John Williams' Oscar-nominated score to Oliver Stone's 1995 biopic Nixon boasts a darkness and complexity that perfectly complements the film's titular anti-hero. By turns sympathetic and scathing, the music evokes both Nixon's extraordinary power and the human frailties that led to his fall from grace, and its inability to achieve a consistency of tone and approach mirrors the same problems that undermine Stone's film. Williams nevertheless captures in vivid the turbulence that shadowed Nixon's personal life and well as his political career. It's no coincidence that his rise to the Oval Office unfolded during the most tumultuous and transformative era of modern American history, and themes like "The Imperial March" and "The Miami Convention" convey this epic sweep via bombastic brass and punishing rhythms. A flawed score, to be certain, but also one of Williams' most ambitious and impassioned.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny