Friday, 6 March 2015

The Top 7 Film Scores by Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Desplat is without question one of the most prolific composers in contemporary film. The 53-year-old Frenchman has composed for over 100 films since 1985 when he began contributing to small movies in his home country. Desplat composed the dark yet beautiful score for Syriana in 2005, and this remarkable musical feat cemented his place as one of the most in demand composers in the business. To celebrate the home entertainment release of THE IMITATION GAME arriving on Blu-ray™, DVD and digital platforms on 9th March 2015, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL, this feature will take a look at Alexandre Desplat's top film scores.

Desplat had a very limited period of time to compose music reflecting the brilliant mind of Alan Turing. Desplat knew that a big-orchestra approach was out of the question—if not just for time’s sake, it was also too outsized for a story reflecting the unique mind of one man. Realizing that the visuals of the film would never be able to depict the process of Turing’s brain, Desplat decided to make that the focus of his music, paying homage to the godfather of computers by using machines to randomly layer multiple piano tracks over each other. The result is a an extremely atmospheric score to go along with one of the films of the year.

The Tree of Life (2001)
Terrence Malick's controversial masterpiece took nearly thirty years to come to the big screen, and with such a heavy burden of expectation, the film needed an equally bold musical score. Desplat delivered such a score in a typically emphatic fashion. His music is one of the film’s great binding forces, gifting Malick the cohesion that he often has difficulty establishing on his own.

The Fantastic Mr Fox (2009)
Beautifully whimsical, touching and bright, Desplat shows his versatility by creating a score that is clearly out of his comfort zone but no less incredible for Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed The Fantastic Mr Fox. Desplat produces a resonantly beautiful sense of homecoming that speaks to the titular wild animal’s belief that everything will turn out alright in the end so long as his family survives in one piece
Birth (2004)
Even divorced from the setting of the film for which it was commissioned, Desplat’s score for Birth has the feel of a chilly afternoon somewhere north of 66th St. These pieces are some of the composer's most luxurious work—so garlanded with deep drums and dancing flutes that they genuinely begin to take on the feel of the wealthy characters onscreen. The recurring theme is a touch off-kilter, the perfect disequilibrium for a movie about an affluent Manhattan widow who starts to believe that her dead husband has been reincarnated in the body of a young boy.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Wes Anderson teams up with Desplat time after time due to the almost telepathic connection they have when working on a score for one of Anderson's films. Desplat's natural ability to capture Anderson’s movie worlds in just a couple of notes was critical to the filmmaker’s decision to move into the world of moviemaking where the uniquely quirky ideas he had in his head were finally allowed to be brought to the big screen. The Grand Budapest Hotel's music feels true to the films setting in a historically volatile period, its organ blasts and harpsichord tunes resounding with the call for a great adventure.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
This subtle yet beautiful score – another Oscar nominated piece from Alexandre Desplat – went a long way in providing the audience with the freedom to really experience escapism at its very best. The light and subtle tones used throughout added another layer of mystique and beauty to a film that would change cinema forever.

A Prophet(2009)
A Prophet is the masterpiece from Jacques Audiard, and composing a suitably gritty yet beautiful score was always going to be a near impossible feat. As you would come to expect from Desplat, he scored an elegant selection of music to provide the perfect backdrop to this Academy Award winning film.

THE IMITATION GAME arrives on Blu-ray™, DVD and digital platforms on 9th March 2015, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL