Alexandre Desplat

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Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat 2013.jpg
Alexandre Desplat in 2013
Background information
Birth name Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat
Born (1961-08-23) 23 August 1961 (age 53)
Paris, France
Occupation(s) Composer, orchestrator, conductor
Website alexandredesplat.net

Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat (French pronunciation: ​[a.lɛk.'sɑ̃dʁ dɛs.'pla]; born 23 August 1961) is a French film composer. He has received six Academy Award nominations, six BAFTA nominations (winning one), six Golden Globe Award nominations (winning one), and five Grammy nominations (winning one). Desplat has worked on a variety of Hollywood films, including Darnell Scott, and commercial successes like The Queen, The Golden Compass, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Part 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The King's Speech, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Godzilla.

Early life[edit]

Desplat was born in Paris, to a French father and a Greek mother who met at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] After their marriage, they moved back to France, where Alexandre was born. Alexandre is the younger brother of Marie-Christine and Rosalinda Desplat.

At the age of five, he began playing piano. He also became proficient on trumpet and flute. He studied with Claude Ballif, Iannis Xenakis in France and Jack Hayes in the U.S. Desplat swiftly became skilled, both as a performer and a composer.

Desplat's musical interests were wide, listening to a mix of the French symphonists like Ravel and Debussy, jazz and even more exotic world music. He was also influenced by South American and African artists, among whom were Carlinhos Brown and Ray Lema.[2]

Being a big fan of movies, Desplat set his sights on becoming a film composer from an early age and took actions to make this dream a reality as soon as he started thinking of building a career. He worked on his first film Le souffleur in 1986. [3]

When recording the music for his first film, he met violinist Dominique Lemonnier who became his favorite soloist, artistic director and wife.[2]

Desplat worked on many films throughout his career since the 1980s, and his big Hollywood break came in 2003 with the soundtrack for the film Girl with a Pearl Earring.[2]

Career[edit]

Desplat has composed extensively for French cinema, Hollywood, and incidental music for over 100 films, including Lapse of Memory (1992), Family Express (1992), Regarde Les Hommes Tomber (1994), Les Péchés Mortels (1995), César-nominated Un Héros Très Discret (1996), Une Minute de Silence (1998), Sweet Revenge (1998), Le Château des Singes (1999), Reines d'un Jour (2001), the César-nominated Sur mes lèvres (2002), Rire et Châtiment (2003), the César-winner The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005), The Queen (2006), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010), The Ghost Writer (2010), Daniel Auteuil's remake of La Fille du Puisatier (2011), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011).

Desplat has composed individual songs that have been sung in films by such artists as Akhenaton, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Valérie Lemercier, Miosotis, and Catherine Ringer. He has also written music for the theatre, including pieces performed at the Comédie Française. Desplat has conducted performances of his music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Desplat has also given Master Classes at La Sorbonne in Paris and the Royal College of Music in London.

In 2007, he composed the scores for Philip Pullman's Golden Compass; Zach Helm's directorial debut Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium with American composer Aaron Zigman; and the Ang Lee movie Lust, Caution. Prior to these break-out works, he contributed scores for The Luzhin Defence, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Syriana, Birth, Hostage, Casanova, The Nest and The Painted Veil, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and the 2006 World Soundtrack Award. He won the 2007 BMI Film Music Award, 2007 World Soundtrack Award, 2007 European Film Award, and received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for The Queen. He also won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Best Film Music in The Beat that My Heart Skipped. In 2008, Desplat received his second Oscar nomination for David Fincher's Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Desplat received his third Oscar nomination and a BAFTA nomination for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2010, both of which were won by Michael Giacchino for Up.

Desplat has composed music for Largo Winch, based on the Belgian comic; Afterwards a French-Canadian psychological thriller film directed by Gilles Bourdos in English; Anne Fontaine's Coco avant Chanel based on the life of designer Coco Chanel; Robert Guédiguian's Armée du Crime; Cheri, reuniting him with director Stephen Frears, whom he collaborated with on The Queen; Un Prophète reuniting with director Jacques Audiard; Julie & Julia directed by Nora Ephron; Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson and based on the novel by Roald Dahl; New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz; Roman Polanski's Ghost Writer; Tamara Drewe; The Special Relationship; and The King's Speech which earned Desplat his fourth Oscar nomination.

In early 2011, Desplat began to write the music to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. He reunited with director David Yates, who offered Desplat the opportunity to score the second part after his work on the Part 1 soundtrack in 2010 "enchanted everyone in the control room".[4][5] Desplat's soundtrack sequel to the 2008 film Largo Winch was released in 2011 and was well received. Desplat's 2011 projects included The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick (which he actually recorded in early 2010), A Better Life, La Fille du Puisatier, Roman Polanski's Carnage, and George Clooney's Ides of March.

Desplat started 2012 with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the Florent Emilio Siri-directed biopic Cloclo, and Dreamworks Animation's Rise of the Guardians. In June 2013, Desplat's first Concerto for Flute & Orchestra premiered in France with flautist Jean Ferrandis and the Orchestre Nationale des Pays de la Loire conducted by John Axelrod. His Trois Etudes for piano originally written for pianist Lang Lang had its U.S. premiere in October 2013 played by pianist Gloria Cheng.

