HEMINGWAY AND GELLHORN

 

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This TV Movie has received some rather cutting and unkind reviews, mainly aimed at the performances of Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen. For me, Owen is not one of the finest actors on this earth and most of his performances are rather wooden and un-animated. But I am surprised at Kidman coming in for criticism as I thought she had matured of late and grown as an actress. But it is not the credentials of these actors or the quality of the movie I am here to discuss, but the music score composed by Javier Navarette. I first encountered Navarette via his haunting score for THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE in 2001 and then again his equally memorable music for PAN’S LABYRINTH. In fact since the release of those films I have always gone out of my way to find and listen to the composer’s soundtracks. Recently this Spanish composer has been engaged on Hollywood and UK projects such as WRATH OF THE TITANS, INKHEART, CRACKS and WARRIORS WAY and has been thrown into the gaze of film music collectors worldwide. I am not sure if this is always a good thing (working in Hollywood that is) but at least we get to hear more of Navarette’s eloquent and powerful music. The score for HEMINGWAY AND GELLHORN is adventurous and full blooded with much drama and passion but is also emotive and enticingly beautiful. There are a number of vocals featured throughout the score, the most prominent being “Ay Carmela” performed by both Antoine Closi and Rolando Alarcon. The melody from this particular song is also utilized within the score in varying arrangements. The songs are very listenable and, combined with the orchestral score, go to make up a rewarding listening experience. Navarette’s powerful score has a commanding presence making it difficult to listen to without being stirred within; his proud and noble themes conveying an atmosphere filled with fervour and patriotism. One of my favourite cues is “The Joy of Irrigation”; a martial sounding piece – or at least this is the way it begins – in fact it reminded me of Maurice Jarre’s quirky but poignant march from RYAN’S DAUGHTER. It has that same kind of aura to it but with a Spanish flavour interwoven into the body of the piece. Trumpet and strings lead with timpani supporting and woodwind being added and punctuating, making for a rousing and entertaining cue. This is one of the  better scores of this  year. It is packed with rich thematic material and exudes zeal and splendour.

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