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Posts Tagged ‘Alexandre Desplat’

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS – Alexandre Desplat

July 28, 2017 6 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

When French director Luc Besson debuted his film The Fifth Element in 1997, it was hailed as a masterpiece of European science fiction, a visual feast for the senses. What people didn’t realize at the time was that, as good as The Fifth Element was, Besson was actually making that film because cinematic technology was not yet sophisticated enough for him to make what was his true passion project: a big screen adaptation of the French-language comic book series Valérian et Laureline, which Besson had grown up reading. Although most people outside of France will not have heard of it, Valérian et Laureline is actually very influential, and many commentators knowledgeable about the subject have noted that the original Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, and Independence Day all contain visual and conceptual similarities to the comic, which pre-dates all of them. In hindsight, it is clear that The Fifth Element was Besson’s ‘dry run’ for this film, as it too shares ideas and design elements with Valérian. Read more…

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Best Scores of 2016 – Western Europe

December 30, 2016 1 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 Western Europe – in this instance, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands (Spain & Portugal, and the UK will get their own pages later!). The film music covered in this installment includes several outstanding dramatic works, animated films, fantasy action adventures, and more! Read more…

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS – Alexandre Desplat

August 30, 2016 5 comments

thelightbetweenoceansOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Light Between Oceans is a romantic drama set in Australia in the 1920s. Based on the novel by M. L. Stedman and directed by Derek Cianfrance, it stars Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherborne, a veteran of World War I, now working as a lighthouse keeper off the western coast of the country with his wife, Isabel (Alicia Vikander). One day, Tom rescues a baby girl, who he finds washed up in a rowboat on the rocks near his home; assuming she is the only survivor of a shipwreck, Tom and Isabel decide to informally adopt the baby – whom they name Lucy – as their own. However, years later, when they return to the Australian mainland for a brief time, the once-happy family discovers that their decision to keep Lucy on that fateful day may result in terrible repercussions for all. The film also stars Rachel Weisz and Bryan Brown, and has been the recipient of a great deal of critical acclaim in the period leading up to its release. Read more…

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS – Alexandre Desplat

July 29, 2016 3 comments

secretlifeofpetsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Secret Life of Pets is the latest animated film from Illumination Entertainment, the successful studio behind the smash hits Despicable Me and Minions. Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, it follows the escapades of Max, a terrier who lives a life of luxury in an upscale New York tenement building with his owner. However, Max’s perfect life is spoiled when his owner adopts a new dog: Duke, a large and accident prone mongrel mutt who quickly makes Max’s life a misery. Before long, Max and Duke are involved in all manner of escapades, including a trip to the pound, a jailbreak masterminded by a streetwise bunny named Snowball, and a devilish plan to get revenge on the former owners of the city’s abandoned animals. The film features the voice talents of Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart, among others, and has a score from an unlikely source: Oscar-winning French composer Alexandre Desplat. 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…

THE DANISH GIRL – Alexandre Desplat

December 16, 2015 Leave a comment

danishgirlOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Gender identity issues have been a major social topic in 2015, encompassing everything from Caitlin Jenner to the acclaimed TV series Transparent, so it is perhaps unsurprising that a film like The Danish Girl should be released this year. Directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), it looks at the life of Einar Wegener, a young Danish man living in Copenhagen in the 1920s, who became the first ever recipient of male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. Lead actor Eddie Redmayne is heavily tipped for a second consecutive Academy Award for his performance as Einar and his alter ego, Lili, and he is ably supported by Alicia Vikander as his wife, Gerda. Also receiving a great deal of critical acclaim has been the score, written by French composer Alexandre Desplat, who has already received Golden Globe and Satellite Award nominations for his work. This is the fifth and final Desplat score of 2015, whose output in general has been disappointing compared to his usual stellar standards: Suffragette came and went without much fanfare, Everything Will Be Fine was barely released in the United States, and neither Il Racconto dei Racconti nor Une Histoire de Fou have been released outside their native countries at all. Read more…

SUFFRAGETTE – Alexandre Desplat

October 16, 2015 1 comment

suffragetteOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Women in the United Kingdom did not receive the right to vote until 1928. The issue of universal suffrage had been a parliamentary hot potato since at least 1872, and had dominated the political lives of several of the country’s leaders at the time, most notably King George V, and prime ministers David Lloyd George and Herbert Henry Asquith, all of whom were vehemently opposed to it. Things came to a head following the formation of the influential Women’s Social and Political Union, which had shifted sentiments in favor of women’s suffrage by 1906, but was equally criticized for its militant and sometimes violent campaign. Most commentators credit two women with changing the minds of British politicians: Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the WSPU (and the British equivalent of Susan B. Anthony), and Emily Davison, who intentionally walked in front of, and was subsequently trampled and killed by, the King’s horse Anmer during the running of the 1913 Epsom Derby horse race. Director Sarah Gavron’s film Suffragette tells the story of the movement from the point of view of the fictional Maud Watts, who joins the WSPU at the height of its influence, and becomes deeply involved in its activities. It stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Meryl Streep as Pankhurst, and is the first real ‘Oscar bait’ film of 2015. Read more…