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Dangerous Beauty
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Geoffrey Alexander
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Restless Records
(February 24th, 1998)
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Regular U.S. release.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if a gorgeous and lushly dramatic cross between Anna and the King, Shadowlands, and George Fenton's later nature documentary music of the 2000's stands to be a safe addition to your collection.

Avoid it... if you detest unashamed romanticism and lyrical warmth in their most vibrant orchestral forms.
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WRITTEN 4/11/98, REVISED 3/28/08
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Dangerous Beauty: (George Fenton) Powerful prostitutes make up some of the most interesting characters in the history of film, and Dangerous Beauty adapts the partially true tale of "The Honest Courtesan" written by Margaret Rosenthal and gives it the usual preachy conclusion about societal structure that Hollywood adores. In the story, Venice's most famed prostitute has an impressive client list of kings and bishops, as well as a knack for using her intelligence to commit faux pas such as reading, writing, scrapping, and opening her mouth. Her poetry and dominance in her profession made her a silent heroine for the women of 1580's Venice, though she would have given away all of that to be able to marry the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, as he was a statesman, such a marriage was impossible despite his reciprocation, and the prostitute would eventually end up on trail for witchcraft. When the film was still titled The Honest Courtesan, it was meant to be an assignment for composer Rachel Portman, whose work on romantic dramas and comedies had earned her widespread praise and an Academy Award win in the previous few years. Her pregnancy, however, caused the scoring duties to be offered to George Fenton, whose career was defined at the time by lighter romantic comedies and the pseudo-period score for Ever After: A Cinderella Story. His capability in the genre of lush, grandiose romances with a hint of historical significance, though, has proven itself time and time again, and Dangerous Beauty is perhaps the greatest of these triumphs. In retrospect, Dangerous Beauty may have seemed like a logical progression from the tones of both Ever After and Shadowlands, among several others, but this work is better connected to the symphonic majesty that came later with Fenton's massively successful nature documentary music of the 2000's. In meeting the wishes of the director for Dangerous Beauty, Fenton managed to perfectly balance the elements of power, playfulness, and passion, providing one of 1998's most accomplished scores and enjoyable companion albums. While Rachel Portman may have offered an acceptable score for this film, it's hard to imagine that she could have surpassed the magnificence of Fenton's inspiration for the picture.

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Average: 4.05 Stars
***** 921 5 Stars
**** 634 4 Stars
*** 307 3 Stars
** 93 2 Stars
* 105 1 Stars
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Dangerous Beauty Formula
Bruno Costa - December 27, 2010, at 2:52 a.m.
1 comment  (1411 views)
Also known as 'A Destiny of Her Own' *NM*
Lyle - August 1, 2008, at 1:55 a.m.
1 comment  (1654 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 67:12
• 1. Venice Proud and Pretty (2:31)
• 2. Marco's Homecoming (2:20)
• 3. The First Kiss (Veronica's Theme) (1:56)
• 4. I Cannot Marry You (1:57)
• 5. Mother's Advice (1:40)
• 6. Job Training/The Library (3:14)
• 7. Warming to the Idea (2:14)
• 8. First Poetry Duel (3:16)
• 9. Ramberti (1:40)
• 10. Who's Next? (1:22)
• 11. Veronica's Ascent (1:31)
• 12. Marco Will Marry (1:45)
• 13. Second Poetry Duel (4:44)
• 14. Veronica and Marco (2:32)
• 15. News of War (2:31)
• 16. The Lodge (2:00)
• 17. The King of France (4:13)
• 18. Marco Goes to War (2:46)
• 19. The Plague/Veronica's Arrest (7:48)
• 20. Imprisonment Part One (1:26)
• 21. Imprisonment Part Two (1:28)
• 22. Veronica Confesses (2:12)
• 23. I Stand Alone for Venice and This Woman (3:14)
• 24. The Verdict/End Titles (5:36)

Notes Icon
The insert includes the following note from director Marshall Herskovitz:

    "The story of Veronica Franco is a story of contradictions. In the gilded age of 16th-century Venice, this was a woman who became famous as a prostitute and as a treasured poet as well. She extolled the virtues of hedonism, yet loved one man from the depths of her soul. She was called a a national asset, then put on trial for witchcraft. She lived an epic life at a time when most women weren't even taught how to read.

    I knew these contradictions would present George Fenton with formidable obstacles in scoring the picture. He needed to create something that was lushly romantic, evocative of a certain period, all the while serving a story with an equilibrium so delicate that one wrong sound could send the film crashing in flames. Yet in spite of that pressure, the weeks we worked together in Los Angeles and London were the most enjoyable I've ever spent with a composer. Steve Rosenblum - the film's editor - and I would sit on the floor in George's overly-Baroque, borrowed apartment, and watch him ply his craft with gentleness, creativity, and a flexibility that was remarkable.

    Enjoy the romanticism, the intelligence, the sheer lyrical beauty of this man's vision. I certainly have."
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