Over the past few days, I have had the soundtrack from the film “My Week With Marilyn” (starring Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Emma Watson) on constant replay. Not sure if it is the boisterous jazz that bursts through with little warning or the melancholic melody of Marilyn’s theme that has me feeling so wistful. Perhaps it was the delicate piano lines played by classical pianist Lang Lang that convinced me to look up the transcription of the beautiful theme.
The melody is so simple. It begins in a tone that yearns for happiness and yet is so lonely. And just when you think that the future is so too bleak to comprehend, the clouds miraculously part to reveal the smallest ray of sunshine. Though the theme ends on a happier note, it still feels as if that happiness is tainted and not quite as it seems, as is revealed in the film.
Lang Lang plays the piano excerpts in the film with such depth and lyricism but credit must also be given to Conrad Pope and Alexandre Desplat. Some of the tracks, such as “Colin Runs Off With The Circus” and “Eton Schoolyard,” are indeed very charming and have been described to be rather George Gershwin-esque. For them to be followed by the dramatic track of “Arthur’s Notebook” or the bittersweet “Colin’s Heartbreak” shows that the film score has been very well written and would surely satisfy those with a classical background (such as myself). In fact, upon listening to “Colin’s Heartbreak,” I came away thinking that the flute, clarinet and oboe are quite the admirable trio and are so very suited together.
On another note, I found myself thinking that whilst the flute was so warm and tender in “Colin’s Heartbreak,” it was quite a contrast in it’s appearance in “Paparazzi” (around the 1 minute, 20 seconds mark) – I never realised that flutes could be written in such a way to sound so… seductive. Who would’ve thought! It just goes to show you how much I have yet to learn.
Overall, the soundtrack is a pleasure to listen to and I highly recommend it.
Do you often look up film soundtracks? What are your favourites?
-The Fine Duchess
PS. if you’re curious and want to try your hand at playing the beautiful piano theme, a transcription can be found here. Good luck!
- My Week With Marilyn Music By Conrad Pope | Examiner
- My Week With Marilyn | The Jane Austen Film Club
- Film Review: My Week With Marilyn | Melissa Wellham
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