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Milpitas Library

160 North Main Street
Milpitas, CA 95035

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Countdown to the 2013 Academy Awards: Thomas Newman


Skyfall is the eleventh Academy Award nomination for composer Thomas Newman who has yet to win the award.  While Newman received his first Oscar nominations in 1994 for the scores of Little Women and Shawshank Redemption, it was not until his work with Alan Ball on American Beauty and the television series Six Feet Under that he made a strong impression on the public.

Newman won popularity and Grammy Awards for the music in American Beauty, Six Feet Under and later Wall-E

Thomas Newman comes from a musical family that is no stranger to getting Oscars.  His father, Alfred Newman, his uncle, Lionel Newman, and his cousin, Randy Newman, have all won Academy Awards.

You can check out several of his best musical scores at your local SCCLD library.

American Beauty CD Cover American Beauty Newman's first collaboration with Skyfall director Sam Mendes and writer director Alan Ball.  The score really helped create a Newman type sound that has become sort of a trademark.  While the score ultimately lost to The Red Violin, the film won a total of five Academy Awards including Best Picture.  The score did win a Grammy for Best Musical Score Soundtrack.
Road to Perdition Road to Perdition was Newman's second collaboration with Mendes.  This score is more traditional than American Beauty but the innovative combination of Irish strains of music with Newman's modern sensibilities makes for a haunting musical experience.
Finding Nemo [an Original Soundtrack] Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is one of Thomas Newman's most innovative scores.  The score veers between the comedy of the Littlest Elf's song "Loverly Spring" and the darker music around the Baudelaire orphans unfortunate circumstances. Newman received his seventh Oscar nomination for this score.
WALL*E WALL*E is one of Newman's most dazzling scores and brought Newman his ninth Original Score nomination and his first Best Song nomination for "Down to Earth" (with Peter Gabriel).  Newman did win Grammys for "Down to Earth" and the orchestral piece "Define Dancing" in this score.

Discover more great music and movies by checking out the SCCLD Music and Movies blog.