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The Joy Luck Club
(1993)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated by:
John Neufeld

Conducted by:
J.A.C. Redford

Chinese Instruments Performed by
Masakazu Yoshizawa
Chris Fu
Shufeng He
Karen Hua-Qi Han
Jim Walker
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Hollywood Records
(September 28th, 1993)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you consistently enjoy Rachel Portman's base orchestral style and wish to hear it expressed with a distinct Chinese flavor not heard in the other scores of her early era.

Avoid it... if the static, monothematic style of Portman's dramatic work is too similar in any instrumentation or performance for you to distinguish its better variants as noteworthy.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #958
WRITTEN 4/23/04, REVISED 10/5/11
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Portman
Portman
The Joy Luck Club: (Rachel Portman) Vaulting to great heights immediately after its release, Amy Tan's best-selling 1989 novel was destined for similar success upon its adaptation to the arthouse film industry. With extraordinary care given to the authenticity of the Chinese culture depicted, The Joy Luck Club is, on the surface, a heart-warming tale of a group of Chinese-American women in San Francisco who congregate once a week and play mah jong. These gatherings, though, are an opportunity for their children and grandchildren, as well as the audience, to hear fascinating stories about the histories of their families. In flashbacks, their lifestyles in China come alive and awaken the audience to the intricate social structures of the nation and how those lifestyles have evolved in America. It is a film of substantial heart that is saturated with the expected women's issues, and thus, it wasn't surprising to see director Wayne Wang bring British composer Rachel Portman into this delicate process. At the time of the film's release in 1993, Portman was not yet recognized internationally as a foremost female composer, with only a substantial amount of British television scoring and a handful of independent films representing her known credits. When you look back at her involvement in a project as beautifully rendered and well-mannered as The Joy Luck Club, though, the fit seems absolutely perfect. When the film was released to critical success, Portman went through an immediate phase of being discovered by Hollywood, a process that would be affirmed the following year with the arrival of her most quoted work of the decade, Only You. It has been speculated that only her relative anonymity in 1993 (along with a strong field of competition) kept her from receiving her first Academy Award nomination that year. Nevertheless, listeners noticed and identified with her fluid, sensitive style for The Joy Luck Club, a score that would establish her very consistent, monothematic tendencies while also utilizing authentic Chinese instruments in such a way that Portman fans would not hear joined with her style for nearly two decades. Her 2011 follow-up for the less acclaimed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a sentimental reminder of The Joy Luck Club in many ways, but it lacks the same consistently tender embrace.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
213 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.59 Stars
***** 82 5 Stars
**** 43 4 Stars
*** 36 3 Stars
** 23 2 Stars
* 29 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Highly emotional
Sheridan - December 9, 2006, at 3:02 p.m.
1 comment  (1366 views)
Joy Luck Club
Greg - November 29, 2005, at 9:24 p.m.
1 comment  (1750 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 44:01
• 1. The Story of the Swan (2:30)
• 2. Escape from Guilin (5:35)
• 3. Lindo's Story (1:50)
• 4. Best Quality Heart (2:27)
• 5. Upturned Chairs (1:58)
• 6. June Meets Her Twin Sisters (2:58)
• 7. His Little Spirit Had Flown Away (4:33)
• 8. An-Mei's Mother Returns (1:50)
• 9. Most Important Sacrifice (2:44)
• 10. Tiger in the Trees (3:23)
• 11. Lindo's Last Night (3:32)
• 12. The Babies (3:57)
• 13. An-Mei's New Home (2:38)
• 14. Swan Feather (0:51)
• 15. End Titles (3:15)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2004-2015, 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. All artwork and sound clips from The Joy Luck Club are Copyright © 1993, Hollywood Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/23/04 and last updated 10/5/11.
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