Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat(French: [a.lɛk.sɑ̃dʁ dɛs.pla]; born 23 August 1961) is a French-Greek film composer. He has won two Academy Awards for his musical scores to the films The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Shape of Water, and received seven additional Academy Award nominations, eight César nominations (winning three), seven BAFTA nominations (winning three), seven Golden Globe Awardnominations (winning two), and six Grammy nominations (winning two).
Desplat has worked on a variety of films, including independent and commercial successes The Queen, The Golden Compass, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1& Part 2, The King's Speech, The Danish Girl, Moonrise Kingdom, Argo, Rise of the Guardians, Zero Dark Thirty, Godzilla, The Imitation Game,Unbrokenand Isle of Dogs.
Desplat has composed extensively for French cinema, Hollywood, and incidental music for over 100 films, including Lapse of Memory(1992), Family Express(1992), Regarde Les Hommes Tomber(1994), Les Péchés Mortels(1995), César-nominated Un Héros Très Discret(1996), Une Minute de Silence(1998), Sweet Revenge(1998), Le Château des Singes(1999), Reines d'un Jour(2001), the César-nominated Sur mes lèvres(2002), Rire et Châtiment(2003), Syriana(2005), the César-winner The Beat That My Heart Skipped(2005), The Queen(2006), Fantastic Mr. Fox(2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1(2010), The Ghost Writer(2010), Daniel Auteuil's remake of La Fille du Puisatier(2011), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2(2011), and The Grand Budapest Hotel(2014).
Desplat has composed individual songs that have been sung in films by such artists as Akhenaton, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Valérie Lemercier, Miosotis, and Catherine Ringer. He has also written music for the theatre, including pieces performed at the Comédie Française. Desplat has conducted performances of his music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. Desplat has also given Master Classesat La Sorbonnein Parisand the Royal College of Musicin London.
In 2007, he composed the scores for Philip Pullman's Golden Compass; Zach Helm's directorial debut Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporiumwith American composer Aaron Zigman; and the Ang Leemovie Lust, Caution. Prior to these break-out works, he contributed scores for The Luzhin Defence, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Syriana, Birth, Hostage, Casanova, The Nestand The Painted Veil, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and the 2006 World Soundtrack Award. He won the 2007 BMI Film Music Award, 2007 World Soundtrack Award, 2007 European Film Award, and received his first Academy Awardnomination for Best Original Scorefor The Queen. He also won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festivalfor Best Film Music in The Beat that My Heart Skipped. In 2008, Desplat received his second Oscar nomination for David Fincher's Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Desplat received his third Oscar nomination and a BAFTAnomination for Fantastic Mr. Foxin 2010, both of which were won by Michael Giacchinofor Up.
Desplat has composed music for Largo Winch, based on the Belgian comic; Afterwardsa French-Canadian psychological thriller film directed by Gilles Bourdos in English; Anne Fontaine's Coco avant Chanelbased on the life of designer Coco Chanel; Robert Guédiguian's Armée du Crime; Cheri, reuniting him with director Stephen Frears, whom he collaborated with on The Queen; Un Prophètereuniting with director Jacques Audiard; Julie & Juliadirected by Nora Ephron; Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Andersonand based on the novel by Roald Dahl; New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz; Roman Polanski's Ghost Writer; Tamara Drewe; The Special Relationship; and The King's Speechwhich earned Desplat his fourth Oscar nomination.
In early 2011, Desplat began to write the music to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. He reunited with director David Yates, who offered Desplat the opportunity to score the second part after his work on the Part 1soundtrack in 2010 "enchanted everyone in the control room".Desplat's soundtrack sequel to the 2008 film Largo Winchwas released in 2011 and was well received. Desplat's 2011 projects included The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick(which he actually recorded in early 2010), A Better Life,La Fille du Puisatier, Roman Polanski's Carnage, and George Clooney's Ides of March.
Desplat started 2012 with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the Florent Emilio Siri-directed biopic Cloclo, and DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians. His other scores of 2013 included Rust and Bone, Zero Dark Thirty, and Argo, the latter of which earned him Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations.
In June 2013, Desplat's first Concerto for Flute & Orchestra premiered in France with flautist Jean Ferrandis and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire conducted by John Axelrod. His Trois Etudesfor piano originally written for pianist Lang Langhad its U.S. premiere in October 2013 played by pianist Gloria Cheng. He received a sixth Oscar nomination for his score to Philomena, which marked his fourth collaboration with director Stephen Frears.
On 23 June 2014, it was announced that Desplat would head the jury at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.He wrote five major scores during 2014, with The Grand Budapest Hotelwinning him his first Academy Award.His score for The Imitation Gamewas also nominated, and his win therefore marked the first time a composer had won against another of their own scores since John Williams won for Star Wars(beating Close Encounters of the Third Kind) in 1978, and only the seventh time overall (Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, Max Steiner, Miklos Rozsaand Johnny Greenare the only other composers to achieve this).
In 2018, he won his second Academy Award for The Shape of Water.