FILM SC♀RES – Celebrating Female Composers

Tom and Viv 15

Tom and Viv

Esteemed British composer Debbie Wiseman’s breakthrough arrived with her characteristically upwardly yearning score for romantic drama Tom and Viv - the passionate, true and tragic love story of T.S Eliot (Willem Dafoe), one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century, and his first wife Vivienne (Miranda Richardson), a vivacious social beauty.

After a whirlwind courtship, resulting in a quick marriage, their relationship comes under great strain as Vivienne struggles to cope with health problems and, worse still, the dangerous medicines prescribed for her - the combination of which drive her increasingly erratic and eccentric behaviour. And as Eliot’s career soared, Vivienne’s behaviour becomes increasingly difficult for him and her family to handle, leading them toward a terrible act of convenience and betrayal.

Wiseman’s work here proved the springboard for an exceptional career which saw her go on to score films such as Wilde and TV’s Wolf Hall, as well as receive an Academy Award nomination for her work on French action-adventure Arsene Lupin. Her beautiful piano compositions for Tom and Viv proved the perfect accompaniment to the film’s exploration of the pain and difficulties that inspired T.S Eliot’s finest work, and its celebration of Vivienne as one of English literature’s great forgotten muses.

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