This Boy's Life

This Boy's Life

This Boy's Life

Carter's Notes

Michael Caton-Jones and I had worked together already on Doc Hollywood. Having read the book This Boy's Life - Tobias Wolff's memoir of childhood with an abusive stepfather - I was looking forward to working on the film. They'd cast Robert DeNiro as the stepfather and were looking for a young actor who could hold his own on screen, and stand up to DeNiro on set. Michael found an eighteen-year-old who fit the bill named Leonardo DiCaprio.

The music generally plays the film from the boy's point of view - variously pensive, frustrated, and escapist. It expresses the boy's mental freedom even while phyiscally trapped, and it often plays off the vast landscapes that mirror that contradiction.

Playing the intimacy of the family and volunerability of the boy is acoustic guitar, played beautifully by Fred Hand.

Carter listening to the stereo mixes
(photo by Adam Smalley)
Ellen Barkin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro

Film Info

Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
Written by Tobias Wolff (book), Robert Getchell
Produced by Art Linson

Composed by Carter Burwell
Orchestrated and Conducted by Sonny Kompanek
Music Editor: Adam Smalley
Music Scoring Mixer: Mike Farrow
Recorded and mixed at Sony Studios, Culver City, CA

Starring Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin, Eliza Dushku, Chris Cooper, Tobey Maguire

Released April, 1993

Sonny Kompanek and the last cue
Carter records