Oscar nominated composer Alexandre Desplat scores Weinstein Co.'s Philomena, the acclaimed emotional drama for which Desplat has received his sixth Academy Award nomination for Best Score. Philomena follows the story of Philomena Lee, an elderly woman, who with the help of a journalist, sets out to find the long lost son taken from her as a teenager and put up for adoption. Desplat was moved by Judi Dench's sublime performance in the film, crafting a beautiful waltz representative of her emotional journey. He also had the opportunity to meet the real Philomena Lee, from which he also drew inspiration for the score. Desplat has previously collaborated with director Stephen Frears on the Academy Award nominated The Queen. Desplat is currently nominated for two Grammy awards for "Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media", for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.
For Philomena, Alexandre Desplat incorporated a chamber-sized orchestra with about 50 players. Desplat explains, "I wanted to create a score that emphasizes a story deeply grounded in social drama but also balanced by wit." Looking to one of the film's flashbacks of Philomena's youth, Desplat created a fairground organ-style waltz, representative of the starting point of Philomena's journey, and utilized it as the emotional center of the score. Desplat comments, "I used the orchestra to re-create that music. From this, everything else follows." Alexandre Desplat began his career in the '80s in the French film industry and is now a coveted Hollywood film composer thanks to his lyrical, elegant, dramatic scores. Desplat has composed scores for filmmakers including Wes Anderson, Stephen Daldry, Roman Polanski, George Clooney, Kathryn Bigelow, Chris Weitz, Terrence Malick, Tom Hooper, Nora Ephron, David Fincher, Ang Lee, Stephen Gaghan, Lasse Hallstrom and Peter Webber. Desplat received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for The Painted Veil and a BAFTA and CÚsar for The King's Speech. Desplat's scores can be heard in the upcoming films The Monuments Men (Opening Feb. 7) and Godzilla (Opening May 16).