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Listen: Alexandre Desplat’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Score; New TV Spot Arrives Alongside Critic’s Groups Awards

Written by on December 10, 2012 

Last month, Alexandre Desplat — composer for, literally, every film released since late 2004 — made the high-faulting claim that Kathryn Bigelow‘s manhunt romp, Zero Dark Thirty, carries the spirit of a Kurosawa film. Having since seen it for myself, I’d guess he was thinking of something more like High and Low (particularly that one’s second half) than, otherwise, Yojimbo, as this fan couldn’t place that similarity once during its long runtime. But just because it doesn’t feel like his work doesn’t mean the picture in question is bad — the thing’s very far from bad, even.

Just as this score does not recall the flute-y sound we’ve heard over the Toho logo time and time again, it can still be top-notch material in its own right. While most have not been able to see the movie yet, ThePlaylist were handed over Desplat‘s full score for the listening pleasure of those who know the conclusion and those who don’t alike — that’s funny, because we all know how Zero Dark Thirty ends — so dig in. For the assignment, he looked toward Jessica Chastain‘s central character, Maya, with the focus being on “her character, her chase, her personality” — and the result is, fittingly, an intense set of orchestral pieces. More great work from one of the modern day’s best.

The full composition can be listened to below:

Some more of Bigelow‘s own work is getting shown off in a new, misleading TV spot. Here, viewers across the country are promised “The Real Story of SEAL Team 6,” an aspect that Zero Dark Thirty focuses on… right toward the end. Yes, they act as the climax’s centerpiece, and, yes, you’ll get to see how things went down with them at work, but this is not at all unlike the advertising of Inglourious Basterds as a Nazi-killing adventure — which makes this late bait-and-switch more acceptable. It’s a good ad, too.

Take a look below (via Facebook):

On a final note, you may have heard the film is racking up a great deal of awards buzz, with gold glittering in the eyes of Sony and Annapurna as we speak — lately, plaudits only keep coming in from critic groups all over the country. This past weekend alone, the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association, the Boston Film Critics Society, the New York Film Critics Online, and the Boston Online Film Critics Association all gave Zero Dark Thirty prizes for Best Picture and Best Director; there was also a split between Jessica Chastain and Amour‘s Emmanuelle Riva in the Best Actress category, while the NYFCO handed Mark Boal a Best Screenplay win. Academy, it would almost appear the choice has been made for you. [THR]

Here’s the AFI list of 2012’s best films, while we’re at it. What’s with The Dark Knight Rises getting in over The Master? [AwardsDaily]


Beasts of the Southern Wild

The Dark Knight Rises

Django Unchained

Les Misérables

Life of Pi


Moonrise Kingdom

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty will open in a limited capacity on December 19th, followed by a wide release on January 11th.

Thoughts on the score, TV spot, and lists?

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