Movie soundtracks of the 2011 Oscars

Alexandre Desplat provides the score for Eric Roth’s film, which was adapted from Johnathan Safran Foer’s book. The plot offers a family’s tale revolving around the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers on 9/11.

This score was my personal favorite of the three. It’s moody and brooding, sticking to piano and strings almost entirely. There are woodwinds present, but they are not featured as much as strings. There is even electric bass on “Oxymorons,” providing an even stronger rhythm.

Although the score is minor key all the way through, the second-to-last song, “Reconciliation,” is in a major key and light-hearted.

The entire score has a pulsing, defined meter that makes it amazingly listenable. This is one of the strongest attributes of the score.

Conducted by John Williams, the score for “War Horse” has a timeless element that is predicted before it’s even heard. Williams, who has worked with director Steven Spielberg in the past, is known for conducting the film scores for “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “Jaws.”

The preconceived notion that the music will be classic is not undeserved. The score is triumphant and evokes pride in the hearts of listeners. It has an incredible, all-American tone that wouldn’t be out of place in an old western movie.

As per Williams’ style, there are easily recognizable motifs that recur throughout the score, making themes and moods unmistakable for listeners.

The final movement, “Homecoming,” encompasses a wide variety of emotions and themes from earlier before concluding with a flute solo over increasingly quiet strings.

Dario Marianelli’s score for Cary Joji Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre” is different than the other two film scores. It’s eerie and creepy.

There are vocals featured throughout the score, providing an ethereal tone that raises goosebumps and puts listeners on edge.

The pieces are extremely short, which keeps the momentum of the score moving and compelling.

Instead of expressing moods through dynamic range or quickened tempos, Marianelli creates tension in the solos of violins. They repeat and grow more melodically frantic, which is a very effective tactic.

Personally, I found the score for “Jane Eyre” too ominous for enjoyment. There were very cool ideas presented, but ultimately, it was too abstract and fluid to latch onto.

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- who has written 45 posts on The Sojourn.

Eric joined The Sojourn in the fall of 2011. He studies Journalism and Music and also is the Productions Director of IWU's radio station, 94.3FM The Fortress. In his astonishingly sparse free time, he enjoys watching Animal Planet and being a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur with his fiancé Brooke.

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