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  • Composed by Alexandre Desplat
  • Varese Sarabande 302 066 961 / 2009 / 46:30

Sometimes you hear the plot of the film and instantly know who should score it.  Usually, that person doesn’t; this time, he did.  Cheri stars Michelle Pfeiffer as a middle-aged women in 1900s Paris, whose romance with a 19-year-old causes quite a stir.  Alexandre Desplat was the obvious choice; and Stephen Frears did indeed turn to the Frenchman.  I doubt that I really need to say it, but I’ll say it anyway – the score is elegant, classy, beautiful, hugely impressive.  While it is true that Desplat’s unmistakable style means we now have a string of very similar scores from him, I can’t say I’ve come close to being bothered yet – there’s just something so refreshing about his music.  The smart main theme here is typical Desplat, with a glockenspiel playing a suggestive melody over choppy bass accompaniment.

There’s a waltz.  Of course there’s a waltz.  It’s a theme of ravishing desire and playful opulence.  It’s gorgeous.  That Desplat manages to turn such precision of composition and almost clinical performance into something so passionate is his great skill, perhaps his USP as a film composer.  He’s obviously a perfectionist – and some people suffer a bad reaction to that, finding his music cold.  I have the opposite reaction – his is such a singular vision, so strong and powerful, I feel enriched every time I hear it.  Cheri is an absolutely gorgeous score and album, undoubtedly one of the year’s best; highly recommended.  ****

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