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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
(1999)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Performed by:
Eric Serra

Performed by:
The London Session Orchestra and Metro Voices

Orchestrated by:
Geoffrey Alexander
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Sony Classical
(November 9th, 1999)
Availability Icon
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... only if you explicitly appreciated the score's robust choral sequences in the film itself.

Avoid it... if you expect a film of this genre and magnitude to feature a passionate and involving score that consistently addresses the religious and historical significance of the tale.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #838
WRITTEN 11/8/99, REVISED 5/18/08
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Serra
Serra
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc: (Eric Serra) Among the plethora of films made about the French legend of Saint Joan, Luc Besson's major 1999 production stands as one of the most technically impressive. With an international supporting cast and production values on par with a blockbuster film, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc was Besson's attempt to break into Oscar territory. Unfortunately, several fatal flaws with the picture burned its chances of success and, as a side note, the film marked the end of the marriage between Besson and lead actress Milla Jovovich. The role of Joan proved too complicated for the perennial tough girl, and her lackluster performance combined with poor plot pacing, questionable interpretations of history, uninteresting battle sequences, and a truly troublesome score by Eric Serra caused The Messenger to ultimately fail. Serra's work on the production remains a curiosity to this day. Although he attempted to assemble a massive group of capable orchestral and choral performers for the score, leading them in music meant to have the scope of any historical epic, the end result is muddled and aimless. While in a technical sense it's easiest to point to the total lack of consistency when trying to pinpoint exactly why this score doesn't click, there remains the intriguing possibility that Serra was simply out of his league for this production. Being limited mostly to the pop and rock genres, Serra's talents with an orchestra were far less than a host of others even in the French film scoring scene. As such, it's not surprising that Serra managed to collect all of the base elements that an epic "knights in armor" genre score requires (heavy, melodramatic strings, large choral sequences, clanging chimes, etc.), but in the execution of the score, he lost sight of that genre. Resorting far too often to performing himself on percussion and keyboards, he even inserted sampled effects completely incongruous with the era. In many places, it's functional music, but it is neither intelligent nor enjoyable. Its noteworthy cues of orchestral and choral exploration are often separated by long moments of nothingness, yielding an equally frustrating album.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
464 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.93 Stars
***** 72 5 Stars
**** 79 4 Stars
*** 137 3 Stars
** 99 2 Stars
* 77 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
International edition vs US theatrical release
Sam - May 9, 2009, at 7:57 p.m.
1 comment  (1311 views)
Most haunting score
S.Venkatnarayanan - May 20, 2008, at 8:58 p.m.
1 comment  (1934 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 64:11
• 1. Talk to Him (2:31)
• 2. A Sword in a Field (0:49)
• 3. Joan and the Wolves (1:18)
• 4. Burying our Children (1:33)
• 5. No Amen (1:53)
• 6. At One With You (1:12)
• 7. Chinon (1:06)
• 8. Yolande (1:40)
• 9. The Messenger of God (2:45)
• 10. Find Him (1:21)
• 11. Secrets of a Strange Wind (4:54)
• 12. To the King of England (1:35)
• 13. Sent by God (1:00)
• 14. Procession to Orleans (1:33)
• 15. Recrossing the River (2:16)
• 16. The Tourelles (4:12)
• 17. La Hire's Lucky Charm (1:51)
• 18. To Arms (5:57)
• 19. Armaturam Dei (3:23)
• 20. The Miracle of Orleans (2:02)
• 21. Rex Coronatur (2:48)
• 22. Trial (3:37)
• 23. Anger and Confession (2:04)
• 24. Answer Me (1:15)
• 25. The Repentance (2:52)
• 26. Angelus in Medio Ignis (2:16)
• 27. My Heart Calling - performed by Noa (4:23)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains extensive credits and lyrics to the final track, but has no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 1999-2017, 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 Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc are Copyright © 1999, Sony Classical and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/8/99 and last updated 5/18/08.
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