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‘Grand Budapest’ and ‘Shape of Water’ Oscar Winner Alexandre Desplat Composed Netflix’s ‘Nyad’ Score (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat has scored the music for Netflix’s “Nyad.”

Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, “Nyad” stars Annette Bening as Diana Nyad, an athlete, who at 60, achieves her lifelong dream of finishing the 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida. Julia Cox penned the screenplay.

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In a statement to Variety, Desplat said, “Chai and Jimmy’s direction is very strong. They managed brilliantly to make you share the dangers and emotions that Diana Nyad goes through in her incredible challenge. And the friendship between Diana, Bonnie (Jodie Foster), and the crew reveals a beautiful human experience.”

Desplat, whose credits include “The Shape of Water,” “Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio” and “Grand Budapest Hotel,” prefers the organic approach. He said, “The more I compose for films, the more I try to enter into the screen, as if I was another actor playing on the set with the cast. The notes evolving around them, getting closer or further, expanding their emotions, opening a wider horizon. When I write film music, inspiration comes from the story, the camera movements, and the light, of course, but also from the unspoken, the invisible, the hidden emotions of the characters. I feel which instruments should be playing, their register and the size of the orchestra.”

Vasarhelyi added that she has tried at least six times to collaborate with Desplat, and used his score from the 2009 film “Un Prophet” as temp music on the documentaries “Meru” and “Free Solo.”

On working with him, the filmmaker said, “Diana Nyad spends much of this film swimming underwater and no one is talking. What we’re aiming to achieve with the score is exploring the internal landscape of her mind. Alexandre’s score speaks to that and also helps us add a layer of restraint to an act that seems so outrageous. It was a real privilege to watch an artist like Alexandre at work.”

Desplat has also previously collaborated with some of the filmmaking team on “Nyad” via the film “The Imitation Game”, which was also produced by Black Bear Pictures and for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

The film is set to have its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It opens in select theaters on Oct. 20 and will stream beginning. Nov. 3.

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