Discovering Thomas Newman...

Discussion in 'Movies' started by David Coleman, May 16, 2003.

  1. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

    Jan 5, 2000
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    I just recently watched ROAD TO PERDITION and I loved the score! I immediately thought it rememinded me of the score to SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION then I went onto IMDB to read up about him and see that he has done other scores that i've loved: GREEN MILE, AMERICAN BEAUTY , SCENT OF A WOMAN and others!

    His music is very atmospheric, almost narrative at times yet it never detracts or dominates what you see on film! Looking over this man's body of work I was surprised to see just how prolific he has been and makes me wonder why he's not mentioned in the same breath as Horner, Goldsmith, Barry, Newton-Howard and some of the other greats! This man does some quality work!

    Wondering if any of the forum here are big fans of his work? Do you have a favorite and what are your impressions?

  2. Alphonse Brown

    Alphonse Brown Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 1, 1999
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    There was a little movie in '93 called "Josh & S.A.M." about two kids who have a cross-country adventure. I don't recall the story well, but the music was very intriguing. Soon, I found out it was Newman and from that point on, I've been a huge fan. Every score that he's composed is uniquely lush.

    Just recently, I made a compilation CD of many of my favorite cues from the movies he has scored. I would have to say that my favorite score is "The Green Mile", but they each have some redeeming quality about them. In addition to the scores you mentioned give these a listen: "The War", "Little Women", "How to Make an American Quilt", and "Meet Joe Black".

    Now that I know that he's composing for "Finding Nemo", I am anticipating that movie even more!!!
  3. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

    Nov 1, 2000
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    Thomas Newman seems to be as in demand as Horner, Goldsmith, or James Newton-Howard, if not more so. Many of the films he has scored were meant to be prestige pictures, whether they achieve that status (American Beauty) or not (Pay It Forward).

    The reason why he doesn't get as much attention to those for the general film going public is probably because his scores tend to be more atmospheric than melody or action dominated. Of course, many of the scores he has done that is dominated with underscore still has a couple of stunning cues that grab attention, like that of the finale of Shawshank or "Montana" of The Horse Whisperer.

    Because a combination of things mentioned above, I think he is a very effective film composer, but not the type of film composer that can actively persuade the public to listen to his scores on their own. I know I have less of his scores on CD than I do with the others mentioned in this thread.

    That isn't to say I don't look forward to his score to Finding Nemo, which could provide him a chance to go into a new direction. If Pixar wants anything close to Randy Newman's scores to their previous films, Thomas Newman will go into relatively new ground, and that's exciting.

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