A quick glance at Alexandre Desplat’s 2009 resume reveals a whopping seven titles. That’s pretty prolific for someone who offers up quality work each and every time out, rather than coasting on simplicity like a few other hard-working film music composers out there. This weekend alone there are two films bearing Desplat’s musical signature — “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — and he already has a few lingering entries on screen in “Julie & Julia” and “Coco Before Chanel.”
Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet” lands on US screens in February, though it looks to figure in this year’s foreign film Oscar race, while perhaps the most anticipated film of Desplat’s upcoming projects is Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life.” Desplat recently addressed an audience at the 50th Thessaloniki International Film Festival about working with Malick on the film:
Meanwhile, as part of Variety’s Eye on the Oscars coverage (at a spiffy, newly designed Award Central page), Jon Burlingame talks with Desplat about the volume of work he’s been cranking out as of late.
In the last two or three years, I’ve been called by more directors…directors I’ve dreamed of working with — Stephen Frears, Roman Polanski, Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson, David Fincher. All these gentlemen are amazing artists. So what do you do?…Chris Weitz called me back after (our collaboration on) ‘Golden Compass,’ and said he’s got this ‘New Moon’ in the ‘Twilight’ series. I just want to say yes to all of these people. I work twice as much as I used to, but maybe I also work more quickly. I’ve improved.
Indeed, I’d say he has. And his unfortunate loss last year to A.R. Rahman in the original score category for what was, quite frankly, a genius piece of work on David Fincher’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” was a shame. But his day will come.
What film is most likely to bring Desplat into Oscar’s circle once again this year? I’m placing a bet on “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” a well-respected score, but there is also “Coco Before Chanel” lurking, beautiful work that Sony Classics is certainly trying to get noticed. Whatever the case, the most prolific working film music composer is sure to figure in this year’s race.