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Love's Labour's Lost
Album Cover Art
American Cover
U.K. Cover
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed and Co-Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
James Shearman

Co-Orchestrated by:
Lawrence Ashmore

Co-Produced by:
Maggie Rodford
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Sony Classical
(May 23rd, 2000)
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Regular U.S. release. An album with the same contents but different cover was released concurrently in the United Kingdom.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate both Patrick Doyle's exuberant score for Much Ado About Nothing and the fluffy style of standard songs of the 1930's/MGM musical era.

Avoid it... if the bright and energetic sound of the Busby Berkeley atmosphere is as nauseating to you as its wild camera angles over complicated choreography.
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WRITTEN 5/20/00, REVISED 7/7/08
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Love's Labour's Lost: (Patrick Doyle) Kenneth Branagh has never been one to shy away from a challenge. His ambitious work as writer, producer, actor, and director to bring William Shakespeare's forgotten Love's Labour's Lost to the big screen for the first time was all the evidence of Branagh's determination you'd ever need. Not only was the obscure play difficult to adapt for modern audiences, but Branagh also decided to set the narrative in the setting of a 1930's Busby Berkeley musical. While he was able to convince enough people of the idea's merits to produce the film, skeptical audiences more in tune with the director's successful, previous Shakespearian adaptations didn't warm up to Love's Labour's Lost. Unlike Much Ado About Nothing, which embodies much of the same grandiose and charming spirit, Love's Labour's Lost whips through its frenzy of musical production numbers and connecting segues so fast that it's difficult to identify with the four lead couples in the same way. Whether it was ultimately a cinematic success or not, you have to admire Branagh's zeal for both Shakespeare and classic MGM musicals. The merging of these elements are an unusual experiment that allowed Branagh's usual musical collaborator, Patrick Doyle, to romp in the same spirit. Not for fifty years had the genres of Shakespeare and the musical been combined on such a grand scale as they are in Love's Labour's Lost, and Doyle had the pleasure of working with Branagh to determine which classic songs of the 1930's to adapt into the bright tones of Doyle's own original writing. Obviously, the audience for the film and its music will largely be the same. Whether you can tolerate Doyle's extremely upbeat original music in conjunction with the lovable song numbers depends solely on your attitude towards the glamorous genre of energetic musicals that were so popular in mainstream movie houses of the 1930's and 40's. Skepticism over the merits of an endeavor to reconstruct some of the most popular musical songs of the time into a Shakespearean mold is understandable. And yet, the beauty of Doyle's end result in Love's Labour's Lost is its fantastic melding of the different famous genre songs into the Shakespearean story without too many awkward turns.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.79 Stars
***** 708 5 Stars
**** 588 4 Stars
*** 348 3 Stars
** 149 2 Stars
* 152 1 Stars
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RE : Two mistakes?
John Gunn - December 6, 2003, at 12:28 p.m.
1 comment  (2288 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 58:10
• 1. Love's Labour's Lost (1:41)
• 2. I'd Rather Charleston With You (medley) - cast song (1:45)
• 3. Arrival of the Princess (3:14)
• 4. I Won't Dance (medley) - cast song (2:05)
• 5. I Get a Kick Out of You (medley) - cast song (2:41)
• 6. With that Face.../No Strings (I'm Fancy Free) (medley) - cast song (2:43)
• 7. The Way You Look Tonight (medley) - cast song (3:21)
• 8. I've Got a Crush on You (medley) - cast song (4:45)
• 9. Beauty of a Woman's Face/Segue (2:44)
• 10. Cheek to Cheek - cast song (2:53)
• 11. Let's Face the Music and Dance - cast song (2:23)
• 12. Trim Gallants... (2:52)
• 13. There's no Business Like Showbusiness - cast song (3:32)
• 14. Twelve Months and a Day (9:12)
• 15. They Can't Take That Away From Me - cast song (4:35)
• 16. You That Way, We This Way... (3:00)
• 17. Cinetone News (1:35)
• 18. Victory (3:01)

Notes Icon
The insert contains extensive notation, credits, and pictures. Notes from both Doyle and Branagh are included, and the text of the Branagh comment is as follows:

    "Perhaps it was the challenge of walking into a meeting with film financiers to persuade them to bankroll an obscure Shakespearean comedy musical. Or perhaps it was a love affair with this neglected play. Or perhaps it was my awed admiration for the great Hollywood extravaganzas of the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

    Whatever the reason, Patrick and I were pretty sure that we would be setting ourselves an irresistibly exciting and demanding creative challenge by fusing Shakespeare and the musical. And so it proved.

    A plot that many critics have described as silly; a style that moves from high romance to farce to social satire; characters who can veer from narcissism to the grotesque - all are inside a play which, alone among Shakespeare's works, went unperformed for some two hundred years after his death. Add to that the very genre of film musical, rarely revived, replaced, we were told, by the rock video. The soundtrack is the essential element with which we attempted to overcome these difficulties.

    We chose classic songs from composers whose economy, lightness of touch, and linguistic and melodic brilliance could stand beside the equally delicate poetry of the playwright. And we strived to create new arrangements that took their style from the drama (and the comedy); orchestrations that would viscerally give audiences the vicarious thrill of on-screen emotions; and finally, a narrative score that required Patrick to tackle the awesome challenge of complementing both Shakespeare and some of the major popular songwriters of the twentieth century."
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