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…

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Best Scores of 2017 – United Kingdom, Part II

December 31, 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 returns to the United Kingdom, with a look at a half dozen or so more outstanding scores from films made in Britain. This set of scores from comprises comedies, dramas, and even a horror movie, and includes one by an Oscar-winner, one by a well-loved multiple Oscar nominee, and one by one of the most impressive newcomers to emerge in 2017. Read more…

DARKEST HOUR – Dario Marianelli

December 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There are few twentieth century political and military leaders as respected and admired as Sir Winston Churchill. An army officer, Nobel prize winning writer, and artist, he served two terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. He, along with his comrades Josef Stalin and Franklin Roosevelt, led the Allies to victory in World War II, and in so doing became one of the most well-known and recognizable figures in the world, with his iconic hat, jowls, and cigar. As an orator, he was patriotic and inspirational, and several of his most famous speeches – “we shall fight them on the beaches,” “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” – are legendary. But he was also a complex, conflicted man, who failed to be as effective a governor in peacetime as he was in war. He has been portrayed on film many times over the years, but the performance given by actor Gary Oldman in director Joe Wright’s film Darkest Hour, may be the most acclaimed to date. Read more…

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – John Williams

December 19, 2017 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE FILM, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE DONE SO TO READ IT.

With George Lucas’s prequel trilogy having received almost universal critical disdain in the decade that followed the release of Revenge of the Sith, it took the 2015 film The Force Awakens to re-ignite the Star Wars franchise and bring back the love that so many millions had for the original trilogy that began in 1977. Luxuriating in $2 billion worldwide grosses, and having introduced a cache of interesting new characters to sit alongside the story stalwarts, The Force Awakens allowed Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney company to push forward with their plans for new sequels, as well as several standalone side-stories, confident that people were happy to come back to the galaxy far, far away. The first side-story, Rogue One, premiered in 2016, and a second movie looking at the early years of Han Solo is scheduled for 2018. But before we get into that, 2017’s most anticipated film is Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson, which is the second film of the third trilogy, and the eighth ‘main story’ Star Wars film overall. Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – France, Part I

December 18, 2017 Leave a comment

The second 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 the land of Delerue, Jarre, and Desplat: la belle France! There has been an embarrassment of riches emanating from French cinema in 2017, and this first set of six reviews encompasses a number of outstanding scores, including two by one of Composers of the Year, Cyrille Aufort. Read more…

Golden Globe Nominations 2017

December 11, 2017 Leave a comment

goldenglobe

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

In the Best Original Score category, the nominees are:

  • CARTER BURWELL for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
  • ALEXANDRE DESPLAT for The Shape of Water
  • JONNY GREENWOOD for Phantom Thread
  • JOHN WILLIAMS for The Post
  • HANS ZIMMER for Dunkirk

This is the first Golden Globe nomination for Greenwood, and just his second major film music award nomination – he was previously nominated for a BAFTA for There Will Be Blood in 2007 – although he has been a multiple Grammy award nominee and winner for his work as a member of the alternative rock group Radiohead.

This is the 3rd nomination for Burwell, and the 9th nomination for Desplat, who previously won the Globe for The Painted Veil in 2006. It’s also the 25th nomination for Williams – who previously won Globes in 1975 for Jaws, 1977 for Star Wars, 1982 for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and 2005 for Memoirs of a Geisha – and the 14th nomination for Zimmer, who previously won Globes for The Lion King in 1994 and Gladiator in 2000.

In the Best Original Song category, the nominees are:

  • 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
  • BENJ PASEK, and JUSTIN PAUL for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman
  • RAPHAEL SAADIQ, MARY J. BLIGE, and TAURA STINSON for “Mighty River” from Mudbound

The winners of the 75th Golden Globe Awards will be announced on January 7, 2018.

Best Scores of 2017 – United Kingdom, Part I

December 11, 2017 Leave a comment

The first 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 my home country, the United Kingdom. There has been a wealth of riches from all four parts of the country – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – and this first set of reviews encompasses a rich and varied set of scores from Oscar winning favorites and talented newcomers, dramas, documentaries, comedies, and even a groundbreaking animation. There will be more to come from the UK later! Read more…