A magnificent soundtrack… This is what freedom sounds like

Horse_whispererHi everyone! How are you? Everything fine today? Good! Today I was thinking about a soundtrack, a very special soundtrack so dear to me… The movie is Robert Redford’s “The horse whisperer” and the soundtrack is by composer Thomas Newman.

I adore this movie. I¬†love the story, I love the cast, I worship the music… And the movie’s atmosphere and message and subtleties… Oh, man, so good, and Robert Redford as the director, simply rockin’ it, man!

For Christmas, I’ve received a grrreat stereo, which has three different cd players on, very high tech, ūüėÄ , and it’s kinda like having a juke box, ’cause I can prepare my favorite cds for the day, or the week and play the one I’m in the mood for! And this week it’s all about soundtracks! Well, it’s always about soundtracks, mostly, I believe I have more original soundtracks than normal cds… I¬†do love to listen to movie’s music till I’m sick of it and I know it by hear! And this week what do I have on my 3 cd players?

  1. Thomas Newman’s “The horse whisperer”MI0000161533
  2. Patrick Doyle’s “Sense and sensibility”
  3. Aaron Zigman’s “The notebook”

Oh, and of course, I am talking about the SCORE in this case, because “The horse whisperer” has also a wonderful soundtrack made of songs, by artists such as Dwight Yoakam, Allison Moorer, Emmylou Harris and Don Edwards. They all bring to life the great american atmosphere of the grand green and blue Montana.

72a8855c9bb9229384f61cc2e755daa6But as I was saying, today I will be concentrating on the score, composed by mister Newman. Let’s start from the beginning, that’s to say: the story, the movie’s plot. Little Grace (Scarlett Johansson) loves of a deep love her horse Pilgrim, they have a strong friendship bond that trascends human-animal rules. She lives with her mum, Annie, a workaholic New York editor (Kristen Scott Thomas), and her dad (Sam Neill). 57eab3cba04cc7fab80162eeeed02834The two parents are going through a difficult time and clearly aren’t so much in love now as they were in the past, and Grace can feel this and suffers for it. The story has a dramatic twist: one morning, Grace and her best friend get their horses and go for a ride, laughing in the
snow and chatting. But suddenly Grace gets thrown from her horse during an accident with a truck in the street. The horses get crazy, and run away, Grace falls down on the ground and her friend dies. The next day in hospital, Grace’s parents get the horrible news: she lost a leg. And Pilgrim falls in a state of savageness and rage, mixed with fear and sorrow. Grace is taken home but slowly fades into depression and anger, seeing her images (6)life suddenly changed and hopeless. And here you get into the movie. Her mum won’t accept this. And moved by a stubborn, blind determination throws herself in researches about horses healing and horses doctors and cures. It is at this point that she makes a discovery: in the state of Montana lives a man who earned the name of Horse whisperer, being able to communicate with horses at a deep level that humans can’t even understand. So she resolves to take her beloved daughter and the horse from New York to Montana to see if something, anything can be done, for both of them. The journey begins, in every sense. Of course Grace feels a lot of mixed feelings towards her mother, accusing her of being a control freak and of pretending too much from her. But at the same time you can feel her struggle to have a normal relationship with her mum, based on love. At the same time,¬†Annie is torn between her obvious great love for Grace and her frustration in seeing how her daughter fights her and won’t accept a way towards her own happiness. But life has something very special in store for them. As they finally arrive in the grand Montana, a5d8bb443fc8ea9c36e601dab06658f3they get to the Booker family farm. Here lives Tom Booker, (Robert Redford), the famous “horse whisperer”, who accepts, after some indecisions, to take the case. And Grace and Annie unpack their luggage at the farm little cabin, nearby, so that they can be close to Tom, to make the work easy. And the work begins. Every day, day by day, during a glorious spring and summer, Tom gets to know Pilgrim and earns his trust, taking it back to life. And also, the good, healthy, sunny days of work in the fields and with the animals bring new found peace and happiness to Grace, who blooms under everyone eyes, becoming more and more confident and serene every day. But Annie finds herself too, because she finds a soul mate in Tom, although in the beginning they seem like water and oil and cannot get along. He is too relaxed, confident, and she is just too much constantly 1947148,cMc2Q4b_CzaajgpdEY_avNmH5NgwtfzP7DCe6p3GQF5dMf3pUgk7xLDXZ8tKvlDi1H1IAfmPU7pckuW_8sNCwg==nervous, pacing around, thinking about work work work. But the farm life, the slow cycle of seasons, the nature that works its powers… They all finally have a therapeutic effect on every character in the story. Pilgrim comes back to life, trusting Grace again and loving her as before, Grace understands herself and finally gets to know and love her mum.¬†And Annie finds herself under the spell of a¬†wonderful, intoxicating romance with Tom. What will be of them? …Eheh, watch the movie, you’ll fall in love forever with it!!!1280x720-tsH

