Stories » Thomas Newman paints a superb audio landscape that utterly envelops '1917' / Irish Film Critic

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Thomas Newman paints a superb audio landscape that utterly envelops '1917' / Irish Film Critic

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April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Soaring and tacking as two lonely soldiers navigate an unforgiving World War I battlefield, Thomas Newman paints a superb audio landscape that utterly envelops "1917" almost as well as the stunning visuals provided by Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins. At once, foreboding and inspiring, Newman's score successfully manages to evoke a range of emotions from audiences throughout the film's two-hour runtime. Newman's list of superlatives across his distinguished career as a composer never seems to be long enough.

Director Sam Mendes regularly brings Newman on board his productions – a list that includes "Road to Perdition," "Revolutionary Road," "Spectre," "Skyfall" and "American Beauty." Here again for "1917," Newman serves up a thoughtful and moving score that deeply enriches the overall experience of the movie-going experience.

While many people favor more accessible, celebratory music from the likes of John Williams, or edgier works akin to Hans Zimmer, my favorite composer almost certainly has to be Mark Isham. Not only does he create fine compositions for a variety of films, but he also boasts a delightful body of album work in his own right. Nonetheless, Newman probably clocks in at a close second, with what many might consider a greatest hits of movie soundtracks.

Of course, some of Newman's musical works stand apart from their film counterparts better than others, with "Road to Perdition" and "American Beauty" offering perhaps the two best examples. Nonetheless, the "1917" score exhibits another magnificent effort by the gifted Newman. Surprisingly, the composer has yet to win his first Academy Award, despite fifteen nominations. No doubt that day cannot remain very far away.

Sony Music's "1917" (Original Motion Picture Score) is now available everywhere with music by Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning composer Thomas Newman. The score is the latest in a long series of collaborations between Thomas Newman and director Sam Mendes. The two artists previously worked together on titles including "Skyfall," "Spectre," "Road to Perdition," "Jarhead," "American Beauty" and more.

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