The Ghost Writer [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Alexandre Desplat

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The Ghost Writer [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Review

by Thom Jurek

French composer Alexandre Desplat has scored over 100 films during his prodigious career thus far, including standard Hollywood fare such as Sweet Revenge, Home Sweet Home, Firewall, and Twilight Saga: New Moon; French cinema including Regarde les Hommes Tomber and Sur Mes Lèvresto; indies like Syriana, Girl with the Pearl Earring, and Coco Before Chanel; and children’s films including The Fantastic Mr. Fox. His score for Roman Polanski's 2010 motion picture The Ghost Writer, starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan MacGregor, is a highly animated work that brings in elements of vanguard classical traditions, late 19th century classical music, and well-traveled paths in composition for films pioneered by Georges Delerue and Bernard Herrmann. The 16 cues for The Ghost Writer's score are virtually all suspenseful, whether quietly as in “Investigation” and “The Predecessor” or more animatedly in “Travel to the Island” and “In the Woods.” Some of the longer cues, such as “The Truth About Ruth” and “Pr Paul Emmett,” are wonderfully narrative pieces that develop from one stage to the next seamlessly. That said, as a single piece of music The Ghost Writer feels very much like what it is, a series of cues rather than a unified whole as a score. It sounds as if it moves around one central theme: suspense, but does so choppily, though this is a small complaint overall. As film music, this works wonderfully; as listening fare, it's a tad monotonous because of its predictable dynamics and pacing.

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