Top 10 Spitfire Oscar Score Picks

We asked everyone in the office to pick their favourite oscar score favourites from the past 25 years. Here’s what they chose and why!

2015 - The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat

The Grand Budapest Hotel score captures Wes Anderson’s aesthetic perfectly. It’s silly and fun with fantastic use of traditional, orchestral and choral palettes. The scores unique character always shines through with great links to Alexandre Desplat’s Eastern European and Greek roots. 

2014 - Gravity, Steven Price

Gravity is fresh and exciting! The amazing combination of mangled noise and orchestral effects creates tension without feeling cliché. The whole sound is incredibly immersive and with a fitting Dolby Atmos mix from Chris Benstead, Skip Lievsay and Niv Adiri. 

1994 – Schindler’s List, John Williams

Itzhak Perlman playing John Williams’ beautifully mournful melody is something truly special. The fact there is little to no music for long periods of time, hearing the theme sends chills down your spine as well as supporting what is a very difficult story to tell.

1993 - Aladdin, Alan Menken

Alan Menken has created a nostalgic score with Aladdin. Many have grown up with his memorable themes and they’re still just as good today as they were back in 1993. ‘A Whole New World’ is an office favourite with all of us being general suckers for a tunesmith of his calibre.

2016 - The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone 

Ennio Morricone mastered the strange and Tarantino-esque picture perfectly with this very evocative, ironic and bold soundtrack. The soundtrack is powerful and not only is it a great return for Morricone in creating Western scores with a more orchestral approach, it’s also his first Oscar win at the age of 87.  

2010 - Up, Michael Giacchino  

Michael Giacchino has created a score that completely narrates the film. On top of the fact that it’s an emotional rollercoaster, there is a perfect balance to keep you engaged throughout. The most standout tracks for us being ‘Married Life’, ‘Paradise Found’ and ‘The Ellie Badge’.   

1995 - The Lion King, Hans Zimmer    

The Lion King is a great example of how a children’s film can have an intelligent ‘adult’ score and still resonate emotionally. Hans’ genius in collaboration, combined with his trailblazing crossover sound that combined synths, sampled orchestra and live orchestra left to this beautiful score. Rich with African influence from the masterful choirmaster, singer and composer Lebo Morake.

1992 - Beauty and the Beast, Alan Menken     

Alan Menken is an unbelievable songsmith and a genius with melody. Menken has written some of the most memorable music of our lifetime and raised the children’s film to a high art form. 

2001 - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Tan Dun

The use of really strong themes and unique orchestration on this score is such a perfect marriage of sophistication and elegance with rawness. This score is incredibly moving and is in my opinion one of the greatest scores ever written. Tan Dun at his best.

2008 – Atonement, Dario Marianelli

The moment on the beach when the underscore and the choir of men singing marries and they intertwine adds such an emotional lift in the film. Countless moments like this, as well as the use of the typewriter clacking away which then turns into the rhythm underpinning the orchestra are brilliant. It adds a psychological edge to foreshadow future events, and lays the groundwork for a theme which goes through wonderful permutations.