INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2017 IFMCA AWARDS; “PHANTOM THREAD” TAKES SCORE OF THE YEAR, MULTIPLE WINS FOR MICHAEL GIACCHINO, BENJAMIN WALLFISCH
The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of winners for excellence in musical scoring in 2017, in the 2017 IFMCA Awards.
The award for Score of the Year goes to British composer Jonny Greenwood for his score for critically acclaimed period drama “Phantom Thread,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. In describing the score, IFMCA member Jon Broxton wrote that it was a “quite masterful score from Greenwood, one which gets deeply under the skin of the damaged, potentially dangerous, but nevertheless mutually fulfilling relationship at the center of the story. The abstract, impressionistic, modernistic textures perfectly capture the torment that both characters at times feel, as well as their willful and often unpleasant personalities. Then, when he opens up his orchestra and performs the Phantom Thread theme with glorious melodrama, or when he writes elegant romantic music for what should be the dreadful finale, the whole thing simply soars”. The score was also named Best Original Score for Drama Film; these are the first IFMCA Award wins of Greenwood’s career, him having previously been nominated for Breakthrough Film Composer of the Year in 2007 and Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film for “Inherent Vice” in 2014.
Composer Alexandre Desplat is named Composer of the Year, him having written at least four outstanding works spanning multiple genres in the past year. His work in 2017 included director Guillermo del Toro’s critically acclaimed monster movie romance “The Shape of Water,” director Luc Besson’s epic space fantasy “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” director George Clooney’s satirical racial drama ‘”Suburbicon,” and the French-language comedy-drama “D”Après Une Histoire Vraie,” directed by Roman Polanski. IFMCA member James Southall said that The Shape of Water was “yet another from the top drawer of Desplat,” and went on to describe him as “one of the most consistently impressive film composers of the last couple of decades,” who has “managed to be so successful without having to water down his highly-distinctive musical voice at all”. IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen called Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a “sonic marvel of extremely intelligent rendering” and an “unparalleled execution of orchestral textures” featuring “composition of demanding complexity.” Desplat received IFMCA Score of the Year honors in 2008 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. This marks the third time Desplat has been named Composer of the Year, following his previous wins in 2017 and 2014.
Composer Michael Giacchino wins two awards – Film Music Composition of the Year and Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film – both for his work on the third film in the blockbuster Planet of the Apes trilogy, “War for the Planet of the Apes”. IFMCA member James Southall said that War for the Planet of the Apes was “not just the best film music [Giacchino has] ever written” but that “the manner of the score, the construction of the dramatic narrative, [and] the very deliberate emotional prods … make it stand out as a special achievement”.
Composer Benjamin Wallfisch also wins two awards – Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film and Best Original Score for a Documentary – for two very different works. Director Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure for Wellness” is a Gothic thriller which draws on European classical traditions to generate its creepy atmosphere, while “Mully” is an inspirational documentary about the life of Charles Mully, a Kenyan business tycoon who gave away his fortune to start the Mully Children’s Family, the largest children’s rescue, rehabilitation and development organization in Africa. Wallfisch’s score blends rich, beautiful orchestral themes with influences from traditional East African music. IFMCA member Ley Bricknell described “A Cure for Wellness” as “totally compelling” with “an overwhelming sense of fear and madness”.
Cypriot composer George Kallis is named Breakthrough Composer of the Year for his stellar work writing three enormously impressive scores in 2017: the children’s fantasy “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” the historical drama “The Black Prince,” and the Russian fantasy epic “Posledni Bogatyr/The Last Warrior,” all of which impressed members of the IFMCA with their scope and creativity. The various other genre awards are won by Christopher Willis his Russian-inspired music for the satirical comedy “The Death of Stalin”; and Theodore Shapiro for his anarchic but wonderfully sincere score for the animated super hero parody “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure”.
In the non-film categories, composers Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee jointly win the award for Best Original Score for a Television Series for their magnificent work on the Fox sci-fi series “The Orville,” while Spanish composer David García Díaz wins the award for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media for his moving score for the adventure–puzzle video game “Rime,” in which players are compelled to solve environmental puzzles across five large levels that represent the five stages of grief.
Burbank, California-based La-La Land Records is named Film Music Record Label of the Year in recognition of their ongoing excellence in restoring and releasing the most beloved film scores of the past. British label Tadlow Records and producer James Fitzpatrick are honored with the award for Best New Release, Re-Release or Re-Recording of an Existing Score for their lavish new recording of Miklós Rózsa’s classic 1959 score “Ben-Hur,” which IFMCA member Craig Lysy described as “the most thematically complex and melodically rich film score ever penned by the hand of man” … “a superb recording and the crowning glory of the Golden Age”. Finally, Oakland, California-based Intrada Records and producer Douglass Fake wins the award for Best Film Music Compilation Album for their superb release “Captains Courageous: The Franz Waxman Collection”, a compilation of outstanding themes by the great German composer of the 1940s and 50s.
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS
SCORE OF THE YEAR
- PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood
COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
- ALEXANDRE DESPLAT
BREAKTHROUGH COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
- GEORGE KALLIS
FILM MUSIC COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
- “End Credits” from WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DRAMA FILM
- PHANTOM THREAD, music by Jonny Greenwood
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A COMEDY FILM
- THE DEATH OF STALIN, music by Christopher Willis
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER FILM
- A CURE FOR WELLNESS, music by Benjamin Wallfisch
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION/HORROR FILM
- WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, music by Michael Giacchino
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED FILM
- CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE, music by Theodore Shapiro
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A DOCUMENTARY
- MULLY, music by Benjamin Wallfisch
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR TELEVISION
- THE ORVILLE, music by Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME OR INTERACTIVE MEDIA
- RIME, music by David García Díaz
BEST NEW RELEASE, RE-RELEASE OR RE-RECORDING OF AN EXISTING SCORE
- BEN-HUR, music by Miklós Rózsa; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine; album produced by James Fitzpatrick; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by James Fitzpatrick, Gareth Bevan, and Nic Finch (Tadlow)
BEST FILM MUSIC COMPILATION ALBUM
- CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS: THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION, music by Franz Waxman; album produced by Douglass Fake; liner notes by Frank K. De Wald; album art direction by Kay Marshall and Joe Sikoryak (Intrada)
FILM MUSIC RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR
- LA-LA LAND RECORDS, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys
Check the full list of nominees in each category here.
The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) is an association of online, print and radio journalists who specialize in writing and broadcasting about original film, television and game music.
Since its inception the IFMCA has grown to comprise over 65 members from countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Previous IFMCA Score of the Year Awards have been awarded to Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Arrival” in 2016, John Williams’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, Hans Zimmer’s “Interstellar” in 2014, Abel Korzeniowski’s “Romeo & Juliet” in 2013, Mychael Danna’s “Life of Pi” in 2012, John Williams’s “War Horse” in 2011, John Powell’s “How to Train Your Dragon” in 2010, Michael Giacchino’s “Up” in 2009, Alexandre Desplat’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in 2008, Dario Marianelli’s “Atonement” in 2007, James Newton Howard’s “Lady in the Water” in 2006, John Williams’s “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005 and Michael Giacchino’s “The Incredibles” in 2004.