Annal: 2003 Academy Award® for Achievement in Music (Original Score)

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2003.

Album:Frida: Music from the Motion Picture

Frida: Music from the Motion Picture

Elliot Goldenthal

She was famous as both artist and model, infamous as political revolutionary and social libertine, and Frida Kahlo’s controversial life couldn’t help but seem the stuff of great musical theater. Her story is brought to the screen by director Julie Taymor, whose musical compatriot here is also her husband; Elliot Goldenthal, student of both Copland and Corigliani, shrewdly sublimates his modernism in service of the rich, evocative music and songs of Mexico and Central America. Utilizing performers that range from the contemporary (Lila Downs) to the folk-classic…

Album:Catch Me If You Can: Music from the Motion Picture

Catch Me If You Can: Music from the Motion Picture

John Williams

Steven Spielberg veered from the futuristic sci-fi flirtations of A.I. and Minority Report with this brisk, stylish period take on the career of teen con-man extraordinaire Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his dogged G-man pursuer/de facto extended family member Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). As always, the director’s musical collaborator is John Williams, and the scoring legend uses the occasion of their 20th collaboration as a rewarding musical journey back to the days when he was known as Johnny Williams, ambitious young pianist for Henry…

Album:Far From Heaven: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Far From Heaven: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Elmer Bernstein

With typical verve, director Todd Haynes’s film not only seeks to evoke Douglas Sirk’s social-themed Hollywood melodramas of the ‘50s, but to bring an entirely new one to life with a distinct lack of modern irony. In telling the story of a Connecticut couple whose “perfect” relationship masks taboo undercurrents of homosexuality and interracial love, Haynes has found the perfect musical collaborator in 50-plus-year film scoring veteran Elmer Bernstein. The composer manages a deft tightrope act here, managing to inform Haynes’s film-out-of-time with the same…

Album:The Hours: Music from the Motion Picture

The Hours: Music from the Motion Picture

Philip Glass

How better to score a movie that takes place in three tangentially related time periods than with music that strives for timelessness? The hallmarks of Philip Glass’s minimalism serve The Hours well. The film, based on Michael Cunningham’s novel, tells the stories of three women—Virginia Woolf in the early 1920s, a housewife just after World War II, and a book editor in the present—whose days relate in different ways to Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. Yet rather than construct a sonic montage of these three time periods (perhaps some Ravel for Woolf,…

Album:Road to Perdition: Music from the Motion Picture

Road to Perdition: Music from the Motion Picture

Thomas Newman

Director Sam Mendes’s much-anticipated follow-up to his Academy Award®-winning American Beauty found him exploring the period gangster film—but with a moral fiber and undercurrent of family tragedy familiar from his Oscar® triumph. As he did with Beauty, Mendes again wisely entrusts the film’s music to Tom Newman, a composer with an instinctive knack for getting inside a film’s characters via innovative and often orthodox methods. As many of Newman’s preceding scores have been rhythmically driven and rife with…

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