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Archive for January, 2018

Best Scores of 2017 – Spain

January 15, 2018 1 comment

The fifth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world sees us in one of my favorite film music countries, Spain. I have long been a vocal promoter Spanish film music which, over last ten years or so, has become a soundtrack powerhouse filled with composers who – in terms of the number of excellent scores per film – are probably writing the highest quality film music in the world. 2017 was no exception, with dozens of excellent scores emerging from the country during the calendar year. This article contains the scores which, in my opinion, are the eight best, which encompass both film and television, span multiple genres, and are written both by familiar favorites and exciting newcomers. Read more…

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PHANTOM THREAD – Jonny Greenwood

January 13, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Phantom Thread is a period romantic drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in England in the 1950s, it stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer and exquisite dressmaker, who runs a high-end haute couture business with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville), and whose regular clients include the cream of European royalty. Reynolds is brilliant, an artist of tremendous skill and taste, but is also neurotic, difficult, irritable, and unhealthily obsessed with his late mother; he also frequently embarks on fiery relationships with women that fizzle out as soon as he gets bored, upon which he begins treating them with casual disdain. One day Reynolds meets Alma (Vicky Krieps), a shy waitress, to whom he is unexpectedly attracted. Before long Reynolds has moved Alma into his house in London, and she quickly becomes his muse, challenging him, confounding him, but also inspiring greatness in his work. However, their relationship is tempestuous, and before long it is heading down an unexpectedly dark path which may have serious repercussions for everyone involved. Read more…

DOWNSIZING – Rolfe Kent

January 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Downsizing is the latest film from director Alexander Payne. It has a fascinating premise; in a research lab in Norway a team of scientists led by Dr. Jørgen Asbjørnsen (Rolf Lassgård) finds a way to shrink a human being from full size, down to about five inches tall – perfectly safe, no side effects, but irreversible – as a way to halt humanity’s over-consumption of the planet’s natural resources . Within a decade the new technology – known as ‘downsizing’ – has become incredibly popular, with hundreds of thousands of people undergoing the procedure and moving to brand new, specially built communities for small people, which offer every luxury imaginable. Into this world comes Paul Safranek (Matt Damon), who agrees to undergo the downsizing procedure with his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) as a way to escape from their dull life in the real world. However, before long, Paul finds that the ‘small world’ has its own set of problems, and after he meets a Serbian playboy businessman (Christophe Waltz) and a former Vietnamese political activitist (Hong Chau), his life changes in more ways than he could have ever anticipated. Read more…

BAFTA Nominations 2017

January 9, 2018 2 comments

baftaThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the nominations for the 71st British Academy Film Awards, honoring the best in film in 2017.

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

  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The Shape of Water
  • JONNY GREENWOOD for Phantom Thread
  • DARIO MARIANELLI for Darkest Hour
  • BENJAMIN WALLFISCH and HANS ZIMMER for Blade Runner 2049
  • HANS ZIMMER for Dunkirk

This is the eighth BAFTA nomination for Desplat, who won for “The King’s Speech” in 2010 and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in 2014; the second nomination for Greenwood; the third nomination for Marianelli; the first nomination for Wallfisch; and the ninth BAFTA film award nomination for Zimmer. Zimmer also has music nominations from the BAFTA TV Awards and the BAFTA Games Awards.

The winners of the 71st BAFTA Awards will be announced on February 18, 2018.

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Best Scores of 2017 – France, Part II

January 8, 2018 1 comment

The fourth installment in my annual series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world sees us back in France, with a look at a wonderful octet of scores from films made in one of the world’s great cinematic nations. This set of scores ranges across every genre imaginable, and includes one by a controversial double Oscar-winner, two by beloved staples of classic French cinema, and two by one of the most impressive newcomers to emerge in 2017. Read more…

Golden Globe Winners 2017

January 7, 2018 Leave a comment

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the winners of the 75th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and American television of 2017.

In the Best Original Score category composer Alexandre Desplat won the award for his score for director Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water. This is Desplat’s second Golden Globe, him having won previously for The Painted Veil in 2006. In his acceptance speech, Desplat said:

Thank you, merci, merci beaucoup. Different color from the previous one! Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press. Thanks to Fox Searchlight, to Miles Dale the producer, and Guillermo… you moved me. Your movie has moved me so much, inspired me so much, because it’s made of your humanity, your passion. I thank you also for all the dinners we have in Paris, and the ones to come. I want to thank all the musicians who recorded the score, they are marvelous. All the crew and cast: Richard [Jenkins], Sally [Hawkins], Doug [Jones]. The music department at Fox Searchlight, Queen Renee Fleming, Laura Engel, Ray Costa, my friend Katz, and Solrey – this is for you. Thank you very much!

The other nominees were Carter Burwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Jonny Greenwood for Phantom Thread, John Williams for The Post, and Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk.

In the Best Original Song category, the winners were Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul for their song “This Is Me” from the screen musical The Greatest Showman.

The other nominees were Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for “Remember Me” from Coco; Mariah Carey and Marc Shaiman for “The Star” from The Star; Nick Jonas, Justin Tranter, and Nick Monson for “Home” from Ferdinand; and Raphael Saadiq, Mary J. Blige, and Taura Stinson for “Mighty River” from Mudbound.

THE POST – John Williams

January 2, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1971 the Washington Post was still a comparatively small-scale regional newspaper, lagging behind such behemoths as the New York Times in terms of prestige and influence. That all changed when the Post’s hard boiled news editor Ben Bradlee found himself in possession of what became known as The Pentagon Papers: a leaked classified report which proved that the US government had lied to the American people about the scope of its involvement in the Vietnam War, and that multiple US presidents were involved in the cover-up. Director Steven Spielberg’s film The Post tells the story of how the newspaper came into possession of the Papers, and the subsequent protracted legal and ethical battles that ensued over whether or not to publish; it stars Tom Hanks as Bradlee, Meryl Streep as the Post’s owner Kay Graham, and has a stellar supporting cast including Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Matthew Rhys, Carrie Coon, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Sarah Paulson. Read more…