Darren Aronofsky

Earnest scores enhance tales of outcasts in love, loneliness and loss

Earnest scores enhance tales of outcasts in love, loneliness and loss

A common theme among the year’s best film scores is an almost old-fashioned earnestness. Perhaps in response to the darkness and trauma in the real world, many movies have abandoned cynicism and irony — and their scores have followed suit by being sincerely, even passionately heroic, romantic, melancholy or inspirational. The subject matter below ranges wildly from depressed painters to feminist icons, from doomed firefighters to the passionate affair between a mute woman and a fish creature — but all are scores with a big, beating heart and worthy of consideration for film music’s top prize.

Alexandre Desplat

“The Shape of...

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