Hi 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, 😀 , 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?
- Thomas Newman’s “The horse whisperer”
- Patrick Doyle’s “Sense and sensibility”
- 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.
But 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). The 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 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, they 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 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!!!
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 Montana. 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.
These are the soundtrack titles:
- Double divide
- The whisperers
- There was snow
- Hooking on
- Pilgrim’s progress
- Runaway meadow
- Voice of God
- The rhythm of the horse – This 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.
- Rancher’s wife
- Simple truths
- Hereford Cross
- Awkward talk
- My misfortune
- The very act of being
- Lazy J.
- The creek house
- The vast continent
- Percheron stallion
- 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.
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…”