SUPPORT FILMTRACKS! CLICK HERE FIRST:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
iTunes (U.S.)
Amazon.ca
Amazon.fr
eBay (U.S.)
Amazon.de
Amazon.es
Half.com
Glisten Effect
Editorial Reviews
Scoreboard Forum
Viewer Ratings
Composers
Awards
   NEWEST MAJOR REVIEWS:
     1. Incredibles 2
    2. Solo: A Star Wars Story
   3. Deadpool 2
  4. Avengers: Infinity War
 5. A Quiet Place
6. Ready Player One
   CURRENT MOST POPULAR REVIEWS:
         1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
        2. Gladiator
       3. Blade Runner 2049
      4. Batman
     5. Thor: Ragnarok
    6. The Avengers
   7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  8. Avatar
 9. Dunkirk
10. Phantom Thread
Home Page
Menu Options ▼
Comments about the soundtrack for A Beautiful Mind (James Horner)
Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind

Samantha
(167.167.236.180)
Profile Picture

  Responses to this Comment:
Christian Clemmensen
The DILinator
Kevin Scott
Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Thursday, December 27, 2001 (10:56 a.m.) 

A Beautiful Mind is probably the best film I have ever seen! I knew that this film would be one of the most anticipated films of the new year and then when it was honored with 6 nods from the golden globes - i knew that it would do great! How else can I expect a film to do with such talented stars as Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly? Is anyone surprised that Russell was so generously recognized? But, this film will finally bring Jennifer Connelly all the recognition and praise that she deserves. She and Crowe have the on-screen chemistry that can light up any screen and their love and emotions are wonderful depicted on the silver screen. For all of you who were blessed with this film in time for Christmas, and like me, this was the best present that you received! But for all of you who now must wait until early january - celebrate the new year with this movie, it will be the must-see picture of 2002.

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Christian Clemmensen
<Send E-Mail>
(umtoffice.filmtracks.com)
Profile Picture
  In Response to:
Samantha
Ha! This person works for Universal...   Thursday, December 27, 2001 (12:34 p.m.) 

Anybody with a 167.167 start to their IP works for Universal Studios or MCA. Talk about shameless self-promotion!

Christian



Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


The DILinator
<Send E-Mail>
(spider-th054.proxy.aol.com)

  In Response to:
Samantha
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Friday, December 28, 2001 (4:40 p.m.) 

Maybe this person does work for Universal, but what he is saying is true. This movie is very good, and no doubt will garner a number of awards. What's more, Horner's soundtrack fits so perfectly with the movie, to enhance it even further. No matter how much Horner continues to make music that sounds similar to other scores of his, they always fit so perfectly into the movie that he is scoring, regardless of how different they may be. Congrats to Horner for this wonderful score and Ron Howard and Co. for this wonderful movie!

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Kevin Scott
<Send E-Mail>
(mdtw-cs05-t42.citlink.net)

  In Response to:
Samantha

  Responses to this Comment:
James
Chuck
Dan Sartori
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Wednesday, January 2, 2002 (4:39 p.m.) 

Well, this is going to be one of the most unusual things I have to say about James Horner's score for what I think is one of Ron Howard's best films in years.

This is a collaboration that is probably going to be as underrecognized as any in the history of composer/director unions that have seen such brilliance come from the likes of Herrmann/Hitchcock, Walton/Olivier, Prokofiev/Eisenstein, Rota/Fellini and so on. Yet it is one of the most important in late 20th Century filmmaking. And it is with regrets that I found the score to A Beautiful Mind to be a beautiful score from a brilliant mind that in the end doesn't sum up to the whole of this near-uncompromising film.

From the onset, I was rather disturbed by Horner's opening prelude, a series of arpeggiations against a very tonal background of joy and cheer that doesn't set the stage of 1947 Princeton, but more like 1990s downtown New York. In other words, Horner's prelude smacks more of John Adams and Philip Glass by way of Danny Elfman than anything I have ever heard. But I'm afraid that's not all. It seems as if from this moment on, Horner decides to give us a basically tonalally centered soundtrack that may explore the circumstances surrounding John Nash's brilliant mind of mathematics against the angst and turbulence of his illness, but not once did I feel the dual power of this phenomenon as a person in the score.

