The year may have two more months to go, but that evidently doesn't matter so much to the World Soundtrack Awards who have named Alexandre Desplat the composer of the year for the second year running.
While one can quibble about those two months -- the soundtrack awards are like the Grammys and work on a weird calendar year -- Desplat did compose the music to Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" this year even though it won't come out until May, 2011. In fact, most of Desplat's most notable works are either coming out next year or arrived in 2009 (Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr. Fox," and "A Prophet," for example came out last year), but again the Gallic composer is so good, who can argue? Well, aside from Hans Zimmer about his thrilling "Inception" score. But don't worry Hans, the World Soundtrack Awards are essentially a year behind. Variety says that Desplat was named composer of the year for all his 2009 works so this makes sense (his other 2009 scores include "New Moon," "Julie & Julia," plus the excellent "Coco Before Chanel" and "Chéri").
Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski was named discovery of the year for his work on "A Single Man," which also picked up the public choice award, and we're glad to hear this as we too put both Desplat and Korzeniowski in our Best Scores of 2009 list. John Barry known for his estimable James Bond scores (and creating the unforgettable theme), received the World Soundtrack lifetime achievement award (his theme from "Midnight Cowboy" is a personal fave).
Among Desplat's scores actually released this year are Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," Stephen Frears' "Tamara Drewe," award's favorite "The King's Speech" starring Colin Firth, and the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." Maybe this just means he'll sweep the World Soundtrack Awards again next year.
Desplat once said he had recorded over an hour of music for the "Tree Of Life" and this was in 2008. No doubt with all the ongoing tweaks to the movie, more music would likely need to be conceived for the tonal shifts in scenes. The picture is expected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next May.