Album: In the Bedroom: Original Soundtrack

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In the Bedroom: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Artist: Thomas Newman
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Label: Varese Sarabande

This intense first feature by actor-turned-director Todd Field daringly ventures into an emotionally unsettling minefield of family and romantic relationships gone dangerously wrong. Field, hailed for his masterful touch with the difficult material, shrewdly chose Thomas Newman to score the film. Known almost as much for what’s not in his frequently modernistic scores—i.e. traditional dramatic themes and overwrought orchestral sentimentality—Newman once again follows his experimental muse to great effect here. The work is considerably less percussive than similar…

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This intense first feature by actor-turned-director Todd Field daringly ventures into an emotionally unsettling minefield of family and romantic relationships gone dangerously wrong. Field, hailed for his masterful touch with the difficult material, shrewdly chose Thomas Newman to score the film. Known almost as much for what’s not in his frequently modernistic scores—i.e. traditional dramatic themes and overwrought orchestral sentimentality—Newman once again follows his experimental muse to great effect here. The work is considerably less percussive than similar compositions he’s attempted, and he succeeds by a less-is-more strategy that’s unafraid to let spare piano notes hang in the air like haunting spirits or concoct intriguing, inscrutable studio-enhanced sound washes conjured from acoustic and electronic sources. But that’s not to say Newman’s operating from formula: the understated strings of “Baseball” betray a masterful understanding of tradition, and three a cappella choral cues performed by the Newark Balkan Chorus impart yet another compelling layer of humanity to the score. The scion of Hollywood scoring legend Alfred Newman again shows his musical instincts are all his own as he continues to gratifyingly redefine the art of modern film scoring. —Jerry McCulley

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Film:In the Bedroom

In the Bedroom

Todd Field

When a film with such emotional resonance and visual poise as In the Bedroom makes it to the screen, it seems an unexpected gift meant to remind us of the medium’s possibility for sensitivity and epiphany. First-time director Todd Field, who adapted the film from a story by Andre Dubus with screenwriter Rob Festinger, quietly observes the loss, rage, and inexorable desire for revenge that follows the murder of a 21-year-old son. The film opens with Frank (Nick Stahl), back from college for the summer, taking up with Natalie (Marisa Tomei), a slightly…

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