I may be speaking to people whose musical education may not know half of what I am saying, but I will put it in lay terms as best as I can. For me, Horner should have employed an idiom more akin to the music heard in Nash's time, namely composers like Roger Sessions or Milton Babbitt. While these composers are generally not familiar with most moviegoers, they are with people who attend classical concerts. Sessions was an American composer who adopted Arnold Schoenberg's compositional technique of arranging all twelve tones in a row where all melodies and harmonies are derived from, whereas Babbitt was a composer who further developed Schoenberg's techniques with higher mathematics, so that not only pitch, but rhythm and dynamics, are serialized to the point of severity. I know that this music is still not too popular in the concert hall. Many concertgoers feel that the music is far too cerebral, too intellectually rigorous without emotional weight or soul. But in the case of a motion picture, such techniques could heighten and open up the visuals to a new dimension. Such was the case when Leonard Rosenman wrote a 12-tone score for Vincente Minnelli's The Cobweb in 1954. To a lesser extent, such jarring atonal scoring was a hallmark of some of the early scores of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. As a final note to this paragraph, both Sessions and Babbitt taught at Princeton.

Two of my favorite scores of Horner happen to be Wolfen (1981) and Jade. Both are uncompromising. Both enhance not only the visuals, but psychologically probe into the motives and minds of protagonist and antagonist, of these films. Both are Horner at his most advanced. I wish he would have contributed a similar score to this film. It may not have been his most popular, but it certainly would have brought out more of the brilliance of this major work from one of America's best directors.



Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


James
<Send E-Mail>
(dal-tgn-tvn-vty22.as.wcom.net)

  In Response to:
Kevin Scott

  Responses to this Comment:
Adam Cohrs
not so much   Saturday, January 5, 2002 (11:05 a.m.) 

I uderstand what you mean, and it is somewhat true (well its all true, but to me it doesn't affect my listening or, more importantly, my viewing) See, the film isn't about time periods at all, its about a mans inner struggle, the music fits that well, the time period doesn't seem to matter. Maybe for some cues a more "historical" feel would be better, but that might ruin continuity with the rest of the score.

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Adam Cohrs
(swelltech.sabinenet.com)

  In Response to:
James
Re: not so much   Thursday, January 17, 2002 (3:05 p.m.) 

You're right.....it could have had a more historical feel but i think that if that had been so the soundtrack would have been diminished. Horner is a brilliant composer...one of the best, and he always does what is best. there are a few composers who just always know what to do (john williams, james horner, and hans zimmer). those three are by far my favorite. i've never heard anything from them that i don't like. the music to A Beautiful Mind fits very well with the sequences. Just listening to something like this makes me proud to have a love for music.

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Chuck
<Send E-Mail>
(host-216-79-218-165.chs.bellsouth
.net)

  In Response to:
Kevin Scott
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Monday, January 21, 2002 (9:01 a.m.) 

Yeah man, I totally agree with you on that. You made a good point.

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Dan Sartori
<Send E-Mail>
(p-proxy-1-int0.net.wisc.edu)

  In Response to:
Kevin Scott

  Responses to this Comment:
Kevin Scott
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Friday, April 12, 2002 (9:59 p.m.) 

> From the onset, I was rather disturbed by Horner's opening prelude, a
> series of arpeggiations against a very tonal background of joy and cheer
> that doesn't set the stage of 1947 Princeton, but more like 1990s downtown
> New York.

You're confusing me. The opening intervals of the score are a minor second, minor third,and perfect fourth in that order, and nowhere in the opening suite did I hear any of the arpeggiations predominate. There were bits and pieces of arpeggiations in the piano and low strings, but they were never in the foreground. The music also cuts right from very schizophrenic-sounding flute octave-jump-and-then-trills along with quick moving key changes to the tonally-based melody - a style of writing that is EXTREMELY appropriate for showing the unpredictability of Nash's mind. Plus the "arpeggiations set against a tonal background" which you dislike don't exist since the arpeggiations are only in the opening section and the tonal bacjground doesn't begin until immediately after that. And who said that just because the BEGINNING of the storyline is set in the 1940s that the whole movie should be written in that style!? That's ridiculous!

> I may be speaking to people whose musical education may not know half of
> what I am saying, but I will put it in lay terms as best as I can.

Are you really a musician or are you just calling yourself one? Because I think the work is fantastically balanced (a most difficult task in a film like this)and really explores the inner psyche not only of Nash, but of each of us.

Dan
>

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Kevin Scott
<Send E-Mail>
(spider-wi023.proxy.aol.com)

  In Response to:
Dan Sartori

  Responses to this Comment:
Dan Sartori
Mauro oliveria
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Saturday, April 13, 2002 (1:05 p.m.) 

> You're confusing me. The opening intervals of the score are a minor
> second, minor third,and perfect fourth in that order, and nowhere in the
> opening suite did I hear any of the arpeggiations predominate. There were
> bits and pieces of arpeggiations in the piano and low strings, but they
> were never in the foreground. The music also cuts right from very
> schizophrenic-sounding flute octave-jump-and-then-trills along with quick
> moving key changes to the tonally-based melody - a style of writing that
> is EXTREMELY appropriate for showing the unpredictability of Nash's mind.
> Plus the "arpeggiations set against a tonal background" which
> you dislike don't exist since the arpeggiations are only in the opening
> section and the tonal bacjground doesn't begin until immediately after
> that. And who said that just because the BEGINNING of the storyline is set
> in the 1940s that the whole movie should be written in that style!? That's
> ridiculous!

