Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Doyle’


May 18, 2023 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I will always maintain that, with the possible exception of Sir Laurence Olivier, the only director who can successfully translate Shakespeare to the big screen is Kenneth Branagh. His 1989 cinematic debut Henry V was a lightning bolt, doing away with stuffy line readings and instead embracing rich and complex emotions, thereby making the Bard’s prose modern and invigorating. He brought scenes to life with lavish settings and action sequences, and surrounded it all with rich, bold music. His second Shakespeare adaptation after Henry V was this one: Much Ado About Nothing, a romantic comedy first published in 1599. Read more…

INDOCHINE – Patrick Doyle

October 27, 2022 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the most critically acclaimed French films of the 1990s was director Régis Wargnier’s Indochine, a sprawling and epic romantic drama set against the backdrop of the last days of French colonialism in South-East Asia in the 1930s and 40s. The film stars screen legend Catherine Deneuve as Éliane Devries, the owner of a large rubber plantation in Vietnam, whose adopted daughter Camille (Linh Dan Pham) is a member of the noble Nguyen Dynasty, which ruled the country prior to French colonization. Both Éliane and Camille live a life of wealth and blasé privilege, but things begin to change when they independently meet and fall in love with Jean-Baptiste (Vincent Pérez), a dashing lieutenant in the French navy. The fallout from this love triangle begins to tear the family apart, and eventually results in Camille becoming involved with a group of Vietnamese communist revolutionaries who dream of independence for the country. The film was a massive domestic success, winning five César Awards (and being nominated for a further seven), while also winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992. Read more…

DEATH ON THE NILE – Patrick Doyle

February 22, 2022 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Kenneth Branagh has seemingly moved from adapting works by William Shakespeare to adapting works by Agatha Christie, and I for one am delighted. Death on the Nile is the second major cinematic adaptation of Christie’s classic whodunit, after the John Guillermin-Peter Ustinov version from 1978, and is the second of Branagh’s Christie adaptations after Murder on the Orient Express in 2017. Branagh himself plays the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who gets drawn into a mystery while travelling in Egypt; a wealthy heiress is murdered by an unknown assailant during a cruise down the Nile on a luxury steamer, and many of the guests on the boat have grudges against her, to the extent that any of them could reasonably have been the murderer. It is up to Poirot to unmask the killer before the boat returns to Cairo. The film is a wonderfully old-fashioned thriller, handsomely staged with sweeping vistas and gorgeous period production design. It also has a tremendous supporting cast, which includes Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Emma Mackie, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Sophie Okonedo, Letitia Wright, and Russell Brand. Read more…

DEAD AGAIN – Patrick Doyle

August 26, 2021 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After director Kenneth Branagh wowed Hollywood with his brash, compelling take on Shakespeare’s Henry V in 1989, many people expected that he would continue to drink deeply from the well of the Bard for his follow-up effort. Surprisingly, his sophomore effort was not a classic adaptation but was this film: Dead Again, a neo-noir thriller set in contemporary Los Angeles. Branagh plays private detective Mike Church, who is drawn into a mysterious case involving Grace, a woman with amnesia, played by Emma Thompson. In an attempt to discover her identity, he turns to antiques dealer and hypnotist Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi), who he believes can help her. While under hypnosis, Grace comes to believe that she is the reincarnation of Margaret, a socialite who was murdered by her composer husband Roman Strauss in 1949. Roman – who also bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Mike – took the secret of Margaret’s murder to his grave, and the more Mike digs into the events of the past, the more he and Grace find their lives in peril in the present. The movie is a fun, melodramatic romp filled with intentional homages to Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, and features a terrific, bold score by Patrick Doyle. Read more…

SHIPWRECKED – Patrick Doyle

March 11, 2021 Leave a comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite writing what is generally considered to be one of the greatest debut scores in film music history in 1989 for Henry V, Patrick Doyle was for some reason slow to capitalize on this success. His sophomore work was not for another prestigious drama or major studio feature, but was instead for this film: Shipwrecked, a sort-of Norwegian version of Treasure Island or Robinson Crusoe. The film was adapted from the popular series of historical novels by Oluf Vilhelm Falck-Ytter about the character Hakon Hakonsen, a young Norwegian boy in the 1850s who takes a job as a cabin boy on a ship to support his family, and subsequently has a number of fantastic adventures on the high seas. The film was directed by Nils Gaup, stars Stian Smestad, Louisa Haigh, and Gabriel Byrne, and was released by Walt Disney in the United States in 1991 several months after it was released to general critical and popular acclaim in its home country. Read more…

