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Posts Tagged ‘Alexandre Desplat’

ISLE OF DOGS – Alexandre Desplat

March 27, 2018 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Isle of Dogs is the latest film from the quirky hipster director Wes Anderson, and sees him returning to the world of animation for the second time, after Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009. Of all the ‘mainstream’ directors working today, Anderson is one of the only ones who regularly switches between mediums like this – Robert Zemeckis dabbled in animation with things like The Polar Express and Beowulf, and Steven Spielberg had a go with The Adventures of Tintin, but those were exercises in motion capture which still used real actors as reference. Anderson’s animated films are more traditional, featuring stop-motion puppets and models and actors doing voices. It’s a typically idiosyncratic effort from the undisputed king of these things; plot-wise, the film is set in the near-future in Japan, and follows the adventures of a young boy named Atari who embarks on a daring mission to rescue his dog, Spots, from a trash-filled island, after the entire canine population of the city are banished there by a corrupt mayor in the aftermath of an outbreak of ‘dog flu’. Read more…

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THE SHAPE OF WATER – Alexandre Desplat

December 1, 2017 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Shape of Water is a science fiction fairy tale written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, starring Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Doug Jones. It’s an odd mishmash of a film – it’s one part romantic drama, one part monster movie, one part spy thriller, and it explores additional themes that range from one character’s closeted homosexuality to another’s love of classic Hollywood musicals – but somehow it all works beautifully. Hawkins plays Elisa, a shy mute woman who works as a cleaner on the night shift at a military research facility in the 1960s. One night Elisa meets a mysterious but highly intelligent amphibious humanoid creature (Jones) that has been captured in a remote part of the Amazon and brought to the facility for study by the ruthless Colonel Strickland (Shannon). Unexpectedly, Elisa and the Amphibious Man meet and begin to bond, and form the beginnings of an almost romantic relationship; however, when she hears of the government’s plans to kill and dissect the Amphibious Man to study it’s biology, Elisa vows to save him, and with the help of her sassy co-worker Zelda (Spencer) and her next door neighbor Giles (Jenkins), comes up with a plan to break him out. Read more…

SUBURBICON – Alexandre Desplat

November 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The idea of taking a peek behind the white picket fences of American society is not a new one, but few have taken it as far as director George Clooney in his new film, Suburbicon. It’s a highly stylized, bizarrely comical drama set in the 1950s in a planned community, the epitome of white middle class utopia, a fantasy of manicured lawns and pristine shopping malls. However, things start to change in Suburbicon when a quiet African-American family moves in; despite them doing literally nothing to provoke any sort of reaction, the town erupts into a frenzy of racially-driven anger and violence. Against this backdrop, the story of Gardner Lodge unfolds – to the world, he is a mild-mannered middle class husband and father, but in private his life is falling apart in an increasingly nightmarish spiral of betrayal and murder. The film stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, and was co-written by Clooney and Grant Heslov with Joel and Ethan Coen. Despite this star lineup, the film was roundly panned by critics, who couldn’t fathom its uneven tone, heavy handedness, and odd mix of genres. Read more…

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS – Alexandre Desplat

July 28, 2017 7 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…

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…