Annal: 2000 Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music

Results of the Anthony Asquith Award in the year 2000.

Album:American Beauty: Music from the Motion Picture

American Beauty: Music from the Motion Picture

Thomas Newman, Various Artists

What’s the soundtrack for suburbia gone awry? Perhaps it’s American Beauty—the music for the dark Sam Mendes-directed flick starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening. With its mix of classic and indie rock, the disc seems to reflect something for everyone (or at least those found in middle America). Bobby Darin’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade” is the epitome of unhip, Free’s “All Right Now” is a classic rock anthem we’ve heard way too many times, and Peggy Lee’s “Bali Ha’i” is vintage exotica at its best. But then there are some surprises: Elliott Smith’s…

Album:Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club

Ry Cooder, Various Artists

Ry Cooder’s name has helped bring attention to this session, but it’s the veteran Cuban son musicians who make this album really special. Reminiscent of Ellington in its scope and sense of hushed romanticism, Buena Vista Social Club is that rare meld of quietude and intensity; while the players sound laid-back, they’re putting forth very alive music, a reminder that aging doesn’t mean taking to bed. Barbarito Torres’s laoud solo on “El Cuarto de Tula” is both more blinding and more tasteful than any guitar showcase on any recent rock album; a…

Album:The End of the Affair: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The End of the Affair: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Michael Nyman

Brooding, modern, and introspective, Michael Nyman’s score for Neil Jordan’s screen adaptation of Graham Greene’s dark, postwar drama largely eschews melodic accessibility and convention. Instead, much as frequent David Cronenberg collaborator Howard Shore (and the great Bernard Herrmann before them), Nyman utilizes subtly shifting minimalist motifs (played by his namesake string and wind ensemble) to underscore the film’s moods and amplify its drama. Though the result may not be memorable from a traditional melodic sense, many will find it an emotionally…

Album:The Talented Mr. Ripley: Music from the Motion Picture

The Talented Mr. Ripley: Music from the Motion Picture

Gabriel Yared

In The Talented Mr. Ripley, Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) becomes a master at taking on another’s identity, pretty much the same thing he does on the film’s soundtrack. Here, the actor does his best to croon like Chet Baker on “My Funny Valentine.” Damon lacks the vocal cords to really pull the standard off, but it’s still a noteworthy effort. The rest of this soundtrack is a mix of vintage jazz (exceptional cuts by Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie), Sinead O’Connor’s mystical “A Lullaby for Cain,” and a handful of bop tunes played by the Guy…

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