Posts Tagged ‘Abel Korzeniowski’

EMILY – Abel Korzeniowski

December 2, 2022 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Brontë Sisters – Emily, Anne, and Charlotte – are powerhouses of classic British literature. Born within four years of each other in Yorkshire between 1816 and 1820, the siblings would craft some of the most beloved works of the early Victorian era: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, first published in 1847, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, published later that same year, and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, published in 1848, are now considered masterpieces, and the fact that they were written essentially simultaneously is astonishing. While there have been numerous screen adaptations of the stories they wrote, there have been few biopics of the actual sisters themselves, which is surprising considering that they all led romantically tragic lives, and died young: Emily of tuberculosis aged 30 in 1848, Anne of tuberculosis she caught from Emily aged 29 in 1849, and Charlotte of a pregnancy complication aged 38 in 1855. This new film Emily, written and directed by Frances O’Connor, is a look at their lives mostly from Emily’s point of view. It stars Emma Mackey, Alexandra Dowling, and Amelia Gething as the three sisters, with Fionn Whitehead, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Adrian Dunbar, and Gemma Jones in supporting roles. Read more…

TILL – Abel Korzeniowski

November 2, 2022 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the summer of 1955 Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago, traveled by train to visit some family members in northern Mississippi. Not long after he arrived young Emmett was brutally murdered – lynched and mutilated – by a gang of white men who thought that he had ‘behaved inappropriately’ around a white woman, thereby violating the racist social norms of the time and place. The appallingly violent manner of Emmett’s death, and the horrific racism that surrounded it, was compounded by the fact that the men – who never denied killing him – were later acquitted by an all-white jury. Back in Chicago, Emmett’s brave mother Mamie insisted on having an open-casket funeral for her son, to show the world what had happened to him. Along with Rosa Parks’s bus protest, and the subsequent work of leaders like Martin Luther King, Emmett Till’s life and death became one of the defining moments of the civil rights movement. This new film, directed by Chinonye Chukwu, tells the true story from Mamie’s point of view; it stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie and Jalyn Hall as Emmett, alongside supporting actors Frankie Faison, Haley Bennett, and Whoopi Goldberg. Read more…

THE COURIER – Abel Korzeniowski

March 23, 2021 8 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Courier is an old-fashioned slow burn Cold War spy thriller in the classic John Le Carré mold, directed by Dominic Cooke. The film tells the true story of Greville Wynne, a middle-class English businessman who is recruited by both the CIA and MI6 to act as a go-between in their dealings with Oleg Penkovsky, a high-ranking official in Soviet military intelligence who wants to defect to the west. Wynne is instrumental in obtaining information about the Soviet nuclear missile programme, helping Penkovsky smuggle details out of Moscow and back to London; the intelligence he gathers is crucial to ending the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, but it comes at great personal cost to Wynne and his family. The film is anchored by a brilliant lead performance from Benedict Cumberbatch as Wynne, a typical everyman who is thrust almost against his will into a world of espionage that he knows nothing about; he is ably supported by Merab Ninidze as Penkovsky, Jessie Buckley as Wynne’s long-suffering wife Sheila, and Rachel Brosnahan and Angus Wright as Wynne’s secret service handlers. Read more…

THE NUN – Abel Korzeniowski

September 4, 2018 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the constant battles I have as a film music reviewer is between music I like and music that is good. Sometimes it’s easy, because the two are the same thing. Often I listen to a score and there are great memorable themes and big sweeping orchestras and powerful lush arrangements; there is a gorgeous love theme, and sometimes bold and exciting action music. This is the stuff I like. Then you get into the meat of it and it’s filled with really cool compositional ideas and contrapuntal writing and rhythmic devices, interesting ways of using the instruments through the orchestrations and via extended performance techniques, clever thematic interplay, and so on. This is when you know it’s good in purely musical terms – and that’s before you even get into things like in-film effectiveness. The problem arises when there’s a conflict, when the music is undeniably superb from a technical and compositional point of view, but it’s something I don’t particularly like listening to, and for me that arises most often in music for horror films. The latest score to give me that problem is The Nun, which is by the outrageously talented Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski. 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…

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – Abel Korzeniowski

November 8, 2016 3 comments

nocturnalanimalsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Nocturnal Animals is a film about violence, but not in the way you might expect. Amy Adams stars as Susan, the impossibly rich owner of an elite Los Angeles art gallery, who is trapped in an increasingly loveless marriage to the handsome but disinterested Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day her world is rocked when the manuscript of a soon-to-be-published novel is delivered to her home; the manuscript is from her first husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), and as Hutton is away on business, Susan decides to read it. The manuscript – which is titled ‘Nocturnal Animals’ and is dedicated ‘for Susan’ – tells the story of Tony Hastings (also Gyllenhaal), who is driving through west Texas with his wife (Isla Fisher) and daughter (Ellie Bamber), and who is forced to undergo an experience of unimaginable horror when they are menaced on the highway by a gang of shit-kicking rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). As Susan reads, she begins to interpret the story as a metaphor for her failed marriage to Edward, and is forced to come to terms with the consequences of her actions in the past. Read more…