On 23 June 2014, it was announced that Desplat would head the jury at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[6]

Filmography (English language)[edit]

Year Film
1998 The Revengers' Comedies
2000 The Luzhin Defence
2003 Girl with a Pearl Earring
2004 Birth
2005 The Upside of Anger
Hostage
Casanova
Syriana
2006 The Upside of Anger
The Alibi
Firewall
The Queen
The Painted Veil
2007 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
The Golden Compass
2008 Afterwards
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2009 Julie & Julia
Cheri
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
2010 The Ghost Writer
The Special Relationship
Tamara Drewe
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
The King's Speech
2011 The Tree of Life
A Better Life
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
The Ides of March
Carnage
My Week with Marilyn - (Marilyn's Theme)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
2012 Moonrise Kingdom
A Therapy (short)
Renoir
Rust and Bone
Argo
Rise of the Guardians
Zero Dark Thirty
2013 Zulu
Venus in Fur
Philomena
2014 The Monuments Men
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Godzilla[7]
Unbroken
The Imitation Game[8]
2015 Max
The Little Prince (2015 film)[9]

Filmography (other languages)[edit]

  • Une autre femme [France (original title)]
  • Tous les chagrins se ressemblent (2002) [France (original title)]
  • Paroles d'étoiles (2002) [France (original title)]
  • Rire et châtiment [France (original title)]
  • Les baisers des autres (2003) [France (original title)]
  • Le pacte du silence (2003) [France (original title)]
  • Virus au paradis (2003) [France (original title)]
  • Eager Bodies (2003) [Les corps impatients – France (original title)]
  • Les beaux jours (2003) [France (original title)]
  • A Sight for Sore Eyes (2003) [Inquiétudes – France (original title)]
  • Le pays des enfants perdus (2004) [France (original title)]
  • L'enquête Corse (2004) [France (original title)]
  • À boire (2004)[France (original title)]
  • Tu vas rire, mais je te quitte (2005) [France (original title)]
  • The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005) [De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté – France (original title)]
  • Une aventure (2005)
  • Lies & Alibis (2006) [The Alibi – Netherlands (original title)]
  • The Valet (2006) [La doublure – France (original title)]
  • Quand j'étais chanteur (2006) [France (original title)]
  • Michou d'Auber (2007) [France (original title)]
  • Ségo et Sarko sont dans un bateau... (2007) [France (original title)]
  • L'Ennemi Intime (2007) – France (original title)
  • Lust, Caution (2007) [Se, jie – China (original title)]
  • Largo Winch (2008)
  • Coco Before Chanel (2009) [Coco avant Chanel – France (original title)]
  • A Prophet (2009) [Un prophète – France (original title)]
  • The Army of Crime (2009) [L'armée du crime – France (original title)]
  • La Fille du Puisatier(2011) - France (original title)
  • Largo Winch 2 (2011)
  • Cloclo (2012)
  • Reality (2012)
  • Venus in Fur (film) (2013) [La Vénus à la fourrure - France (original)]
  • La Trilogie Marseillaise: Marius (2013)
  • La Trilogie Marseillaise: Fanny (2013)
  • La Trilogie Marseillaise: Caesar (2014)
  • The Tale of Tales (2015)
  • D (2015)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2007 The Queen Best Original Score Nominated
2009 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Original Score Nominated
2010 Fantastic Mr. Fox Best Original Score Nominated
2011 The King's Speech Best Original Score Nominated
2013 Argo Best Original Score Nominated
2014 Philomena Best Original Score Nominated

Golden Globe Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2004 Girl with a Pearl Earring Best Original Score Nominated
2006 Syriana Best Original Score Nominated
2007 The Painted Veil Best Original Score Won
2009 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Original Score Nominated
2011 The King's Speech Best Original Score Nominated
2013 Argo Best Original Score Nominated

British Academy Film Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2003 Girl with a Pearl Earring Best Music Nominated
2006 The Queen Best Music Nominated
2009 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Music Nominated
2010 Fantastic Mr. Fox Best Music Nominated
2011 The King's Speech Best Music Won
2013 Argo Best Music Nominated

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2009 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Nominated
2011 The King's Speech Won
2012 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Nominated
2013 Argo Nominated
Zero Dark Thirty Nominated

César Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1997 Un Héros Très Discret Best Music Written for a Film Nominated
2002 Sur mes lèvres Best Music Written for a Film Nominated
2006 The Beat That My Heart Skipped Best Music Written for a Film Won
2008 L'ennemi intime Best Music Written for a Film Nominated
2010 A Prophet Best Music Written for a Film Nominated
2011 The Ghost Writer Best Music Written for a Film Won
2013 Rust and Bone Best Music Written for a Film Won
2014 Venus in Fur Best Music Written for a Film Nominated

Satellite Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Best Score Nominated
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Best Score Nominated
2012 Argo Best Score Won

Awards[edit]

Nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burlingame, Jon (7 January 2007). "Thinking in Colors and Textures, Then Writing in Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Biography & Filmography". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Herrera, Monica; Lipshutz, Jason; Mapes, Jillian (25 January 2011). "Reznor, Rahman, Zimmer & More React to Their Oscar Nominations". Billboard. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Venice Names Alexandre Desplat To Head Fest Competition Jury". June 23, 2014. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Godzilla". Legendary. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  8. ^ http://filmmusicreporter.com/2014/06/17/alexandre-desplat-takes-over-scoring-duties-on-the-imitation-game/
  9. ^ desplat.free.fr/Actu_e.htm

External links[edit]