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Archive for January, 2017

LION – Dustin O’Halloran and Volker Bertelmann

January 30, 2017 3 comments

lionOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Director Garth Davis’s film Lion is a warm-hearted real life drama based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose, which stars Dev Patel as a young Indian-Australian man caught between two cultures. As a child in rural India, 5-year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) and his older brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) eke out a meager living, finding and selling rocks and cleaning trains. One day, Saroo accidentally finds himself stuck on a train bound for Calcutta; completely alone in a megalopolis of almost 15 million people, and with no way home, Saroo lives among the city’s homeless children until he is eventually taken in by an orphanage, who arrange for him to be adopted by an Australian couple, Sue and John Brierley (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). Twenty years later, the adult Saroo has forgotten much of the detail about his childhood, but gradually becomes obsessed with finding his birth parents, spending all his time feverishly searching Google Earth, and alienating his girlfriend Lucy (Rooney Mara). What emerges is a moving story about cultural identity, family, and the strength and dedication Saroo shows in trying to discover the truth about his past. Read more…

JACKIE – Mica Levi

January 27, 2017 17 comments

jackieOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jackie is an acclaimed biopic directed by Pablo Larraín, which looks at the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the first lady of the United States, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in November 1963. The film stars Natalie Portman in the lead role, features Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and John Hurt in supporting roles, and has been the recipient of a great deal of critical praise, mostly for Portman’s dazzling central performance, but also for its score by British composer and songwriter Mica Levi. Read more…

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Best Scores of 2016 – Asia, Part II

January 25, 2017 2 comments

The seventh and final installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world returns to the Asian continent, and highlights a half dozen more outstanding scores from Japan and China. This set of reviews features everything from epic action fantasy films, sweet animated adventures, horror films, and historical dramas, and concentrates strongly on music by one particular composer who is writing some of the best film music anywhere in the world today, and who should be most more respected and acclaimed in the west: Naoki Sato. Read more…

Categories: Reviews

Academy Award Nominations 2016

January 24, 2017 Leave a comment

oscarstatuetteThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have announced the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film in 2016.

In the Best Original Score category, the nominees are:

  • NICHOLAS BRITELL for Moonlight
  • JUSTIN HURWITZ for La La Land
  • MICA LEVI for Jackie
  • DUSTIN O’HALLORAN and VOLKER “HAUSCHKA” BERTELMANN for Lion
  • THOMAS NEWMAN for Passengers

These are the first Oscar nominations for Britell, Hurwitz, Levi, O’Halloran and Bertelmann, although Hurwitz did win the Golden Globe for Best Original Score earlier during the season. It is the 14th Oscar nomination for Newman, but he has never won, thus ensuring that this year’s winner will be a first time Oscar champion.

In the Best Original Song category, the nominees are:

  • JUSTIN HURWITZ, BENJ PASEK, and JUSTIN PAUL for “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land
  • JUSTIN HURWITZ, BENJ PASEK, and JUSTIN PAUL for “City of Stars” from La La Land
  • LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA for “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
  • JOSHUA RALPH and GORDON SUMNER (STING) for “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story
  • JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, MAX MARTIN, and KARL JOHAN SCHUSTER (SHELLBACK) for “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls

The winners of the 89th Academy Awards will be announced on February 26, 2017.

Best Scores of 2016 – Spain and Portugal

January 19, 2017 1 comment

The sixth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Spain and Portugal. I have long been of the opinion that, pound for pound, the best film music in the world is being written on the Iberian peninsula, and this year’s nine entries more than confirm that theory yet again. Read more…

Best Scores of 2016 – United Kingdom

January 14, 2017 1 comment

The fifth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films and television from my home country, the United Kingdom. This year’s crop of British beauties includes a lovely animation score from a respected veteran, an exciting drama score from an increasingly impressive talent, and several outstanding scores for television. Read more…

BAFTA Nominations 2016

January 10, 2017 Leave a comment

baftaThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the nominations for the 70th British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2016.

In the Best Original Music category, which is named in memory of the film director Anthony Asquith, the nominees are:

  • JUSTIN HURWITZ for La La Land
  • JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON for Arrival
  • ABEL KORZENIOWSKI for Nocturnal Animals
  • MICA LEVI for Jackie
  • DUSTIN O’HALLORAN and VOLKER “HAUSCHKA” BERTELMANN for Lion

This is the third BAFTA nomination for Jóhannsson, and the second nomination for Levi. All the other four nominees are first-time recipients, although Korzeniowski did win a BAFTA TV Award in 2015 for his television score Penny Dreadful. None of the nominees have previously won a British Academy Film Award.

The winners of the 70th BAFTA Awards will be announced on February 12, 2017.

Categories: News and Announcements Tags: ,

Golden Globe Winners 2016

January 8, 2017 Leave a comment

hurwitzglobesThe Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the winners of the 74th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and American television of 2016.

In the Best Original Score category composer Justin Hurwitz won the award for his score for the original musical La La Land. In his acceptance speech, Hurwitz said:

“Thank you, thank you. HFPA, everybody who worked on the movie, everybody at Lionsgate, all the LA musicians. I could start going through names, but I would have to pick and choose and leave so many names out, and then I would feel bad and then I would also start imagining that people were angry at me for not saying their names, so, just kind of across the board everyone who worked on the movie. I feel like it was the kind of movie where … well, first of all I was lucky to get to work, because it was a musical, I got to work with or at least know, pretty much all the departments, and there was just this spirit across the movie where people kind of worked harder than I think they’re used to working, and went to bed later than they’re used to going to bed, and wore more hats than they’re used to, and because I think we were all … we didn’t believe that this movie was getting made, and we didn’t believe that Damien had created something so unique that allowed us to put so much of ourselves into it, so, we didn’t want to take it for granted, and everybody worked so hard, and so passionately, so thank you to everybody, and this is very much appreciated.”

The other nominees were Nicholas Britell for Moonlight, Jóhann Jóhannsson for Arrival, Dustin O’Halloran and Volker “Hauschka” Bertelmann for Lion, and Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, and Benjamin Wallfisch for Hidden Figures.

In the Best Original Song category, the winners were Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul for their song “City of Stars” from La La Land.

The other nominees were Lin-Manuel Miranda for “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, James Osterberg (Iggy Pop), Daniel Pemberton, Stephen Gaghan, and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) for “Gold” from Gold, Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Schuster (Shellback) for “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls, and Stevie Wonder, Ryan Tedder, and Francis Farewell Starlite for “Faith” from Sing.

Best Scores of 2016 – Scandinavia

January 7, 2017 3 comments

The fourth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Scandinavia, one of the world’s most impressive sources of excellent scores. One score from Finland, one score from Sweden, and a veritable plethora of scores from Norway are showcased this year. Read more…

Best Scores of 2016 – Eastern Europe

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment

The third installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from Eastern Europe. Here you will find two scores from Russia – one by a complete newcomer, one by an esteemed veteran – plus one score from Romania (via France and Israel), and three scores from Poland, all of which were written by one of that country’s film music rising stars. Read more…