Academy Award winning writer, director and producer Paul Haggis returns to the director’s chair for his first feature film since 2005’s best picture Academy Award winner Crash, with fantastic results. Set against the current political climate surrounding the Iraq war, In The Valley of Elah features a formidable cast led by Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black, The Fugitive) and Charlize Theron (North Country, Monster). Jones plays a former military officer who investigates the disappearance of his son who had just returned home from serving a tour of duty in Iraq. He is aided in his search by Theron, who plays the police detective assigned to the case.
For Mark, collaborating with Paul is always rewarding and inspiring, and Mark has produced some of his best-loved music as a result of their creative partnerships. As he often likes to do, Mark challenged himself to incorporate unexpected instruments and sounds into the music. For In The Valley of Elah, Mark says, “I always love to give Paul a unique sound. To create this sense of tragedy and suspense, I chose several different sized chamber orchestras, a unique “guitar ensemble” including a ukulele and mandolin and a custom library of electronic elements.
Liner Notes from Paul Haggis –
“This, if I am counting correctly, is my fifth collaboration with Mark; our second film together. Working with him closely in Los Angeles and London was a rare experience of pure creative joy. If you knew what a cynical bastard I can be, you would have a hard time believing I actually wrote that last sentence, but the truth is I will be forever grateful to Mark for allowing me to share those weeks with him, his creative team, the amazing soloists and remarkable orchestra. It resulted in a score that embodies the contradictions that I love. It is somehow both spare and lush, and heartbreaking in its simplicity. I can’t stop listening to it, and am in awe to have been a part of it.”