Soundtrack Reviews of Oscars Nominees

Tuesday January 28, 2020 / Perspectives on Music

Jamie and Eli sat down to talk about the soundtracks from a couple of Oscars Nominees, 1917 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Jamie: Hello everyone, today we're going to talk, Eli, about the Oscars, right? So we haven't seen every movie but there are a couple that we can talk about. 1917, Sam Mendez, I didn't see this but Eli did, Eli what did you think?

Eli: It's nice, there is some adventure and drama to it. Also nice that it's about World War I, since World War II has been done so many times. The music is what you would expect for a war film with drama, and that is orchestral.

Jamie: Was it good, was it different or unique in any way from other war movies?

Eli: I was expecting a sort of intention of the strings, which I remember very nicely from what Hanz Zimmer did in Dunkirk. He went into a tick-tick-tick of a watch along with strings. This one was much more lively with the orchestral, more epic and dramatic.

Jamie: It has to be hard with a war film to come up with something different that hasn't been done before. There's going to be orchestral, peaks and troughs, a buildup, a story with a climax...

Eli: Well it depends, if it's something like 'The Last Samurai', then you can expect some Asian influence.

Jamie: Of course, well let's move on to Star Wars.

Eli: I think on this one you can calculate 40% will hate it, 40% will love it and 20% will be indifferent. This is the last one of the trilogy that started with JJ Abrams directing, then Ryan Johnson and then back to JJ. On the music this is of course the last one John Williams will be doing.

Jamie: Is it similar kind of music or did John Williams use any of his previous themes? Is anything different?

Eli: Yes he uses a lot of his previous themes, but there is a difference. Different arrangements, different feels, a bit more nostalgic and light on the woodwinds. It depends on where you want to take it but especially on the Imperial March, which is different from the original trilogy.

Jamie: So is it a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you?

Eli: It's sort of a thank you very much John Williams for all that you've done, and I actually enjoyed the movie. One of the themes that stands out is the 'Anthem of Evil', it's started light but turned into a very dark piece of orchestral music.

Jamie: So it's a very light edge of silence...

Eli: Yes it started off extremely low, barely could be heard, then it builds slowly to a crescendo.

Jamie: So it's a slow go then a climax and then a resolution, which is how John Williams writes his music.

Eli: Yes, I think just enjoy it for what it is and don't let it destroy your childhood vision of Star Wars.

Jamie: OK, thank you very much everyone and have a great day.

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