Spotlight on Scores: ‘All is Lost’ and The Butterfly’s Dream’

A look at two Oscar hopeful’s beautiful sounds…

As the awards race is starting to settle and possible nominees begin to appear over and over, it’s always wise to parse through the films and see if there are any hidden gems or possibilities for upsets. This week’s Spotlight on Scores takes a gander at two scores that are making some noise out here in Los Angeles that are looking to steal a spot in the race: All is Lost and The Butterfly’s Dream.


Composer: Alexander Ebert
Grade: B
Best Track: Somewhere in The Midnight of Summer

Verdict: All is Lost is a very subtle and moving score that for all the emotional it manages to conjure up the proper amount of existential angst needed for a survival tale. However, the score does fail to make a trememndous impression upon listening to it in sound track form. Unlike say, Life of Pi, Ebert’s score could be played in a vaccuum and just be seen as good music, and I was expecting a bit more oomph. In terms of orchestration, it’s really unique how they use different instruments to convey the shifting moods in the film.

Oscar Prospects: Remember what I said about this score being subtle? Oscar doesn’t normally go for subtle in this category UNLESS they really like a film. Should the film find itself in serious contention for Best Picture then I think the score could sneak in.


The Butterfly’s Dream

Composer: Rahman Altin
Grade: B+
Best Track: So Much to Tell

Verdict: Every year there’s a really pretty score that seems to come out of nowhere and gain some awards traction. This year, that very well could be the score for The Butterfly’s Dream. This score is in the vein of The Impossible or A Royal Affair from last year, beautiful in a standard classical way with some flourishes here and there to keep you invested. Given that we get so many string based Classical scores, it’s nice when one like this manages to use all of the instruments in the orchestra to craft unique sounds.

Oscar Prospects: Very slim just due to the small nature of the film against the established competition, even with the film competing in Foreign Language (it’s Turkey’s submission). However, don’t count this out for Golden Globe predictions as the HPFA loves to surprise and go against the grain (W.E., The Informant!, and Nomad have all surprised in recent years).

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What do you think?

72 points

Written by Terence Johnson

When he's not enduring Shade Samurai training from Victoria Grayson, you can find Terence spends his time being an avid watcher of television, Criterion film collector, Twitter addict, and awards season obsessive. Opinionated but open minded, ratchet but with class, Terence holds down the fort as the producer of the Power Hour podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeNoirAuteur.

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