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Tamara Drewe
  • Composed by Alexandre Desplat
  • Silva Screen SILCD1334 / 2010 / 44:26

Inspired by Far From the Madding Crowd, Tamara Drewe is the latest film from Stephen Frears and stars Gemma Arterton as the title character, a woman seemingly so sexy that she has a whole town falling for her.  As far as I can see it, the problem there is that Arterton isn’t particularly sexy, but perhaps that’s just me.  The most common critical reaction has been “what on earth has happened to Stephen Frears that he’s reduced to this?” but whatever may have happened to him, at least he continues his collaboration with Alexandre Desplat into a third film.  For all his serious music written for serious films, Desplat has scored a surprising number of lighter comedies and his music does seem to lend itself well to this sort of film (as well as the others, of course) – he’s able to write music with a real deftness.

The first thing one notes as the album begins is that there is a certain similarity in style (though not melody) between Desplat’s main theme here and John Williams’s for Catch Me If You Can.  Desplat never turns his into anything quite so heavy-handed but one suspects he was probably inspired by the Williams piece.  Even outside the main theme, the score always stays very light and airy; the most overtly comedic cues (like “Dog and Cows”) come with a hint of slapstick, but even here the composer keeps things on the straight and narrow.  This is a relatively minor score by Desplat standards (having a cue titled “I Need a Dump” is a sign that this isn’t exactly The Painted Veil) but still an appealing one, whose running time (augmented by three songs) passes by very quickly and very pleasantly.  ***

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  1. Juanki (Reply) on Thursday 28 October, 2010 at 20:39

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s watching “Desperate Housewives” when listening to this score? Sounds good but Desplat has done better.