Best Scores of 2015 – Europe

January 9, 2016 6 comments

The third installment in my series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world concentrates on music from films from mainland Europe. I know this is a very ‘broad brush’ description, but there are a number of countries this year where there are just one or two standout works which couldn’t justify an entire article to themselves, so I decided to present you with this bumper crop from across the entire continent instead! The scope is quite wide-ranging, and includes everything from French documentaries to Polish serial killer thrillers, Russian adventure movies, and Greek romantic dramas, by written Oscar-winners and exciting newcomers alike. Read more…

PENNY DREADFUL – Abel Korzeniowski

August 2, 2014 3 comments

pennydreadfulOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Penny Dreadful is a Gothic horror/drama series on the American Showtime network, set in Victorian London at the turn of the 19th century. Taking inspiration from the classic writings of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and others, as well as the “penny dreadful” magazines which told lurid tales of serial killers, highwaymen and cowboys, creator John Logan re-imagined these classic characters in a new setting, interacting with each other, and working together to defeat an ancient evil. The story follows Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), a charming American gunslinger sojourning in the motherland, who is recruited by the mysterious Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) to help Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), a famed African explorer, rescue his daughter Mina, who he believes has been kidnapped by a vampire-like creature. Needing help of a medical nature, Sir Malcolm also obtains the help of Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), a brilliant young surgeon, who has a problem of his own: unknown to the others, Frankenstein has been conducting experiments involving death and resurrection, and one of his creations, the fearsome Caliban (Rory Kinnear), has come looking for his father… Read more…

ROMEO & JULIET – Abel Korzeniowski

October 14, 2013 9 comments

romeoandjulietOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Since the very first years of cinema Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s timeless story of passionate doomed love, has been a well of inspiration for filmmakers, ranging from George Cukor’s 1936 film starring Norma Shearer, the classic Franco Zeffirelli version from 1968, and Baz Luhrmann’s revisionist interpretation from 1996, as well as the popular musical West Side Story, which replaces Montagues and Capulets with Sharks and Jets, and moves the story from Verona to New York City. Director Carlo Carlei’s new version was written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes and is a comparatively straightforward re-telling of the story, with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth in the lead roles as the star cross’d lovers, and a supporting cast that includes Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Stellan Skarsgård, Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The film is visually sumptuous, with opulent production design and costumes, and features an equally sumptuous and opulent score by Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski. Read more…

ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW – Abel Korzeniowski

April 4, 2013 4 comments

escapefromtomorrowOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Unless you attended the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it’s likely that you don’t know much about Escape from Tomorrow. It’s a low-budget independent drama/fantasy/horror from director Randy Moore about a man (Roy Abramsohn) who starts to gradually lose his grip on sanity and reality during a family trip to a theme park. What’s so interesting about the film is that it was shot entirely on-location at Walt Disney World in Florida, without the permission or knowledge of the Disney corporation, meaning that Moore and his crew had to resort to guerilla-style filmmaking techniques in order to get the film made. Moore even sent his film to be edited in South Korea so that Disney execs would not find out about the film and shut it down for trademark infringements before it was ever seen in public. Apparently, the film has some less-than complementary things about the Magic Kingdom and its anthropomorphic rodents, and despite its success and popularity with audiences at Sundance, it’s unclear whether the film will ever receive a conventional theatrical release. Read more…

COPERNICUS’ STAR – Abel Korzeniowski

March 21, 2011 3 comments

copernicusstarOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

When Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2009 for A Single Man, I – like many other film music fans no doubt – went to his website to see who this hitherto unknown composer was and where he came from. There was a section on his site housing MP3s from his previous scores, one of which was the intriguingly titled Copernicus’ Star. Again, no doubt like many others, I was absolutely enthralled and captivated by the staggeringly good music from this unknown, mysterious film. One of the others who had a similar reaction was soundtrack producer Dan Goldwasser, who has since worked with the good people at La La Land Records to get a full soundtrack release – the result of which is this excellent album. Read more…

A SINGLE MAN – Abel Korzeniowski

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A Single Man is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood, and marks the directorial debut of writer/director and former fashion designer Tom Ford. Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, it tells the story of a British college professor George (Colin Firth) who, following the death of his long-time homosexual partner, struggles to find meaning in his life. The film is already a critical success, with Colin Firth tipped to receive his first Academy Award nomination for his performance, and has also seen recognition for the score by 37-year-old Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his work. Read more…