Oscar-Nominated Original Scores (Part 1): Argo

I thought it might be interesting to do some posts on the five film scores nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Score: Anna Karenina, Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Skyfall. Since I have not yet seen Anna Karenina, I shall hold off on writing anything about it. Otherwise, I’ll go in alphabetical order starting with Alexandre Desplat’s work for Argo. In each post I’ll use five tracks from that particular film’s score, highlighting what I perceive as great moments in that composer’s musical accomplishments. After the five individual posts, I’ll write a post on which score left the strongest impression on me.

Desplat is having a strong year for film music, having also done the scores for Cloclo, Moonrise Kingdom, Rust and Bone, Reality, Renoir, Rise of the Guardians and Zero Dark Thirty. His status as MVC (Most Valuable Composer) is somewhat at odds with the fact that he has not yet won an Oscar, but I hold out hope that one day the Academy will recognize his talents with an award. The Argo score fits the film like a glove; it is enriched by a Middle Eastern style sometimes combined with a more “Hollywood” sound in tracks like “The Mission” and “Cleared Iranian Airspace,” which are the themes of victory.

“Argo” – a great way to open the film. I love when the strings start.

“The Mission” – a theme beautifully indicating the importance of the task at hand.

“Breaking Through the Gates” – one of the most dramatic points in the film as the U.S. Embassy is breached.

“Tony Grills the Six” – here you really feel the tension from the situation: Tony quizzing the six Americans on their Canadian cover stories, the stories which will help them escape Iran. The guitar adds a special touch to the rhythm, while the piano that comes in at 2:21 helps create solemnity.

“Cleared Iranian Airspace” – this theme is first heard in “The Mission,” reiterated for extra effect here. Triumph abounds.

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