And now, the music.¬†I’ve read in a review that “there’s no denying the magical, larger-than-life sweep of ¬†Newman’s majestic arrangements and stately melodies, but there’s also no shaking the emotional calculation at work here as well”. I don’t mind at all about the calculation, I believe that the word does not however do justice to this music. Newman creates a mix of score songs that balance with ability the emotions of Pilgrim, Grace and Annie with the grand feelings you get by watching the landscapes of d68000bb3eda3d481e0d41000724184cMontana. It has in it the magic of the animal world, shaken to its core by the accident and on a deeper level by the ever-so difficult hystorical relationship between horses and humans. Then there are moments of pain¬†and reflection when you face Grace’s inner thoughts and sorrows. And then there are the liberating moments of healing, of riding free in the meadows, of watching a sunset colouring the sky… And with those moments, well… This soundtrack will make you cry and be happy to be alive at
the same time. The love story between Tom and Annie is dotted with soft, delicate, secret music moments, where you can feel the indecision, but the urge to love, to care, to fall in love. The soundtrack reminded me a lot of “Meet Joe Black” and “The white oleander”, also composed by Newman, and also dealing with very introvert characters.281342146cb967f1ed014d7cadd5d858

These are the soundtrack titles:

  1. Angus
  2. Double divide
  3. The whisperers
  4. Accident
  5. There was snow
  6. Hooking on
  7. Montana
  8. Pilgrim’s progress
  9. Runaway meadow
  10. Badlands
  11. Voice of God
  12. The rhythm of the horse РThis is  absolutely my favorite track, a wonderful piece of music that always inspires me and make my soul roar. Here Tom takes Annie to ride. And she finally can be herslef, throwing away all her stiffness and great manager act, and being free and just having fun. The music seems to put wings to your feet, while making you feel the sense of riding and galloping through the woods.
  13. Rancher’s wife
  14. Iron
  15. Simple truths
  16. Hereford Cross
  17. Tunnel
  18. Awkward talk
  19. My misfortune
  20. Hooves
  21. Hobble
  22. The very act of being
  23. Grace
  24. Lazy J.
  25. The creek house
  26. The vast continent
  27. Percheron stallion
  28. End title

I hope you will take a moment to listen to this wonderful soundtrack and be inspired by it. And that you’ll watch the movie too, but first the music, so you will be able to enjoy it when you’ll hear it through the film.

The Horse Whisperer Robert Redford ©Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista for Sky Premier publicity only

Annie:¬†[reading] “A million years before man they grazed the vast empty plains, living by voices only they could hear. They first came to know man as the hunted knows the hunter. Before he used horses for his labors, he killed them for meat. The alliance with man would forever be fragile. For the fear he struck deep into their hearts was too deep to be dislodged. Since that neolithic moment when a horse was first haltered, there were those among men who understood this. They could see into the creature’s soul and sooth the wounds they found there. The secrets uttered softly into troubled ears. These men were known as the Whisperers…”


The Secret Garden flowers galore

Hello guys! It’s been a while… and I mean A WHILE. I have been filming my new movie (!!!! YES!) (news coming very soon!!!) and there wasn’t much time left. but now it’s all gone to post production and editing and springtime has come and so… Here I am, more time. Well, maybe, almost, let’s say…

And did I say springtime? Yes, here where I live it is officially spring and what did I just watched yest
erday to get an extra springtime-boost? Uh yeah, Agnieszka Holland’s “The MPW-59109secret garden”!!! Have you ever seen it? Of course you have, it is a childhood classic, a 1993 movie and … Well, let’s take it from the beginning.

In the beginning there was a splendid book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, written in 1910.¬†It tells the story of a little girl, Mary Lennox, who lives in India with her parents. Being ignored most of the time, she becomes a very sour and sad, angry child, living dull, long, boring days in the hot weather and hating everything. but when her parents die, she is sent back to England, to live in the country, in a grand castle, Misselthwaite Manor, with her uncle. The man lost his wife years before and leads a solitary life of self-loathing and regrets and though he has a little child, he always gets away on long travels to forget his life. In this castle, Mary is left all alone, while the servants and butlers go on with their daily work. In this strnge, misterious new world, she finds herself forced to do something. So she gets 6-52154-14_secret_garden_1993_5-1380070716outside. She begins to explore the world, the gardens, the meadows. And she will discover, thanks to a lovely little robin, a secret garden. This will be her salvation. Because working on the garden, trying to make it bloom and blossom again and get to life again will bring life, health and a new found happiness and meaning in life to the girl, who will become friend to Colin, her cousin, and save him too from all his hillness and miseries. In the end… well, please, do read the book! ūüôā You will absolutely lovtumblr_m203l6cQ0S1r5uyayo1_500e it!!! Oh, and buy it in a wonderful, old, illustrated edition, because this will make a real treasure and you will love it even more if the book itself will be beautiful too as the story it keeps inside! I have this edition and I consider it one of my most precious ones!!!¬†http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Garden-Frances-Hodgson-

