Circuit Consideration: Harry Escott for “Shame”

harryescottFor Your Consideration – Best Original Score – Harry Escott
Film: “Shame”
Director: Steve McQueen
Screenplay: Steve McQueen & Abi Morgan
Realistic Nominations: Best Actor (Michael Fassbender)
Oscar Scene: Opening Sequence on the Train

Reviews for Steve McQueen’s “Shame” have been mostly positive citing the powerful performances of Michael Fassbender and Academy Award Nominee Carey Mulligan with many jumping for the screenplay by Writer/Director Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan.  A forgotten and overlooked aspect of this dark yet hauntingly beautiful picture is the score set in place by Harry Escott.  Escott has delivered unique, lingering scores on films like “Hard Candy” and “A Mighty Heart.”

In “Shame,”  Escott initiates one of the best and most memorable scenes of the year.  As Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender) stares longingly at a beautiful, young redhead on the subway, the erotic tension is so thick it can be cut with a knife.  As the passion and aroma builds between these two individuals, Escott’s melodic and potent symphony overtakes and nearly creates an overwhelming emotion that can only be resulted in a tear.

The music in McQueen’s film isn’t as prominent or manifested throughout like other big time composers as John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, etc., it’s a subtle undertone that only lands in our entry and exit through this poignant and seductive tale of solitude, isolation, and indignity.

Comment and discuss.

Also, check out yesterday’s segment on Anjelica Huston in “50/50” and read more about Circuit Considerations and include some suggestions on future ones.

What do you think?

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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Robert MacFarlane

Agreed 100%


I agree as well. The score during both of the subway scenes is mesmerizing.

Joey Magidson

I actually don’t think this is too much of a long shot, but it’s deserving regardless.

Anna Young

That scene was so hot.



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