Thomas Newman entered the Oscar-hopeful fray,
for 2000, with another score featuring his
contemporary style of synths, glass orchestra,
and percussions. Pay It Forward seemed to bag all the makings for multiple Oscar nominations: Oscar winners, Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey and
Oscar-nominee, Haley Joel Osmet, so fellow Oscar-nominee, Thomas Newman would seem like the
clincher for this film. Or would it?
Once again Newman delivers a score resembling American Beauty and Erin Brokovich - one that borders on some very experimental music. Loops,
otherworldly synths and samples are dotted throughout the score. On occasion, Newman
does bring back the simple combination of piano accompanied by subtle
strings. When he does so, the score becomes
vastly more enjoyable. These softer
moments are few and far between and not enough
to rescue the soundtrack.
This contemporary style of Newman is certainly recognizable, but still pales in comparison to his full orchestral masterpieces such as
Little Women, How to Make an American Quilt or The Shawshank
Redemption. Other composers such as Patrick Doyle and Mychael Danna have also delved into
more contemporary and experimental realms, but with much more success, as judged from a
personally not finding this type of Newman
score very enjoyable, I
must commend Newman for continuing to pursue this leg of composing style. It nearly brought him an Oscar and maybe one day it will.
Unfortunately for Newman, it won't be for Pay it