ARTEMIS FOWL – Patrick Doyle

June 16, 2020 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

After being in production since 2013, and then languishing in distribution hell for well over a year after it was completed, Artemis Fowl has finally staggered into the world as a straight-to-streaming product on Disney+ in June 2020, having had its theatrical release cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a fantasy-adventure film for children, based on the massively popular series of novels by Eoin Colfer, and tells the story of a 12-year old genius named Artemis Fowl, who is the heir to the vast fortune accumulated by his father, a criminal mastermind. However, when his father is kidnapped, young Artemis is tasked with rescuing him, and is thrust into an adventure involving ancient artifacts, mythical hidden cities, and creatures from Irish folklore – fairies and leprechauns and the like – some of whom are intent on apparently starting a war between them and humans. The film stars Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, and young Ferdia Shaw (the grandson of Jaws actor Robert Shaw) in the title role, and is directed by Kenneth Branagh. Read more…

HENRY V – Patrick Doyle

October 3, 2019 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In 1989 Kenneth Branagh was a brash, handsome, dazzlingly talented young actor and director, who emerged from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the early 1980s and set the British theatrical world alight with his electrifying Shakespearean productions. He was part of a group of talented contemporaries which included people like Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Rowan Atkinson, all of whom began to have a profound effect on British stage society through their respective careers in drama and comedy. Branagh then went on to create the Renaissance Theatre Company, which brought his troupe of players into the circle of beloved stage veterans like Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Derek Jacobi, and Sir John Gielgud. Together they made enormously successful stage productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, the latter of which directly led to Branagh receiving funding to make a big-screen adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works, Henry V. Read more…

Best Scores of 2017 – United Kingdom, Part II

December 31, 2017 2 comments

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…


November 10, 2017 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The concept of the ‘whodunit’ in contemporary literature was essentially invented by British author Agatha Christie, who during her lifetime wrote more than 50 detective stories and mysteries. Possibly her most famous work was the 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express, which features as its protagonist one of her most beloved creations, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Without giving too much of the plot away, the story unfolds as Poirot is traveling from Istanbul to London on the famous eponymous train. A passenger is murdered in his cabin, and Poirot is implored by the train’s director to help solve the case. With the train stuck in a snowdrift, Poirot has time to investigate each of the other passengers in the first class compartment where the murder took place, and slowly develops a theory linking the murder to the abduction and subsequent death of a wealthy child heiress several years previously. This is the second big screen adaptation of the story, after Sidney Lumet’s 1974 film; it was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who himself plays Poirot, and has an all-star supporting cast that includes Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley. Read more…

A UNITED KINGDOM – Patrick Doyle

March 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the things I love most about the movies is the fact that it often gives me the opportunity to learn a little bit about historical events I previously knew nothing about. Case in point: A United Kingdom, the latest film from British director Amma Asante, which is basically about the events leading up to the foundation of the Republic of Botswana. In 1947 Botswana was still known as Bechuanaland and was part of the British Empire, ruled by both a local royal family, and by a High Commissioner appointed by the British Crown. Seretse Khama, the heir to the throne, is in London studying law, and intends to return home once his studies are finished to take over from his uncle, who has acted as his regent since his father’s death. Things become more complicated when Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth Williams, a middle class white woman; what unfolds is simultaneously a love story, a treatise on racism in the UK and Africa in the 1940s, and a political drama concerning the complicated diplomatic relationship between Britain and its Commonwealth colonies in southern Africa. The film, which was released in British cinemas in November 2016 prior to its worldwide opening in February 2017, stars David Oyelowo as Seretse, and Rosamund Pike as Ruth, and features an excellent supporting cast of British and African character actors including Vusi Kunene, Terry Pheto, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, and Nicholas Lyndhurst. Read more…

