A Very Long Engagement Soundtrack, Import
From Warner Independent, a new division of Warner Bros. Pictures, comes "A Very Long Engagement" a love story set during World War I featuring the director and star of "Amelie," Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tautou. With a box-office total of $152 million, "Amelie" is one of the most popular foreign language films of recent years. Director Jeunets "Engagement" is the biggest budget French film in history, opening on 800 screens in its home country. Based on the acclaimed novel by Sebastien Japrisot, the story takes place at the close of the war, when Mathilde(Tautou) receives word that her fiancee is one of five wounded soldiers who have been court-martialed and forced into the no-mans-land between the French and German lines to die an almost certain death. Unwilling to accept that her lover is lost to her forever, Mathilde embarks on an investigation, strengthened by a steadfast hope. In her quest to discover his fate, she is drawn deeper into the horrors of war and the indelible marks it leaves on those whose lives it has touched. The orchestral score is by Angelo Badalamenti ("Twin Peaks," "Mulholland Drive," "The Company," "The Straight Story," "Lost Highway"), conducted by Phil Marshall.
Employing the stunning, kinetic visual sense that made his reputation via Delicatessen, City of Lost Children and Amelie, French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet turned Sebastien Japrisot's compelling World War I novel into the biggest budgeted film ever produced in his home country. To musically season his often downbeat epic, Jeunet again utilizes Lost Children's composer, Angelo Badalamenti, and the American rises to the occasion with a brooding score that evokes dignified melancholy at every turn. While its shadowy introspection and brief passages of electronica only distantly recall Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and his other collaborations with David Lynch, his work here is utterly devoid of their often pop-ironic kitsch. Instead, writing in the powerful, modernist milieu of Herrmann and Howard Shore, Badalamenti's score turns repeatedly on a brief, mournful phrase for muted brass, a five-note motif that serves as the emotional anchor for one of the composer's most elegant exercises in orchestral understatement. -- Jerry McCulley
The most amazing thing about the score is its ability to capture the sense that is present throughout both the novel and the film, that, through all this doom and deception and depression and despair, what really wins out is hope. But unlike so many phony "uplifting" endings, this film's ending, like that of the novel it is based on, is the real thing, honest, bittersweet, never really joyful, just satisfying. And that sense of triumph and rightness are present in every note of Badalamenti's most remarkable score.
This is one of the best soundtracks I have ever listened to!
Not only it is moody, easy listening and, at the same time, soothing without turning to yawning - it is a great driving music to!