Composer Joe Kraemer has been presented with the International Film Music Critics Association Award for Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller by IFMCA members Jon Broxton, Craig Lysy, and Kaya Savas, for his score for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
This is Kraemer’s first win, from his first nomination. The other nominees in the category were Kingsman: The Secret Service by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson; The Man from U.N.C.L.E. by Daniel Pemberton; The Revenant by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, and Bryce Dessner; and Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Robert Gulya.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Rogue Nation is the fifth entry in the massively popular and successful Mission: Impossible film series. The film stars Tom Cruise as former IMF agent Ethan Hunt, who locks horns with a shadowy organization called The Syndicate, which is trying to trying to bring about a new world order through a series of increasingly deadly terrorist attacks; to combat the threat, Hunt calls on the help from several members of his old team (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames), and joins forces with a British spy (Rebecca Ferguson), who may have secrets of her own.
Kraemer’s score builds on Lalo Schifrin’s classic themes from the original television show, but takes them in new and interesting directions, incorporating them into his spectacular action writing and exotic location-specific set pieces. A sinister new theme for the main antagonist, Solomon Lane, gives the score a shadowy undertone, while excerpts from Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot act as the score’s emotional core. IFMCA member James Southall called Kraemer’s music “intelligent, entertaining, and old school in the best way”. IFMCA member Kaya Savas called the score “the best one in the franchise so far,” IFMCA member Christian Clemmensen said the score marks a “return to the glory of Lalo Schifrin’s original music for the 1960’s television series … adapting its melodies and orchestrations brilliantly into easily the franchise’s best score to date,” and IFMCA member Jon Broxton called it “a truly outstanding score”.
Joe Kraemer was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1971. He studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston, and resolved to become a film composer; through mutual friends he met filmmakers Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, which led to him scoring his first feature film, The Way of the Gun, in 2000, which McQuarrie directed. Kraemer spent most of the 2000s working on low-profile independent features and TV shows, including The Hitcher 2: I’ve Been Waiting (2003), House of the Dead 2 (2005), Room 6 (2006), Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead (2008), and the Showtime anthology series Femme Fatales (2011), before returning to prominence again in 2012 when he scored McQuarrie’s adaptation of Lee Child’s popular novels about military detective Jack Reacher, starring Tom Cruise.
Click here to watch “The Composers Speak”, a 20-minute interview with Kraemer accepting his IFMCA Award and talking about the score.
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