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Album review: “Saving Mr. Banks” soundtrack

Composer Thomas Newman '77 BA, '78 MM nominated for Oscar for soundtrack
February 6, 2014

Thomas Newman

SFGate
By John Stanley

In the 20 years that Alfred Newman (1901-70) was head of 20th Century Fox’s music department, he scored 200 movies, earned 45 Oscar nominations and took home nine Academy Awards. He also had a son. As of today, Thomas Newman has garnered 12 Oscar nominations of his own as a motion picture composer, but no wins. That could change March 2, when he’ll find out if his latest nomination — for the “Saving Mr. Banks” score — turns into gold.

Thomas’ music is alive with the kind of emotion his father (once described as the “godfather” of cinema soundtracks) brought to such films as “The Captain From Castile” and “How to Marry a Millionaire.” In telling the story about how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) persuaded reluctant and mean-spirited author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to give him the movie rights to “Mary Poppins,” “Saving Mr. Banks” allowed Newman to re-create many of the songs brothers Richard and Robert Sherman wrote for the “Poppins” movie, presented in the new film as demo pieces[…] But there are also Newman’s original contributions, adding depth to the dramatic flashbacks of Travers’ alcoholic father and the introduction of the woman who would later inspire the Poppins character.

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