The Founder sees Carter Burwell re-teaming with director John Lee Hancock for this story about Ray Kroc, the salesman who turned the McDonalds brothers burger eatery into one of the most world-renowned brands of fast food restaurants. John Lee Hancock has stuck with Burwell since The Rookie and only departed to work with Thomas Newman for Saving Mr. Banks. But you could probably bet good money that was a Disney decision and not Hancock’s. For The Founder, Carter Burwell finds himself in his comfort zone by exploring characters' state of minds through his signature sounds.
The Founder is a drama that rides on the strengths of its acting and writing, but Burwell’s score is the perfect storytelling accompaniment to help the audience access the characters and tone of the film. By developing the fabric that connects the characters in the story, we see the music creating the ups and downs of the journeys the characters are on. Moments of aspiration, success and happiness flow towards doubt and uncertainty. When the stakes are high and greed is introduced, we feel the score take a tonal shift that digs deeper into the state of minds of the characters. The tone of the music keeps everything in-line so we as an audience are engaged and pulled in. The original score shares space with some period songs that help take us to the time period and setting, and Burwell weaves his score into the fabric of the film with ease.
The Founder is just solid film scoring from Carter Burwell, and it shows him excelling at what he does best. He is a master of tone and character. While The Founder doesn't wow or do anything new that we haven’t heard before, it does its job in its own special way for this particular story. Burwell’s scores always do a great job of setting the stage and guiding us through the narrative, helping us understand character motivations and their emotions behind their thoughts. The Founder is Burwell providing another solid entry to his filmography that doesn't need flair to impress.
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