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Interview: Oscar-Winning Composer Alexandre Desplat Discusses the Music of ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio’

Throughout his career, Alexandre Desplat has accomplished just about all that there is in the industry. The composer has been nominated for eleven Academy Awards in the Best Original Score category, taking home two Oscars in the process, for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and Guillermo del Toro‘s The Shape of Water. Now, Desplat is in the hunt to not just get his twelfth nomination, making for an even dozen in Original Score, but he’s in line for lucky number thirteen as well, this time in Best Original Song for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. With Desplat in the thick of the race, he recently hopped on Zoom to discuss the music of the film with me.

Below, you can see my chat with Desplat. Considering how highly regarded of a composer he is, I just wanted to let the Oscar winner talk about music. So, what follows is a discussion of how a film score comes to be, as told by a two-time Academy Award winner. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio features music in a huge way, so del Toro and Desplat are doing some excellent work, together again. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s currently streaming on Netflix…

In my review of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (here), I had this to say, among many other things:

Directors Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson are heavily invested in the animation here, and it shows. Co-directing, they poured their hearts and souls into, with sometimes stunning results. The script, co-written by del Toro, Patrick McHale, and Matthew Robbins, will seem very different from the animated Disney classic if that’s all you know of the story. They’re using the original book as a guiding light, with one of their best decisions being to set it in Fascist Italy. Not only does it give Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio some extra heft, it gives it a distinct personality. Even beyond that, the animation is just gorgeous. Throw in another score from composer Alexandre Desplat that’s aces and it’s certainly a technical achievement.

Here now is my interview with Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio composer Alexandre Desplat. Enjoy:

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is currently streaming on Netflix!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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