When I saw the first cut of the King’s Speech, I was struck by Tom Hooper’s incredible talent and his gift for using the best cinematic language for the storyline. The way he places the actors in the frame, Bertie on the edge, as if he were on the edge of reality, his use of “wide” and “fish-eye” lenses showing Bertie as a distorted man, the production design as well as a prodigious and very well-directed cast make his film a pure cinematic delight.

Now this was quite a challenge for me. How would I be able to find a way through the film and enhance it? A film in which a man is struggling to express himself in words, to show his emotions and relate his difficult childhood….a man who cannot speak. A man with long, very silent, moments.

suggested to Tom that the music should mirror the fact that, when Bertie tries to speak he is “stuck”. A theme based upon on one, repeated, single note; on and in a rhythm i.e., a pattern of a funeral march. It is a melody which tries desperately to evolve, to find a way out, like a bird with broken wings trying to fly. It is the theme we hear as Bertie tries futilely to deliver his speech at Wembley Stadium, when he shares his pain with his wife, and when he tries to delve into his sad memories during therapy.

But the score could not just be introspective. The opening title shows a light, bittersweet, Mozart-esque mood; and, there again, it is a theme that struggles to find its own completion. As the menace of war is surrounding the protagonists, the music gets more solemn and dark. The moment of joy will only appear in the score when Bertie and Lionel finally reach a rapport during the rehearsal scene at Westminster Abbey. 
To convey the sense of restrained emotion and to capture the sound of the period, we found in the archives of EMI, the very microphones which belonged to and were used exclusively by George V, George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary.

And we used them at Abbey Road Studios to record the orchestra. A very moving experience thinking that the very microphone in which King George VI delivered his speeches was right there in front of the podium from which I was conducting. It was also a very touching moment for the English musicians, as well, who were sending the sounds of their instruments through these very special microphones.


After composing the music for over 50 European films and being nominated for two Cesar Awards, Alexandre Desplat, burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2003 with his evocative score to THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING (starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth), which earned him nominations from the Golden Globes, BAFTA and European Film Awards.His reputation was solidified by his critically acclaimed score to Jonathan Glazer’s film BIRTH (starring Nicole Kidman) and Stephen Gaghan’s film SYRIANA (Produced by Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon), which earned him yet another Golden Globe nomination. THE QUEEN (directed by Stephen Frears and starring Helen Mirren) garnered him his first Academy Award nomination. In the same year he was also won a Golden Globe Award for his score to THE PAINTED VEIL (starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts). In 2007, he wrote the music for The GOLDEN COMPASS (directed by Chris Weitz and starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig), which is the first movie based upon the beloved trilogy, HIS DARK MATERIALS by Philip Pullman and LUST, CAUTION (for Academy Award winning director Ang Lee). In 2008, Alexandre composed the score tor David Fincher’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett), which earned him his second Academy Award Nomination and his fourth Golden Globe nomination. In the following year, he composed the music for Nora Ephron’s JULIE & JULIA (starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams), CHERI (directed by Stephen Frears), COCO BEFORE CHANEL(starring Audrey Tautou), THE PROPHET (directed by Jacques Audiard), which was the Official French Selection for the Oscar category of Best Picture in a Foreign Language, TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (directed by Chris Weitz), and THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX (directed by Wes Anderson), which brought Alexandre his third Academy Award nomination. Recently released was Roman Polanski’s contemporary film noir motion picture THE GHOST WRITER (starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan). In 2010, Alexandre was selected as one of the nine luminaries to serve as a juror for the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.Upcoming movies include THE TREE OF LIFE (directed by Terence Malick, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn), THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP (directed by Richard Loncraine), TAMARA DREWE (directed by Stephen Frears) and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (PART 1) (directed by David Yates).




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