It’s that time of year when I write a lot of posts about movies! This will be a quick one. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this fact on my blog, but I’m kind of a movie score connoisseur. I’m the person who tells my friends, whether they care or not, that the same person who composed the score to Forrest Gump also composed the score to Captain America (that’s Alan Silvestri). I have a favorite film composer, Thomas Newman, whose beautiful score was one of the many wonderful things about Saving Mr. Banks, a movie everyone should go see.
But for the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking a lot about Patrick Doyle, an underrated composer best known for scoring many of Kenneth Branagh’s films, although he’s done much more. Although Doyle has composed a few quiet, subtle scores, such as the piano-driven Sense and Sensibility soundtrack, he is at his best when he’s in his joyful and triumphant mode. For me, a movie score can be just as good as a rock concert for a fist-pumping, adrenaline-rushing moment, and when I want that, I often turn to Patrick Doyle. Here is a list of my top five life-affirming P. Doyle tracks. In most cases, the track I mention is at the very end of the movie.
1. “Merida’s Home” from Brave
2. “Thor Kills the Destroyer” from Thor
3. “Strike Up Pipers” from Much Ado about Nothing (1993) Note: Spotify lists the composer of this soundtrack as “David Snell.” This is base slander. I have no idea who David Snell is.
4. something from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I couldn’t pick a favorite track here; they are all great. I love “Hogwarts’ Hymn,” from the credits, but it’s not quite the “fist-pumping” experience I described above.
5. “Papa!” (starting about 1:30) from A Little Princess, which I only recently realized that Patrick Doyle scored.
I chuckled aloud at your accusations of base slander. Movie music, in general, does not receive enough credit for how much it can make a so-so movie so much better and a good movie, great!
I should also mention James Horner. His emotionally pitch-perfect use of bagpipes in the scores to two of the greatest movies of the 1990s, Braveheart and Titanic, tears my heart out every time. He also scored my childhood favorite movie, An American Tail, and penned its sweet theme song, “Somewhere out There.”
Alan Silvestri is fantastic also (I called the poor man “Alvin” for years). The composers make the movies! Hats off to all the greats.
I was disappointed that Alan Silvestri didn’t do The Winter Soldier. Also, Patrick Doyle didn’t do Thor: The Dark World. What is with these great composers bailing out of our Avenger movies?
[…] something about my fave category, Best Original Score. Although I would have liked to see my guy Thomas Newman win, I was happy to see the award go to another young composer (and a woman at that), Hildur […]