A few days ago, I was invited to write about four-time Academy Award nominated film composer Alexandre Desplat at The Film Experience. The post went up yesterday in honor of his 50th birthday. Not wanting to overstay my welcome, I hit what I thought were a few key topics before doing a brief rundown of his film projects this year. Considering my tendency to tl:dr all over the place, it's a safe bet that I held back on that post. Here are some of the tracks I didn't go into for brevity's sake.
From The Queen (one of my favorite films of the Aughts), "River of Sorrow" is a distillation of everything I like about Desplat's moodier scoring. It's beautifully layered and allows the theme to come through clearly. Plus, the harp, french horn, and (I think) marimba get to shine in unexpected ways.
From the French biopic about Coco Chanel called Coco Before Chanel, here's "Chez Chanel." It's a dreamy waltz in 6/8. It feels Parisian without banging you over the head with that musical vocabulary.
From The King's Speech, the almost anachronistic theme music. I say almost anachronistic because there is a definite pop sensibility to this track. It's bouncy. Much of it is the Romantic period-styled piano arpeggiation in the bass line. I just can't help feeling like the initial part of the theme could make a sweet little modern pop song. No matter. It feels appropriate to the film. I might not have liked the feature, but I loved the music.
Between the two posts, have I missed your favorite Desplat? Sound off on the new 50 year old's career below.