Thursday, June 16, 2011

what's the score? (part 2)

Many moons ago, I wrote about my love for movie scores. I've been thinking about scores again recently, thanks to a viewing of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (which has a fantastic score that I purchased after watching the movie), and I realized it's time to update my "favorites." I use the term favorites loosely, as it seems I'm constantly falling in love with a new score, but here they are for now. And yes, I do still listen to the scores listed before--especially The Lake House. That music just touches my soul, I guess. (I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but I don't know how else to put it!)

by Chris Lennertz. Adam is an indie film about a man with Asperger's Syndrome and the woman he loves. It's a nice little film that--in the way of most indie films--didn't have the happy Hollywood ending I was hoping for. What stuck out to me most as I watched the film was the score. I don't know if that's a good thing--shouldn't the score be there to aid the telling of the story, rather than overshadow the plot? Still, I knew I needed the music, so I found it on for not very much money. In the year that I've had the soundtrack, two of the songs have found their way into my iTunes Top 25 most played. (This is a soundtrack with five selections from the score and seven songs used in the film--and they're great songs by artists including Joshua Radin and The Weepies.)

by Samuel Sim. This music, from the recent BBC adaptation of Emma (which I loved), is just so happy! Every time I hear it, it makes me smile.

Finding Neverland
by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. I've never seen Finding Neverland, but I heard some of the music on Cinemix, an online radio station, and really enjoyed it. From start to finish, it's a beautiful score. It is perfect for playing at the office--or to go to sleep with!

Mr. Holland's Opus
by Michael Kamen. Mr. Holland's Opus is the first movie score I can remember noticing while watching a film. I saw the movie with my mom and cousins, and I loved the music. I decided to buy the score for my mom's birthday. So I went to the music store in the Grand Island Mall (back when music stores were cool and the Grand Island Mall actually had stores that you entered from inside the mall) and searched through the soundtracks section until I found Mr. Holland's Opus. Unfortunately, I didn't yet know the difference between "soundtrack" and "score," and what I bought was not at all what I wanted! Of course, Mom was very kind about it, but I'm pretty sure she would have enjoyed the score a lot more than the soundtrack. A few years ago, I finally picked up the score. It was as good as I remembered.

Much Ado About Nothing
by Patrick Doyle. Though I was charmed by this score several years ago (and purchased it at that time), it had completely fallen off my radar screen until I showed the film in my Advanced Reading class. As soon as the movie began playing, my love for the music came rushing back, and I've been listening to the score ever since. (If you haven't seen the movie, you should definitely check it out. I know Kenneth Branagh received more acclaim for some of his other Shakespearean adaptations, but I think he's at his best here. Also, after I watched this film with my class, I decided to watch other Branagh films, which led me to Hamlet, which led to the score, which led to this post. So if you wish I wouldn't write about music, blame Kenneth Branagh!)

Pride and Prejudice
by Dario Marianelli. While I prefer the Colin Firth version of the movie (which isn't to say this version is unenjoyable), Marianelli's score for the 2005 film is far superior to the music from the miniseries. The strings and piano, which feature prominently in many tracks, are simply gorgeous. I love the theme that works its way through the entire score--so beautiful!

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