Incredible Soundtrack #12: The Ghost Writer (Desplat)

The music attached to a film creates the environment, I believe, moreso than the literal environment depicted through the visuals…

One of the most important film composers recently is Alexandre Desplat. Not only has he won multiple awards – including a BAFTA for The King’s Speech, a BMI Film Music Award for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and a Silver Berlin Bear for The Beat That My Heart Skipped but he has also been nominated for many, many more. As you can see, I have chosen an underlooked gem from the last year – indeed his score for The Ghost Writer – or called The Ghost to us folk in the UK.

1. The Ghost Writer – I have never heard such a great sound, and use of, clarinets and oboes (At any rate, surely a wind instrument). The huge, demanding thump of the percussion, forces you to watch and listen…

3. Travel to the Island – Beginning with a strong use of strings (again, I think the spy-like nature of the film, inevitably lends itself well to a Herrman-esque use of strings) it sets up an almost sinister element to the mix before retreating to the well known theme of the film -but this time more expansive and all-encompassing. With small hints of a childish twinkle that, I believe, is for Ewan McGregor’s nameless and naive character.

12. The Predescessor – An almost dreamlike state is created with an under current of horror-like un-even strings. The chords slowly hint at the main theme without becoming too defined.

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3 comments

  1. As always with any of his soundtracks, Polanski uses them to create this creepy and eerie feeling that always usually works in a very tense way. Good Post!

  2. Great soundtrack – for Polanski the soundtrack to “Chinatown” is unbelievable.

    Very nice podcast by the way – answered the questions 😀

  3. @Dan – Yeah, its great that Polanski doesn't force himself to work with the same composer for all his films – clearly mixing it up where possible.

    @Duke – I have to hunt down the CHINATOWN soundtrack – who is the composer for that film?

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