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The 16th Annual JWFan Awards - The Best Scores and Films of 2023!


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5 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

When I hear this piece in front of my inner eye I don't really see a conductor conducting and orchestra but rather a DJ at a mixing desk mixing over and over several different layers on the beat.

Which is probably ok for a contemporary score for a sports movie, but not my favourite kind of film music.


I feel this with half of Desplat's scores. His actual writing is always aces to me, this cue included, but I wish the beat overlays were lower in the mix (which is difficult to ask of ever-rhythm-forward Desplat), and the sense of space in the recording stage was fuller.

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On 3/1/2024 at 7:22 PM, Jay said:


"We Were Never Eight" by Alexandre Desplat

Oh yes that’s a great cue. Super score. Nice to hear Desplat let rip a bit and go full sports movie score.

On 3/1/2024 at 8:23 PM, JNHFan2000 said:


Agree about the Overture, that would've been great. Even if it was just for the album.


I get that there is no end credits song because the "main" part of tge credits is at the start of the film. And the rest of the credits is the Oompa Loompa song and A World Of Your Own

Aha that makes seems re the credits. Still not seen the film! But glad you agree about the overture. The song tunes are pretty catchy and lend themselves nicely to that kind of treatment. Ah well. Still a charming score. 

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I haven't listened to any new score this year. Suggestions on what I should try to download?

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Don't bother bother downloading anything unless you know you like it.


It's 2023. You just stream whatever score you want to check out.


Try Indiana Jones 5, Migration, Society of the Snow, The Boys in the Boat, The Boys and The Heron, and Elemental. But you won't like any of them except Indy 5.


Oh, I forgot Octopath Traveler II was from 2023!  Try that, I LOVE it, and I know you've liked plenty of Japanese RPG scores in the past.

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1 hour ago, King Mark said:

I haven't listened to any new score this year. Suggestions on what I should try to download?

Not even Indy 5?

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My 10 favorite scores of 2023

  1. Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse - Daniel Pemberton
  2. Migration - John Powell
  3. Oppenheimer - Ludwig Göransson
  4. The Super Mario Bros. Movie - Brian Tyler
  5. The Marvels - Laura Karpman
  6. Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny - John Williams
  7. Succession: Season 4 - Nicholas Britell
  8. The Creator - Hans Zimmer
  9. Loki: Season 2 - Natalie Holt
  10. Wonka - Joby Talbot



  • Training Montage - Joseph Shirley
  • Helena's Theme - John Williams
  • Super Mario Bros. Opus - Brian Tyler
  • Across The Spider-Verse (Start A Band) - Daniel Pemberton
  • Nick Fury - Kris Bowers
  • Can You Hear The Music? - Ludeig Göransson
  • True Love - Hans Zimmer
  • The Marvels - Laura Karpman
  • Found - Michael Giacchino
  • Migration End Titles - John Powell
  • We Were Never Eight - Alexandre Desplat


Probably Hook



Not yet watched everything I wanted



  1. Succession: Season 3
  2. The Fall Of The House Of Usher
  3. Bear: Season 2
  4. Loki: Season 2
  5. The Diplomat
  6. The Last Of Us
  7. What If...?: Season 2
  8. The Gilded Age: Season 2
  9. Blue Eye Samurai
  10. Shrinking


Barbenheimer, Spider-Verse, new John Williams & Powell scores

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From my listening this year, the following are my favourites:


1. Oppenheimer - Ludwig Göransson

2. Migration - John Powell

3. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - John Williams

4. Elemental - Thomas Newman

5. The Flash - Benjamin Wallfisch

6. The Creator - Hans Zimmer

7. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget - Harry Gregson-Williams


I still have yet to listen to The Boys in the Boat (which I'm sure I will love based on what I've seen on the forum), The Super Mario Bros. Movie, The Little Mermaid, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and Creed III.

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8 hours ago, Dave said:

-Murray Gold's return to Doctor Who




While I enjoyed Akinola's work, I'm loving Gold's new material - a definite highlight of the last few months.

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I also kinda liked Akinola's music. On its own. At least enough to buy all the CDs. But Murray Golds music was the one consistant thing since 2005 and for me the definitive musical sound of Doctor Who.

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Still catching up on 2023 movies, mainly gotta check out Anatomy of a Fall, Past Lives, and Zone of Interest. But I have especially liked The Holdovers, May December, Dungeons and Dragons, Killers of the Flower Moon...not sure what my #5 would be, maybe Dead Reckoning. Bottom 5 for me would be Air, Napoleon, A Haunting in Venice, Super Mario Bros, Anyone But You. 


