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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Oscar Maestro: Alexandre Desplat

Hong Kong Philharmonic / Hong Kong / Music

Take it from Audrey Hepburn, who was thinking of Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “A movie without music is a little like an aeroplane [sic] without fuel,” she wrote. “However beautifully the job is done, we are still on the ground.” By the same token, movie music without the movie can seem like fuel without the airplane. Yet with artful montage, the shreds and patches that breeze through a soundtrack have been known to coalesce into sweeping Technicolor epics for the imaginative ear. Alexandre Desplat has scored some 180 films, including The King’s Speech and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For The Shape of Water, he took home an Oscar. Conducting his own greatest hits, he promises to play viewers’ emotions like Eugene Ormandy’s Philadelphia strings. —M.G.

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