Posts Tagged ‘Gustavo Santaolalla’

Best Scores of 2017 – France, Part II

January 8, 2018 2 comments

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…


THE BOOK OF LIFE – Gustavo Santaolalla

October 26, 2014 1 comment

bookoflife-scoreOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Book of Life is an animated film with a Mexican influence, directed by Jorge Gutierrez and co-produced by Guillermo Del Toro. It tells the story of two gods – La Muerte and Xibalba – who rule over two different realms of the spirit world, and who make a bet with each other when they realize that two young brothers, Manolo and Joaquin, are in love with the same young girl, Maria. Manolo grows up to be a bullfighter, but dreams of being a musician, while Joaquin becomes a soldier, defending his village from a bandit. Eventually, a terrible turn of events requires Manolo to journey from the real world and into the magical, mythical and wondrous spirit world in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village. The film, which has a spectacular visual style based on Mexican Día de Muertos iconography, has an interesting voice cast that includes Diego Luna, Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, and Ron Perlman, and features music from composer Gustavo Santaolalla and songwriter Paul Williams. Read more…

THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE – Johan Søderqvist and Gustavo Santaolalla

October 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a popular pastime, of late, amongst film music aficionados, to engage in the new sport of Santaolalla-bashing. Ever since the Argentinean won back-to-back Best Score Oscars, for Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and Babel in 2006, fans of the traditional orchestral score have been up in arms, decrying his popularity and success as both inexplicable and downright appalling. I have to admit, my voice has often joined those criticizing Santaolalla’s scoring techniques. So, let me step back for a moment, and consider things with a more level head. He is an excellent guitarist, of that there is no doubt, bringing a level of delicacy and intimacy to his performances which is quite lovely. He can write a decent enough tune, and he does have enough basic dramatic sense to understand what his films need, and how to provide it. Read more…

BABEL – Gustavo Santaolalla

October 27, 2006 2 comments

Original Review by Clark Douglas

So this is what it feels like on the other side. Last year, I wrote an very positive review of Paul Haggis’ “Crash”. In fact, I went so far as to call it the year’s best film. I spent a good portion of time arguing with others who said the film was cheap, overdramatic, and contrived. Now, here is “Babel”, which is receiving reviews eerily similar to those “Crash” received, and they’re just as divided… some critics call it a complex and thought-provoking masterpiece, others call it hokey rubbish. This time around, I absolutely agree with the dissenters, for some of their reasons, and for some of my own. “Babel” was directed by the talented Alejandro González Iñárritu, who also made the acclaimed “21 Grams” and “Amores Perros”. Both of those films were contrived, but convincing. Not so here. Read more…

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN – Gustavo Santaolalla

December 9, 2005 2 comments

brokebackmountainOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

When I first read the plot summary of Brokeback Mountain, I half-wondered whether it was a joke at the expense of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, specifically the episode of South Park where Cartman attends the Sundance film festival and loudly complains that “every fucking independent movie is about gay cowboys in Wyoming!” This is because Brokeback Mountain is, in fact, a movie about gay cowboys in Wyoming. It also happens to he a very, very good one, and is fully deserving of all the critical praise it has been receiving. Adapted from Annie Proulx’s short story by Lonesome Dove writer Larry McMurtry, and directed with sensitivity by Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, two young men – a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy – who meet in the summer of 1963 while working on a sheep farm in rural Wyoming, and unexpectedly embark on a brief, but passionate, homosexual encounter with each other. Read more…