Nothing standing out to me too much score-wise. Indy 5 is the only thing I listened to away from the movie, haven't played it much since the summer but it's good, of course. Boy and the Heron score was very cool. I liked the needledrops in The Holdovers and May December. American Fiction, Oppenheimer, Spider-Verse, Hunger Games, Poor Things, Godzilla Minus One had some interesting stuff but nothing I just HAD to put on. Barbie, Hunger Games, and Wonka songs were pretty entertaining. Thought Wish had a decent score but lame songs. 

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I should be more or less through now.


TOP 20 FILMS OF 2023 (Norwegian premiere dates):

1. The Fabelmans (Spielberg)

2. Knock at the Cabin (Shyamalan)

3. Aftersun  (Wells)

4. The Killer (Fincher)

5. The Quiet Girl (Bairead)

6. Pearl (West)

7. Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire (Snyder)

8. Funny Pages (Kline)

9. How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Goldhaber)

10. The Whale (Aronofsky)

11. The Creator (Edwards)

12. Infinity Pool (Cronenberg)

13. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Mangold)

14. Leave the World Behind (Esmail)

15. Meg 2: The Trench (Wheatley)

16. La elva leve (Giæver)

17. The Covenant (Ritchie)

18. Napoleon (Scott)

19. Natt (Hoel)

20. Den siste filmen (Vennerød, Kyvik)


Honourable mentions: Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One (McQuarrie), Plane (Richet), The Equalizer 3 (Fuqua), The Last Voyage of the Demeter (Øvredal), God is a Bullet (Cassavetes), No One Will Save You (Duffield), Brødrene Johansen (Ottersen), Tar (Field), The Tank (Walker)


Worst movies: There’s Something Wrong With the Children (Benjamin), Biosphere (Eslyn), Retribution (Antal), Babylon (Chazelle), The Son (Zeller), The Bunker Game (Zazzara), The Outwaters (Banfitch), Oppenheimer (Nolan), Tina & Bettina 2 (Svarstad), Barbie (Gerwig), Women Talking (Polley), Asteroid City (Anderson)




You can hear my reasoning, and a clip from each score, in this podcast episode: 




1. Tropic - Sebastian

2. The Creator - Hans Zimmer

3. Der Fuchs/The Fox - Arash Safaian

4. Carmen - Nicholas Britell

5. Simple comme Sylvain - Forever Pavot

6. L'Envol - Gabriel Yared

7. Rustin - Branford Marsalis

8. Magnificat - Nathaniel Méchaly

9. Tetris - Lorne Balfe

10. La Théorème de Marguerite – Pascal Bideau


Immediate runner-ups:


11. The YouTube Effect - Paul Haslinger

12. Tin & Tina - Jocelyn Pook

13. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – John Williams

14. How to Blow Up a Pipeline – Gavin Brivik

15. L'Uomo Che Disegnó Dio - Giuliano Taviani & Carmelo Travia

16. A Thousand and One - Gary Gunn

17. Saltburn - Anthony Willis

18. La Contadora de Peliculas - Fernando Velazquez

19. Wild Boys - Alexander Arntzen

20. The Real Jungle Book - Thomas Wander

21. Grosso Guiai All’Esquilini: La Leggenda del Kung Fu - Flavio Le Fosse

22. Boy from Heaven - Krister Linder

23. Zodi et Téhu: Frères du Désert - Mika

24. The Cars We Drove Into Capitalism – Dalibor Grubacevic

25. 1947: Road to Boston – Lee Dong June

26. Everybody Loves Diamonds - Ralf Hildenbeutel

27. Bonne Conduite – Charles Ludig

28. In Love and Deep Water  - Takatsugu Muramatsu


Loved it, but disqualified:


May December - Marcelos Zarvos & Michel Legrand


Secondary runner-ups (not ranked):


Paradis Paradox - Milo Cantor

La Fille de Son Pere - Julie Roué

Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire - Tom Holkenborg

La Vénus D'Argent - Aamourocean

Napoleon - Martin Phipps

Grimm's Forest - Steffen Kaltschmid

Le Cours de la Vie - Vladimir Cosma

Libres - Oscar M. Leanizbarrutia

Supercell - Corey Wallace

The Letter: A Message for Our Earth - William Goodchild

Maestro in Blue - Kostas Christides

Christmas Bloody Christmas - Steve Moore

L'Amour et les Forets - Gabriel Yared




1. Split - Maud Geffray

2. The Last Kingdom: Destiny is All - John Lunn, Eivør & Danny Saul

3. Killer Coaster - Rob

4. Rain Dogs - Alex Baranowski

5. Barracuda Queens - Joakim Åhlund


Runner-ups (not ranked):


