Spotlight on Scores returns this week looking at one of Oscar’s favorite genres, the costume drama, movies filled with great costumes, ridiculous amounts of drama and a heavy string based orchestral score. So it made sense that this series would look at two movies that fit the bill: A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina. As before, I’ve tried grouping each score with another one similar to it and there will also be links (if available) to Youtube playlists so you can peruse the score on your own, and links to iTunes and Amazon if you want to purchase it.
A Royal Affair
Composer: Gabriel Yared and Cyrille Aufort
Best Track: Adagio
Verdict: My ears felt blessed when I listened to this score, such beautiful music. This being one of few entries in the series that I haven’t seen the film for, I only have track titles and the music itself to go off of. I really love the compositions here and for a heavy string based score, they aren’t as sweeping and bombastic as one might think. The only problem is that its only 40 mins worth of music, which was too short for a simple listen, but is probably perfect for the film.
Oscar Prospects: This film could play spoiler in many categories, not just score, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this one short listed over its much more divisive companion below.
Listen Here: Youtube
Buy Here: iTunes
Composer: Dario Marinelli
Best Track: Dance with Me
Verdict: Dario Marinelli knows his way around crafting music for a period piece, having won an Oscar for his work on Atonement. However his score for Anna Karenina doesn’t quite live up to that composition. Much like the film, this score can’t overcome its interesting theme and early work to be truly great. I LOVE the main theme, but my goodness, it plays over and over and over; it has to have been woven through half of the tracks here. Some of the most famous works in musical history have had an idée fixe or theme that plays throughout the work (Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz is the best example) but it’s usually moved around the orchestration, not placed front and center in every song. There are some enjoyable moments in the score, where you can can visualize how the characters are moving around simply by the music.
Oscar Prospects: You can probably pencil this in for a nomination, and a possible win, given Marinelli’s standing with the Academy.
Listen Here: Youtube
Buy Here: iTunes Amazon
Tags: Anna Karenina, Best Original Score, Cyrille Aufort, Dario Marinelli, Film soundtracks, Gabriel Yared, Spotlight on Scores