Latest reviews of new albums:
Wishin’ and Hopin’
  • Composed by Matthew Llewellyn
  • MovieScore Media / 2014 / 34m

Based on Wally Lamb’s popular short 2009 novel, Wishin’ and Hopin’ is a nostalgic Christmas tale set in New York in 1964.  Narrated by Chevy Chase and starring Molly Ringwald and Annabella Sciorra (and a large cast of children), Colin Theys’s film had a limited cinema release before being shown on US tv recently, to a very enthusiastic reception.  For the music Theys turned again to his usual composer, Matthew Llewellyn – it’s their second film together this year but couldn’t be more different from the first, Deep in the Darkness (which got as terrific score itself).  This time round the composer has done everything you want the composer of a Christmas movie to do – his music is warm, nostalgic, magical, sometimes comical, a delightful new classical orchestral Christmas film score to join the yearly rotation.

It’s delightfully thematic.  Melody is everywhere – big, bold, soaring themes coming from every direction.  Comic relief comes from the slightly Slavic feel to a couple of them (I just love the early “The Nefarious Penguin”, the exaggerated hijinks of “The Russian Menace”).  Those occasional moments of comic threat are done to perfection – the feeling is always of adventure and wonder and innocence, of kids being kids.  The album positively breezes by (there’s not a single moment that’s less than delightful) and when it ends you just want to put it on again.  This is a lovely score which will appeal to anyone who likes things like John Williams’s Home Alone scores or Mark McKenzie’s Blizzard – it’s the best Christmas score since that one, actually.  Perfect listening for the most wonderful time of the year.

Rating: ****

See also:
Home Alone John Williams
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York John Williams | |

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  1. mastadge (Reply) on Sunday 14 December, 2014 at 02:13

    Sounds great, thanks!