
  • CRAIG ARMSTRONG for In Time
  • PATRICK DOYLE for Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • MICHAEL GIACCHINO for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
  • LARRY GROUPE for Straw Dogs

Other notable thriller/action/adventure scores from 2011 include Chris Bacon’s SOURCE CODE, Roque Baños’s INTRUDERS, Alfons Conde’s VIENTO EN CONTRA, Nicolas Errera’s SHAOLIN, Danny Elfman’s REAL STEEL, David Hirschfelder’s SANCTUM, Luis Ivars’s CAPITÁN TRUENO Y EL SANTO GRIAL, Eric Neveux’s HIDEAWAYS, Naoki Sato’s GAKU, and Brian Tyler’s FAST FIVE.

BEST SCORE – FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION OR HORROR

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • ARNAU BATALLER for La Sombra Prohibida
  • MARCO BELTRAMI and BUCK SANDERS for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
  • MICHAEL GIACCHINO for Super 8
  • CHRISTOPHER YOUNG for Priest

Other notable fantasy/sci-fi/horror scores from 2011 include Panu Aaltio’s DAWN OF THE DRAGONSLAYER, Marco Beltrami’s THE THING, Carter Burwell’s BREAKING DAWN PART I, John Debney’s DREAM HOUSE, Ramin Djawadi’s FRIGHT NIGHT, Christopher Gordon’s CRAWL, Jeff Grace’s STAKE LAND, Henry Jackman’s X-MEN FIRST CLASS, Federico Jusid’s LA CARA OCULTA, Conrad Pope’s THE PRESENCE, Howard Shore’s HUGO, Ryan Shore’s THE SHRINE, Brian Tyler’s BATTLE LOS ANGELES, and Lucas Vidal’s MIENTRAS DUERMES.

BEST SCORE – DOCUMENTARY

  • PINAR TOPRAK for The Wind Gods
  • PATRICK DOYLE for Jig
  • KOLJA ERDMANN for Russland: Im Reich der Tiger, Baren und Vulkane
  • GEORGE FENTON for Frozen Planet
  • PETER GOLUB for These Amazing Shadows

Other notable documentary scores from 2011 include Nathan Barr’s HOOD TO COAST, Larry Groupe’s HOLD AT ALL COSTS, Nicholas Hooper’s AFRICAN CATS, and Ernst Reijseger’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS.

BEST SCORE – TELEVISION

  • ARNAU BATALLER for Ermessenda
  • RAMIN DJAWADI for Game of Thrones
  • MURRAY GOLD for Doctor Who
  • FEDERICO JUSID for Hispania, La Leyenda
  • BRIAN TYLER for Terra Nova

Other notable television scores from 2011 include David Arnold and Michael Price’s SHERLOCK, Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna’s CAMELOT, Mark Isham’s ONCE UPON A TIME, Daniel Licht’s DEXTER, John Lunn’s DOWNTON ABBEY, Bear McCreary’s THE CAPE and THE WALKING DEAD, Cyril Morin’s BORGIA and Trevor Morris’s THE BORGIAS .

BEST SCORE – GAME

  • JOE HISAISHI for Ni No Kuni
  • ANDREW HALE and SIMON HALE for L.A. Noire
  • JAMES HANNIGAN for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • JEREMY SOULE for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • INON ZUR for The Lord of the Rings: The War in the North

Other notable video game scores from 2011 include Ron Arundel and Nick Fish’s BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY, Greg Edmonson’s UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION, Mark Griskey and Gordy Haab’s STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC, Bear McCreary’s SOCOM 4, and Brian Tyler’s CALL OF DUTY MODERN WARFARE 3.

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  1. Luke23
    March 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Some nominees haven’t been reviewed by Movie Music. Will some of them get a review?

  2. Vn
    March 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

    In my own list of 2011 winners I listed The Artist and The Help as comedy scores, Just a thought.

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