Rachel Portman

Rachel Portman

Highest Rated: 100% High Hopes (1988)

Lowest Rated: 0% A Pyromaniac's Love Story (1995)

Birthday: Dec 11, 1960

Birthplace: Haslemere, England, UK

One of a handful of contemporary female film composers, Rachel Portman created lush and colorful scores that enhance or reflect the emotions of the feature's characters. Using minimal cues for effect, she designed her work to appeal directly to the viewer's sensibilities. Equally at home scoring heavily dramatic motion pictures as well as light romantic comedies, Portman proved to be adept at compositions that reflect humanity. Raised in England, Portman began her musical education at an early age, trained to play a number of instruments. As she progressed, she became particularly interested in concentrating on composition and orchestrating, creating her first work as a teenager. After completing music studies at Oxford, she landed her first assignment to score the TV-movie "Experience Preferred ... But Not Essential" (1982; released theatrically in the USA in 1983) and entered films with Michael Hoffman's "Privileged" (1982). She subsequently alternated between TV and features, creating melodic scores that do not upstage the screen action. Portman forged a successful collaboration with Beeban Kidron on the feminist telefilms "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit" (1989), "Antonia and Jane" (1990), and "Great Moments in Aviation" (1993). She subsequently created a jazz-tinged score for Kidron's "Used People" (1992) and the disco-tinged soundtrack for the director's "Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995). Critics praised Portman's score for "Where Angels Fear to Tread" (1991) and "Ethan Frome" (1993), both of which were instrumental in illustrating the frustrations and colors of the central characters. Her bouncy, lively score for "Benny & Joon" (1993) nearly functioned as a separate character in the film, while her quiet compositions for "The Joy Luck Club" (also 1993) highlighted that feature's sadness and tragedies as well as its occasional pleasures. Portman created the background music which reflected the changing moods of the characters in "Marvin's Room" (1996). She earned an Oscar for "Emma" (also 1996), which captured the mischievous qualities of the title heroine. That achievement made Portman the first female composer to win a music Academy Award. Constantly in demand, her scores over the next decade included Lasse Hallström's "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and "Chocolat" (2000), Jonathan Demme's remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" (2004), and time-shifting romantic comedy "The Lake House" (2006). Portman's facility for romantic scoring led to consistent work in love stories such as "The Vow" (2012). In 2015, she won an Emmy Award for her score for "Bessie" (HBO 2015), a biopic starring Queen Latifah as blues icon Bessie Smith.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
69% 60% Godmothered Original Music - 2020
35% 73% A Dog's Purpose Original Music $64.3M 2017
9% 44% Despite the Falling Snow Original Music - 2016
62% 77% Race Original Music $19.1M 2016
91% 84% Score: A Film Music Documentary Herself (Character) $97.3K 2016
90% 71% Their Finest Original Music $3.6M 2016
66% 72% Dolphin Tale 2 Original Music $42M 2014
84% 82% Belle Original Music $10.7M 2013
31% 63% The Vow Original Music $125M 2012
63% 57% Private Peaceful Original Music - 2012
27% 29% Bel Ami Original Music $119.9K 2012
21% 47% Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Original Music $1.3M 2011
36% 49% One Day Original Music $13.8M 2011
70% 70% Never Let Me Go Original Music $2.4M 2010
62% 67% The Duchess Original Music $13.8M 2008
65% 66% The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Original Music $44.1M 2008
39% 55% Feast of Love Original Music $3.5M 2007
67% 68% Miss Potter Original Music $3M 2006
35% 73% The Lake House Original Music $52.3M 2006
74% 69% Infamous Original Music $1.2M 2006
37% 48% Flightplan Original Music $89.7M 2005
55% 63% Because of Winn-Dixie Original Music $32.6M 2005
49% 80% The Passion of the Christ Original Music $371.4M 2004
33% 27% The Truth About Charlie Original Music $5.3M 2002
59% 48% Hart's War Original Music $19.1M 2002
78% 75% Nicholas Nickleby Original Music $1.3M 2002
73% 63% The Emperor's New Clothes Original Music $569.4K 2001
32% 48% The Closer You Get Original Music $221.9K 2000
43% 65% The Legend of Bagger Vance Original Music $30.7M 2000
62% 83% Chocolat Original Music $71.3M 2000
87% 86% Ratcatcher Original Music $216.8K 1999
29% 71% The Other Sister Original Music $27.8M 1999
71% 77% The Cider House Rules Original Music $57.5M 1999
31% 34% Home Fries Original Music $10.5M 1998
78% 71% Beloved Original Music $22.8M 1998
84% 63% Marvin's Room Original Music $12.8M 1996
85% 77% Emma Original Music $22.2M 1996
39% 71% To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar Original Music $36.4M 1995
0% 53% A Pyromaniac's Love Story Original Music $465.6K 1995
41% 44% The Road to Wellville Original Music $6.5M 1994
No Score Yet 92% War of the Buttons Original Music $4.7K 1994
74% 40% Sirens Original Music $5.8M 1994
76% 85% Benny & Joon Original Music $23.1M 1993
87% 89% The Joy Luck Club Original Music $32.8M 1993
44% 37% Used People Original Music $17.1M 1992
No Score Yet 77% The Woman in Black Original Music - 1989
No Score Yet 67% The Short & Curlies Original Music - 1988
100% 86% High Hopes Original Music $28K 1988

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