Latest reviews of new albums:
  • Composed by Christopher Gordon
  • Additional music by Antony Partos
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2013 / 45m

Adore sees Robin Wright and Naomi Watts play a pair of lifelong friends who each stumble into relationships with the other’s son.  It’s the English-language début of director Anne Fontaine, and was made in Australia; that nation’s premiere film composer Christopher Gordon provides the score, his first in a couple of years.  His elegant music is sumptuous, making an instant impact in the beautiful opening cue, a dreamy piano solo ebbing and flowing with plucked strings and harp, a wash of bowed strings like a comforting underbelly.  The main theme is full of class: the beauty exists over pretty complex drama, and the same melody is turned into something very different in later cues.  The deliberate pace of “Uncertainty” sees little bits of light emerge from moments of darkness, beautifully expressing an emotional challenge.

I’m not sure what circumstances led to it, but there’s a fair amount of music here written by a different composer, Antony Partos.  Cues by him are scattered through the album (almost a third of the running time in his); oddly, despite being composed in a very different style (think Jones and Edelman on Last of the Mohicans), it is not a jarring listening experience – the material by Partos is more punchy, written for a smaller ensemble, with more than a hint of Thomas Newman.  But there’s no doubting the star of the show and that’s Gordon – the way he musically expresses intimacy and lust, the way initial doubts are gradually resolved is tremendously accomplished.  The cathartic “Beach Walk” is one of the most impressive pieces of film music I’ve heard in some time.  Gordon’s music is simply ravishing.  Impressive album.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. ANDRÉ - CAPE TOWN. (Reply) on Wednesday 13 November, 2013 at 14:06

    The CD cover of two relaxed couples on a seaside wooden-deck and your review, James, of a ‘sumptuously elegant’ score by CHRISTOPHER GORDON prompted me to Google ADORE. Critiques ranged from ‘Deplorable’…’clumsily directed’…’one of the worst reviewed films at the Sundance Festival’ to ‘engrossing relationship drama’… ‘look out for the beautiful Australian locations & ANTONY PARTOS’ score’. And, as we know, many contentious films have produced amazingly beautiful scores to save their movies from ruination. The storyline takes on a carnal tone when Xavier Samuel boasts to his best buddy, James Frecheville, that he’s screwing James’ mother. Enraged, James decides to get even, and seduces Xavier’s mom. In spite of the mothers both being attractive, their good-looking sons, ready for new sexual experiences, eventually dump them for young women with the storyline going off in new, darker directions. GORDON’s themes apparently convey the characters and emotions of the mothers[ Naomi Watts & Roben Wright] ‘caught up in reckless love’…’full of fear for the passing of years & the spectre of ageing’…and living a sexual fantasy that cannot last’. PARTOS’ score reflects the youth & energy of the young men and their affairs with the older women being a mere sexual experience > a passing fancy. I find the storyline intrigueing {and look forward to hearing the two diverse scores} but many film reviewers found director, Anne Fontaine’s, movie disturbing to view… and I was under the impression that most reviewers were sophisticated enough not to be shocked by anything the movies delivered.