North Atlantic: The Dark Ocean - Bradley Ayers

Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix - Oscillian

A Casa Tutti BeneSeconda Stagione - Paolo Buonvino

Ooku: The Inner Chambers - Kenji Kawai

Irresistible – Yuksek

Para: Wir Sind King – Timo Pierre Rositzki

Luden: Könige der Reeperbahn – Julian Scherle

Tore – Per Störby Jutbring

En Cuerpo en Llamas – Aitor Etxebarria

El Mantequilla: Maestro de la Estafa – Amado López

La Primera Vez – Santiago Uribe

A Town Called Malice – Alfie Godfrey & Lorne Balfe

Shetland – John Lunn & Danny Saul

Boat Story – Dominik Scherrer

Endeavour – Matthew Slater

Perry Mason – Terence Blanchard




1. Tron: Identity - Dan Le Sac

2. Hyper Meteor - Robby Duguay

3. Quantaar – Cody Matthew Johnson & Jeff Rona

4. Heartless - Benoît Vanhoffelen

5. Palia – Stefan Schmidt

6. Jusant – Guillaume Ferran




- Saw 242 movies in 2023, out of which only 66 new films (an alltime low, for various reasons)

- Sampled between 1500-2000 new scores

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What's not to like about the Oppenheimer and Barbie movies?

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11 hours ago, Jay said:

What's not to like about the Oppenheimer and Barbie movies?


Both subscribe to aesthetics that rub me the wrong way. I found OPPENHEIMER a tremendous bore. I've always had issues with dialogue-heavy films (especially if the dialogue is rapid-fire and information-heavy). I find it very unfilmic. BARBIE, I just found extremely annoying. I thought the satire failed (I prefer my satire to have a little more subtletly), and I didn't like the quirky tone (I usually hate quirk!) and the overbearing, incessant style.


Interestingly, however, I found the scores to both movies decent.

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That's interesting because I skimmed a bit of the Barbie score and honestly couldn't really compute why there was so much demand for it. Just seemed like some inoffensive noodling and a few song references. I was primarily hoping for any sort of expansion of Dance the Night and that didn't really materialise how I wanted.


I think that overall, quite a few scores that most others liked this year, I didn't find very special. The Creator sounded promising (espcially as I'd recently discovered and really enjoyed Dune) but somehow it didn't sparkle. DoD we've been through - I think what made the album is 3 to 4 star stuff, but the score as a whole has far, far too much recycled material to come together properly as a major achievement.


Migration is the lone score that comes to mind as something not necessarily that original, but certainly memorable and full of ideas. Hunger Games some interesting parts too.


But on the other side I discovered a ton of stuff last year - Shore's Two Concerti, Howard Goodall's marvellous two Bean scores, Soule's Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, plus two non-soundtrack artists that it turns out I rather like (Elle Duhey, Olivia Rodrigo). Some years it's the things you find elsewhere in the musical sphere, and not necessarily new scores.

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I thought Oppenheimer was outstanding, among Nolan's best. And it will probably be one of the few instances where the picture I thought was the best picture ends up winning Best Picture.


Haven't seen Barbie, and likely never will.

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On 24/01/2024 at 12:01 AM, Nick1Ø66 said:

Haven't seen Barbie, and likely never will.


Mixed reports from my work stand-up this morning! One person loved it, and the other didn't.


When it's eventually on a streaming service I'll watch it - it does look some harmless fun.

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2 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

When it's eventually on a streaming service I'll watch it


It's been on Max for weeks now, at least in the USA

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1 hour ago, Jay said:


It's been on Max for weeks now, at least in the USA


Should've worded that better, hah. A streaming service I subscribe to! (I have Prime atm)


Although at some point I'll get a month of Disney+ and see what all the DoD fuss is about.

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Well, last time I took a month of D+ I watched about 4-5 movies and a completely unrelated TV show. Seeing DoD is sort of a side dish, along with Way of Water.

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On 01/01/2024 at 9:42 PM, Jay said:

Added a bunch more catalog titles to the main post.  What else am I forgetting that came out in 2023?

Laurence Rosenthal: Music for Film and Television

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