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La Fine Fleur
  • Composed by Mathieu Lamboley

A small-scale French comedy set in the cutthroat world of growing roses, and an unofficial sequel to the wildly popular The Reasonable Horticulturalist, La Fine Fleur stars Catherine Frot as a rose-grower whose farm is under threat from a local competitor – the sordid world of Big Horticulture. The absolutely charming score is by Mathieu Lamboley, whose international star ascended greatly earlier in the year thanks to Lupin – it’s probably only a matter of time before he starts working in Hollywood but for now he remains remarkably prolific in French cinema and tv. The score is very reminiscent of the lighter work of Alexandre Desplat (particularly when working on projects in his homeland) – the bouncy main theme which opens the album (“Hybridation”) with is crystal clear winds and strings could easily be from a Desplat score and it’s a real delight, cropping up frequently on the short album and bringing pleasure whenever it does.

There is some even lighter material elsewhere when Lamboley brings more overt comedy, such as in “The Lion” and the saccharine sweet “Au travail”, and an absolutely charming secondary theme played by the piano in “Présentation des roses”. Occasionally – very occasionally – there’s a slightly darker hue to it for more serious drama, such as “Le casse” and in a different way “Découverte de la Rose”. The best track other than the opening cue is the gorgeous six-minute finale “Pensée Bleue” – opening with a gently-prodding piano solo over subtle strings, which gradually swell up into the hoped-for sweeping conclusion. Lamboley is a great talent and I’ve been enjoying exploring his back catalogue over the last few months; La Fine Fleur is not as substantial a work as a lot of his best ones but it’s light and charming and summery, uplifting and certainly recommended.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. Geoff (Reply) on Saturday 11 September, 2021 at 14:07

    Thanks, James, enjoyabkle reading, as usual!