Golden Globes Best Score Nominees: A Preview

December 15, 2017

Posted in: Music, Film

The Golden Globes nominations are out! The ceremony itself is just around the corner (January 7, 2018), sowe thought we’d take a look at this year’s nominees for best score – potentially a sign of things to come whenthe Oscar nominations are released on January 23rd.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Carter Burwell’s score for the pitch-black comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” draws from an array of distinctly American sounds. Though it takes place in the lower Midwest, the music channels more Southwestern sound and Appalachian folk music, with a touch of Spaghetti Western in the mix as well, playing up Francis McDormand’s role as a renegade anti-hero.

The Shape of Water
Alexander Desplat’s score for Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” stays intensely focused on the colorful vision of its director, who likes to refer to the story as a fairy tale romance. In interviews, Desplat explains why he chose the flute as the central instrument in the film’s score: “It’s a very soft instrument. And these, because they’re bass flutes, alto flutes, they’re playing the low register, so you hear these blurred kind of sounds…it’s all very soft, like if you were underwater.”

The Post
With “The Post,” Steven Spielberg is reunited with the most celebrated composer of our time, John Williams. At this time, no music from “The Post" is available online, we can be sure John Williams will be in serious consideration for the award, as this is his 22 nd nomination and would be his 5 th win. Williams previously won for “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “E.T.” “Star Wars: A New Hope,” and “Jaws.”
Though Spielberg-Williams is likely most famous director-composer team of all time, Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer surely aren’t much further down the list. Nolan always seems to bring out the best in Zimmer, who previously created groundbreaking scores for “The Dark Knight” and “Inception.” Zimmer’s “Dunkirk” score is similarly innovative, using extremely long, tense builds, often with no resolution. It’s also notable for its use of the Shepard Tone, an auditory illusion that fascinated Christopher Nolan in post-production.

Phantom Thread
Jonny Greenwood, known for his haunting score to Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” has once teamed up with the director for “Phantom Thread” starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Though the soundtrack is not readily available online, the main theme (see below) is a haunting, experimental piano and viola duet, exhibiting a rich classical influence but with odd techniques that create a vague sense of dread.

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