tumblr_nw54koImo11t0kwgso1_1280And now… the movie. The movie is simply brilliant, beginning with the music, a hypnotic, sweet, rich, by composer¬†Zbigniew Preisner. It seems to be imbued with the fragrances of India, it has a flavor, it perfumes of sandal and desert sands and hot indian sun. You can feel it. The music in this movie is like the smoke of a piece of incense… It carries you along with it, through spirals and waves, leading you through the story… taking us to¬†Misselthwaite. Here the music becomes a little beacon of light in the moore, it becomes spring rain, cold wind, cool water, it is made of grass and roots. And then, when the garden blooms, the soundtrack, the music… It caresses you and becomes flowers, petals of roses, soft, warm lilies, rays of soothing sun, it is the summer and the tranquility… And hope, and life… And delicious, amiable happiness…!!

images (4)I love the cast, it is simply superb: Mary Lennox is right on spot, played by cocky little Kate Maberly. You are delighted and amused to see the changes in her, the hair growing thick and healthy, the cheeks becoming rosy and soft, the smile images (5)finding its way through her beautiful face. I love all her clothes too! ūüėČ So cute and british! Then you have mrs Medlock, the governess of the house, so severe in the beginning, but you cannot help but love her, cause she’s played by Maggie Smith, so, you know… You will hopelessly love her in the end! Little master Colin, the hypochondriac cousin, played by Heydon Prowse, is a one of a kind kid, simply marvellous performance, every time I watch the movie I am amazed by the little boy! Every single actor¬†perfectly embodies the character he’s been clargehosen for and the book comes to life before your eyes in the exact way you imagined it while reading. And I love when this happens. I just love¬†the movies to be “just as the book” ūüôā Oh, and then you’ll see little Dickon, Mary’s servant’s brother. An elf-like boy who loves animals, plants
and flowers and knows everything there is to know about them. He will help Mary to bring the Secret Garden back to life again, teaching her and becoming her good friend.

And speaking of springtime, today it felt so good I decided to get out and be inspired by miss Mary “quite contrary”. I have been taking a walk and took a few photographs of the newly born little spring plants. Where I live there are lots of blue anemons, white snowdrops, lilies of the valley and yellow primroses. It is so nice to go out and breathe the flowers9fresh new air and get a sight of everything blossoming in the meadowes. I really do understand why it could be so therapeutic and good for little Mary to get out. Into the pure nature. Discovering, studying, observing nature, relaxing in it, with it. Feeling its strenght. Its beauty…¬†flowers4

I think what I love most about this book and this movie is indeed the journey of Mary and later of Colin. Their healing. Their unique way of discovering Nature, beauty, goodness, happiness, love for the world, for everything flowers5surrounding us. I love how they change for the best, getting strong, eating in a healthy way, with great good appetite, having picnics in the garden… oh, so lovely! I love how the writer made us see how simple things like cultivating a little piece of earth¬†can make us grow, in every sense, and be happy and content, with little actions and little things and moments, which in fact, in the end define us.



flowers6I hope you will watch the movie and enjoy it as musch as I did and also read the book, sooo worthy!!! Oh, and since I felt so Secret Garden-y, I asked my mum (who paints with watercolours) if she could paint something flowery and fresh to start this new year for my cinema site. So the title at the very top of the site is hers, so nice, right? Thank you maman, lovely flowers! Mary and Colin would have loved them!!!

See you soon again, my friends, hope you enjoyed this little moment together and now… everyone outside! You can:


  1. Simply take a walk in your garden, or A garden of your choice, your favorite in the neighborhood
  2. Go to a nice greenhouse or plants shop and buy new, cute lovely flower seeds and plant them at home
  3. Go to your favorite bookshop and GET the book!
  4. Go to a nearby movie rental store and RENT “The secret garden” right now. Invite your friends over and have a lovely evening watching this wonderful classic

And as always…

Dickon: “The animals tell me all their secrets.”

Mary: [pointing to the Robin] “He wouldn’t tell you my secret, would he?”

Dickon: “About what, Miss Mary?”

Mary: “A garden. I’ve stolen a garden. But it may already be dead, I don’t know.”

Dickon: “I’ll know!”