It seems that we have differing viewpoints on this score. I disliked what I felt was misleading the viewer into a vortex of something quite different than what the story conveys. I respected your viewpoint until your last comment regarding my credentials.

> Are you really a musician or are you just calling yourself one? Because I
> think the work is fantastically balanced (a most difficult task in a film
> like this)and really explores the inner psyche not only of Nash, but of
> each of us.

> Dan

I am a composer who has scored some minor independent films back in the late 70s, and one of them dealt with a very complex relationship between a pseudo-intellectual hippie gal and a quadripalegic man. That was not an easy film to score, but using folk and atonal elements was, in my opinion, the proper approach to justify their two lifestyles (sometimes I would use the atonal style for her, folk for him - mirror imaging, so to speak).

Moreover, I have been composing works for orchestra, voice and chamber groups for about 30 years, since my teens, and have been performed by several major orchestras in the United States. I have also been an avid devotee of film scores and composers, and have conducted first performances of several works of Bernard Herrmann.

Horner's music is indeed good, but for me it just did not fit this film. What I heard and felt in conjunction with the images of the screen did not bode well with me. In closing, I respect your views, and indeed your analysis. But not your last statement. Such a questioning will only come back to reflect those who deliver those goods - including me.

Kevin Scott
New York


Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Dan Sartori
<Send E-Mail>
(p-proxy-4-int0.net.wisc.edu)

  In Response to:
Kevin Scott
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Monday, April 22, 2002 (7:01 p.m.) 

> It seems that we have differing viewpoints on this score. I disliked what
> I felt was misleading the viewer into a vortex of something quite
> different than what the story conveys. I respected your viewpoint until
> your last comment regarding my credentials.

> I am a composer who has scored some minor independent films back in the
> late 70s, and one of them dealt with a very complex relationship between a
> pseudo-intellectual hippie gal and a quadripalegic man. That was not an
> easy film to score, but using folk and atonal elements was, in my opinion,
> the proper approach to justify their two lifestyles (sometimes I would use
> the atonal style for her, folk for him - mirror imaging, so to speak).

> Moreover, I have been composing works for orchestra, voice and chamber
> groups for about 30 years, since my teens, and have been performed by
> several major orchestras in the United States. I have also been an avid
> devotee of film scores and composers, and have conducted first
> performances of several works of Bernard Herrmann.

> Horner's music is indeed good, but for me it just did not fit this film.
> What I heard and felt in conjunction with the images of the screen did not
> bode well with me. In closing, I respect your views, and indeed your
> analysis. But not your last statement. Such a questioning will only come
> back to reflect those who deliver those goods - including me.

> Kevin Scott
New York

I feel that I must apologize to you. I unfairly jumped to the conclusion that you weren't a musician because you had some misinformation in your comment. However, it does detract from your statement if you don't get the information right. I still don't really understand where the problem with this score is, though. Horner uses a minor chord in low voices overlain by a major third in an upper voice throughout the score - a tidbit which no one can deny is absolutely ingenious writing - and gives any musician a shudder due to the implicit minor second interval. It gives me a shudder every time I hear it. What could be more appropriate for a movie about schizophrenia? Didn't Bernard Herrmann use the same type of minor second in the beginning of Psycho? I really don't understand what exactly in the soundtrack you think doesn't fit. No matter - I still like the soundtrack anyways.

Dan


Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Mauro oliveria
<Send E-Mail>
(p54a2951a.dip0.t-ipconnect.de)

  In Response to:
Kevin Scott

  Responses to this Comment:
moron oliveria
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind *NM*   Sunday, June 19, 2005 (11:48 a.m.) 



Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


moron oliveria
<Send E-Mail>
(p54a2951a.dip0.t-ipconnect.de)

  In Response to:
Mauro oliveria
Re: Standing Ovation for A Beautiful Mind   Sunday, June 19, 2005 (11:52 a.m.) 

Kevin seems to be an idiot of the first degree, looks like we have a moron here that can't cut it neither for a producer nor as an individual. Somehow these Ny guys think they know it all...Take those minors and shouffle it bro. This movie was done right, music and the acting. If u ever get the chance to score a track nor contribute we hope it better be the cream of the crop.
I wonder if Kevin knows how hard it is to find the correct musical touch for any flicker...be it documentary, major realease or indie...
It looks as if he's better off composing for a brittney video while she's getting laid...

C'yaaaaa

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display



Copyright © 1998-2018, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.