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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
(2011)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
David Snell

Orchestrated by:
Jeff Atmajian
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Sony Classical
(July 12th, 2011)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if there is no limit to your passion for Rachel Portman's predictably pretty string and piano-defined style, one that this time tastefully incorporates Chinese specialty instruments for additional flavor.

Avoid it... if you require that passion from Portman to express resounding depth in its romanticism, a characteristic of her 1990's music once again absent from another of her scores (outside of some heightened but still restrained ensemble performances to open and close this album).
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,634
WRITTEN 8/3/11
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Portman
Portman
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: (Rachel Portman) One of the basic rules of adapting extremely sensitive novels about character drama in tough cultural and historical settings is to avoid screwing up the script by forcing modern analogies on it. That's precisely the sin committed by director Wayne Wang and his screenwriters for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, the 2011 adaptation of Lisa See's popular novel of the same name. The book details the "laotong" (or life bond) relationship between two young women in rural 19th Century China, their paths to marriage and prosperity taking vastly different paths but the two enduring their hardships through letters written to each other in their own secret language. Their lives are not entirely pleasant, and it's no surprise that one eventually betrays the secrets of the other and is forced to outlive everyone for many years as she contemplates her mistakes. Many disturbing topics of Chinese history are explored in the book, foremost the practice of foot binding. For the cinematic adaptation, the story is given a parallel connection between two women in modern Shanghai who are descendents of the original pair; the film constantly shifts between the two sets of women, thus causing most of the consternation of viewers. Critics lambasted the film as an endless bore while enthusiasts of the book were discouraged by the unnecessary addition of the contemporary storyline. Despite being financed by controversial media mogul Rupert Murdoch due to his wife's involvement as a producer of the film, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan failed to generate any appreciable income in the theatres. With Wayne at the helm, it should come as no surprise that the collaboration between the director and composer Rachel Portman continues for a fourth entry here. Their first work together, The Joy Luck Club, inspired one of Portman's most well-respected scores, and many film music collectors were hopeful that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan would represent a return by the composer to that top 1990's form. Her productivity, after diminishing in the 2000's due to her decision to tend to her growing family, increased as the 2010's arrived, another reason for high expectations from the Oscar-winner. Indeed, the music for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan will please her most established crowd, for her approach to the 2011 movie is similar to those she has taken many times before. A continuing battle with stylistic redundancy, however, is Portman's most daunting career challenge, and this predictably pretty entry certainly provides nothing substantially new to collections of her most famous music.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
162 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.12 Stars
***** 27 5 Stars
**** 43 4 Stars
*** 40 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 24 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at movie-wave.net
Southall - August 13, 2011, at 5:52 a.m.
1 comment  (741 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 47:16
• 1. Lily Meets Snow Flower (3:14)
• 2. The Letterbox (2:38)
• 3. The Secret Fan (5:08)
• 4. Dalang's Return (0:56)
• 5. Bicycle (1:41)
• 6. Forbidden to See (2:21)
• 7. Nina Passes Note (1:19)
• 8. Lily Leaves to Marry (2:59)
• 9. Sophia Offers Comfort (1:25)
• 10. Snowflower's Bad Fortune (3:37)
• 11. Letters at the Airport (2:21)
• 12. Exodus (3:42)
• 13. Snow Flower's Tears (2:20)
• 14. Nina Finds Manuscript (1:04)
• 15. The Suit (3:45)
• 16. I Cannot Be What You Wish (2:11)
• 17. Snowflower Arrives Late (1:27)
• 18. We Will Be Laotong (5:08)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a note from Portman about scoring the film.
Copyright © 2011-2017, 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 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan are Copyright © 2011, Sony Classical and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/3/11 (and not updated significantly since).
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