Interviews

Composer Alexandre Desplat on Oscars, inspiration

By Eric KelseyMovies - 16 February 2015 11:02 AM | Updated 6:02 PM

Composer Alexandre Desplat on Oscars, inspiration

After coming up short six times, this may be Alexandre Desplat's year to take home an Academy Award.

The French film composer has earned two of the five best score nominations for his work on World War Two historical drama 'The Imitation Game' and Wes Anderson's pastel-dipped caper-comedy 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.

Desplat, 53, spoke about the 23 February (Singapore time) Oscars, how he composes and where inspiration tends to strike.

How is it to have two scores nominated?

I wish I had more! It's incredible. It's fantastic. To already have one nomination is a blessing.

Do you have more feelings for one score than the other?

I can't. I can't. I can't. They're so different.

If they would be almost identical then maybe I could wonder and think, 'Hmm, they look like twins.' But the two movies are totally different, and the scores are completely from other worlds because of the nature of the story lines.



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What's the challenge like when you have to move between a thriller-drama and an idiosyncratic comedy?

Composing is to think. It is to have your mind trying to find what is the best sound that the movie is going for: the best melody, the best texture, the best structure and dramaturgic arc for the film.

Then you discuss that with the director. He's the leader. He's the one showing you the path to follow to find the soul of the film.

How do you compose?

It can be scribbling on paper. It can be playing on piano, it can be doing a layout and orchestration on an eight-track demo. It can be all these things together. Sometimes it's on my Vespa. Sometimes it's when I sleep, and I wake up and I take notes. It's everywhere. When you compose, it's like writing. You're like a writer. You just think all the time.

Was composing for 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' much different from your two earlier scores for Anderson?

I think the tone is kind of the same. The three films we've done together are a mix of melancholy and an elegant sense of humor.

Finally, are you hoping your two scores finish in a tie for the Oscar?

So you mean I could win two Oscars? That would be a first!

Movie Photos

10 photos
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
  • The Imitation Game 2015
The Imitation Game
  • The Imitation Game

    (2015)
  • Rated
    NC16 /
    Genre
    Biography, Drama, Thriller
  • Language
    Eng
  • (3 Reviews)