Crafts Roundup: Best Original Score

The Oscar-contending music scores are particularly strong this year, given the propelling theme of survival and reinvention. Among the standouts are Gravity, All Is Lost, The Book Thief, Philomena, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Prisoners. Even original songs have spiritual uplift, including ”Let It Go” (Frozen), Cold Play’s ”Atlas” (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), U2′s ”Ordinary Love” (Mandela), and Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug).

With Gravity, Steven Price’s unusual, subsonic score (sans percussion and conventional orchestration) was part of the immersive sound design that emphasized contact through vibrations and putting us right there in space with Sandra Bullock.

For All Is Lost, the experience was high output but gentle reduction for Alexander Ebert. The first piece he wrote at the piano was “Excelsior,” which eventually became the main theme featuring alto flute. For the water motif, he used acoustic guitar, and the strong influence of Ennio Morricone also found its way into the score.

The Book Thief comes out of nowhere as one of John Williams’ most quietly powerful scores in years. For instance, the main title, “One Small Fact,” contains a joyful use of piano that carries it along. The dean of film composers says he uses the lyricism to override the pervasive darkness of this Holocaust story narrated by Death yet told from a child’s perspective. Better to create a world filled with reading and writing than bombs falling on small towns, according to Williams.

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Music

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