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I have to disagree with this review...
• Posted by: Corey   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Monday, January 19, 2009, at 11:04 a.m.
• IP Address:

This score is BEAUTIFUL and easily the best of the year. I have a hard time seeing the apparent "coldness" present within the music, especially in cues like "A New Life" (think the crescendo and epic theme toward the middle) and "Meeting Again". But there is certainly a distance from emotion, which is not a bad thing. Think about the director for whom Desplat is composing; David Fincher is not exactly known for his heartwarming cinematic style. He has always had a rather clinical touch to film, and therefore so does Button. That is not to say, however, that emotion is not there; in fact, it's ALL OVER the place in Desplat's score, and just because a love theme is not exactly gushy and warmly sentimental, that doesn't mean the composer has not done his job. The relationship between Daisy and Benjamin is never a warm one. And so quite the contrary to Desplat not creating a fitting score - he is more in tune with the film's emotions than one might think. Music should tell a story, no? Otherwise, it's merely background noise.

There is wide range of emotions here: sadness("Nothing Lasts" and "Dying Away"), slightly dark playfulness ("Little Man Oti" and "The Accident"), melancholic beauty ("Sunrise on Lake Pontchartrain" and "Postcards"), and warm beauty (imagine that!) within "A New Life". Compared to Desplat's other works, such as GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, however, I can see the relative coldness. I still don't agree, however.

Perhaps what is so pleasing above all is that Desplat's score is melodically memorable. We listeners are given many motifs and themes that are interesting, memorable, and fitting. Sure, when you compare them to the likes of John Williams's plethora of household tunes, they don't hold up, but still they are hummable and impacting.

The aim of this score is to REFRAIN from sentimentality. It is never meant to be warm; it is supposed to be sympathetic and melancholic. Cradling the story with a warm hug would hardly be the appropriate way to accompany the film. So how can one say that this so-called "coldness" is a bad thing when (even though I don't think that is quite the correct term) it completely fits Button's tale. Perhaps "restrained" better fits.

And I do understand that everyone has personal likes and dislikes, but I don't think that should impact a professional review. Why would I want to read how you like orange when I prefer apple? Personal taste in a review is really an insert of self-importance. But it's interesting to me how people can have opposite opinions about things that really don't seem to be matters of personal taste. As opposed to "interesting and boring", we have "cold and warm".

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