CINDERELLA – Patrick Doyle

March 18, 2015 1 comment

cinderellaOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Walt Disney are currently undertaking an interesting exercise whereby they are re-making many of their animated classics as live action films; last year, Sleeping Beauty was re-imagined as the action packed Maleficent, and next year Beauty and the Beast is set to hit cinemas in an all-new setting. This year, however, it is the turn of Cinderella, which was originally produced by the mouse house in 1950, and is now receiving a lavish big screen re-telling from director Kenneth Branagh. For those who don’t know, the story is largely based on the popular fairytale novel Cendrillon by Charles Perrault, first published in 1697, and tells the story of a young woman who is mistreated by her cruel stepmother and her wicked step-sisters, and dreams of escaping her life of domestic drudgery. One night, when her family is away attending a ball given by a handsome prince, to which Cinderella has been expressly forbidden from going, she is visited by her kind fairy godmother, who uses her magic to create a ball gown and glass slippers for Cinderella to wear, and a carriage to take her to the palace. At the ball, the Prince sees and instantly falls in love with the beautiful Cinderella, but circumstances contrive for her to have to flee the palace at the stroke of midnight, before the Prince learns her identity. His only clue is one of the glass slippers, which Cinderella accidentally leaves behind in her haste… The film stars Lily James as Cinderella, Game of Thrones alumnus Richard Madden as the Prince, Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother, and Helena Bonham-Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and has a glorious original score by Patrick Doyle. Read more…

THOR – Patrick Doyle

May 4, 2011 8 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An epic comic book action-fantasy based on Norse mythology. Kenneth Branagh in the director’s chair. Patrick Doyle providing the score. For film music fans Thor was a mouth watering prospect that promised to be one of the most exciting and adventurous scores of the year. The film stars Chris Hemsworth as the eponymous hero, who is cast out of the Norse god stronghold Asgard after disobeying his father, King Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Arriving on Earth, and no longer able to channel the power of his hammer Mjolnir, Thor teams up with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in an effort to reclaim his power and return to Asgard in time to stop his duplicitous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from overthrowing Odin. The film, which also features Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore and Samuel L. Jackson, is part of the Marvel Avengers series of movies which includes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and the upcoming Captain America, and will culminate in a combined Avengers movie slated for 2012. Read more…

IGOR – Patrick Doyle

September 19, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Pity the poor sidekick. Throughout literary history, the role of the sidekick has been one of benign subservience, forever scuttling away to do the master’s bidding, or bear the brunt of the master’s ire, never allowed to express an opinion, or to become a true, rounded personality. In the world of classic literary horror, the sidekick role was invariably filled by an Igor, a hunchbacked, lazy-eyed, nasal-voiced nobody, assisting Victor Frankenstein or Count Dracula with their nefarious plans. In Anthony Leondis’s new animated film, Igor, the sidekick finally steps into the sunlight; this is a story where the clichéd hunchbacked evil scientist’s assistant finally has his own story – one in which he aspires to become a scientist himself, much to the displeasure of the rest of the evil science community. The film features a star-studded voice cast that includes the likes of John Cusack, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Sean Hayes, Eddie Izzard, Jay Leno and Christian Slater, and has been roundly praised for being a funny, clever movie, with plenty of subversive humor to keep the adults happy. Read more…

NIM’S ISLAND – Patrick Doyle

April 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

The rather silly family adventure film “Nim’s Island” tells the story of a young girl (Abigail Breslin) who is stranded on a deserted island when her father (Gerard Butler) is lost at sea. The girl requests the assistance of her favorite author (Jodie Foster), who in turn reluctantly attempts to rescue the young child.

The “Romancing the Stone”-influenced flick is scored by Patrick Doyle, who provides a perfectly pleasant lightweight action score. Things begin on a bit of a predictable note, with a sweet main theme for piano, strings, and acoustic guitar. It’s a nice piece, if not especially memorable. It pops up every now and then, but the album features a reasonably diverse array of thematic ideas. Read more…

SLEUTH – Patrick Doyle

October 12, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

Kenneth Branagh has always been a director with a lot of theatrical flair, so it sort of seemed to make sense that he would choose to remake “Sleuth”, the wonderful 1972 film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The original film is a terrific ride of dialogue and plotting. It makes the absolute most of its contained set (a mansion) by filling it with all kinds of trinkets, gadgets, toys, and games. Call it maximum minimalism, if you like. In a brilliant bit of casting, Branagh placed Michael Caine in the role originally played by Olivier, and Jude Law in the Caine role. Though I haven’t seen Branagh’s film yet, I was surprised to learn from reading early reviews that Branagh has emptied the mansion, cut the running time by 45 minutes, and turned out a generally leaner, meaner product. Read more…