OSCARS: From ‘Philomena’ To ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, Composers Show Creativity And Agility With This Year’s Scores

David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.

This year’s bevy of awards contender films is not only uncharacteristically large but also varied, particAwardsLine.LogoBWularly in how they were scored. The lack of similarity is apparent in everything from genre to instrumentation and even transcends musical matters, touching on the very core of the process. Specifically, when the composer is handpicked to buttress feelings and emotions primarily expressed in visual terms, what is his or working relationship with the director? Several prominent composers spoke about that intimate union, which in some cases was a new collaboration and in others a welcome reteaming.

Philomena (1)Alexandre Desplat first worked with Stephen Frears on The Queen in 2006 and gratefully accepted the director’s offer to work on this year’s Philomena, a bittersweet road movie starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. “The story is intimate and deeply moving, and Stephen thought I could emphasize that,” Desplat says. “The story is such that it’s difficult not to be in tears: This little woman who seems to be lost but is actually ahead of everyone. It was so appealing to me. I came out with the main theme rather quickly.”

Related: ‘Philomena’: Could It Be This Year’s Oscar Sleeper?
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Lupita Nyong’o & Composer Thomas Newman On Palm Springs Fest Honors List

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2014 -- smallPalm Springs, CA (December 9, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Lupita Nyong’o with the Breakthrough Performance Award for 12 Years a Slave and Thomas Newman

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