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Far From Heaven [Soundtrack]

Elmer Bernstein Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.98
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Product Details

1. Autumn in Connecticut
2. Mother Love
3. Evening Rest
4. Walking Through Town
5. Prowl
6. Psych
7. The F Word
8. Party
9. Hit
10. Crying
11. Turning Point
12. Cathy and Raymond Dance
13. Disapproval
14. Walk Away
15. Miami Arranged by Patrick Russ
16. Back To Basics
17. Stones
18. Revelation and Decision
19. Remembrance
20. More Pain
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description


With typical verve, director Todd Haynes's film not only seeks to evoke Douglas Sirk's social-themed Hollywood melodramas of the '50s, but to bring an entirely new one to life with a distinct lack of modern irony. In telling the story of a Connecticut couple whose "perfect" relationship masks taboo undercurrents of homosexuality and interracial love, Haynes has found the perfect musical collaborator in 50-plus-year film scoring veteran Elmer Bernstein. The composer manages a deft tightrope act here, managing to inform Haynes's film-out-of-time with the same delicate, emotionally compelling sensibility he brought to his classic score for To Kill a Mockingbird, while steering clear of emotional treacle and obvious musical anachronisms. Anchored by a spare, ethereal piano theme (performed with sympathetic grace by Cynthia Millar) and colored with melancholy woodwind figures and restrained string flourishes, Bernstein's music still manages a back-to-the-future pastoralism that firmly underscores the film's timeless subtexts. It's a masterpiece of autumnal understatement by one of Hollywood's true living legends. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars All that heaven allows March 5 2003
Format:Audio CD
I started listening to this CD about a week before seeing the film and I felt then that it stood very firmly on it's own. Having seen the film, I now have this playing in an endless loop on my Walkman and it is absolutely gorgeous. It's one of those rare film soundtracks that actually plays as the soundtrack to one's life while you listen to--I lose myself in it constantly. Bernstein and Haynes are working toward the same end, with slightly different means--where Haynes uses style to create distance so that the emotion of the story is controlled, Bernstein rears back from the big emotional moments and takes us on unfamiliar, unexpected detours that locate the uncertainty of the central character. When the big themes do arrive, it's a stunner. What I love are the character motifs throughout, in particular Cathy's theme, that survives and endures and emerges under the final piece, small, fragile but still heroic. In contrast to something like The Hours, this is subtle and, at times, ambiguous. As Haynes said recently, "I like films that make me think." This score doesn't tell you what to feel; it deposits you in a place that is uncertain, transitory and constantly shifting. Just...y'know, a classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Close to Heaven Feb. 26 2003
Format:Audio CD
Like Douglas Sirk (All That Heaven Allows), whose lush Technicolor weepies served as inspiration, director Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine) doesn't define melodrama as "overdone" or "overblown," but according to its strict Latin components: as a union between music ("melos") and drama. Accordingly, he hired one of Hollywood's most respected composers, Elmer Bernstein (The Sweet Smell of Success, The Man With the Golden Arm) to provide the all-important soundtrack for Far From Heaven. In the film, fashionable homemaker Cathy Whitaker is played by Julianne Moore. Dennis Quaid is her ad exec husband, Frank, while Dennis Haysbert (the president on TV's 24) is Raymond, the sympathetic black gardener Cathy turns to when her picture-perfect life starts to come undone. The score begins and ends with a similar cue; both "Autumn in Connecticut," where the film is set, and "Beginnings" rely on piano for most of their emotional impact. The distinctive (but never overbearing) cue is repeated throughout, with other instruments (like violin) coming to the fore. There are a few playful detours along the way. "Cathy and Raymond Dance," for instance, appears to be a riff on "As Time Goes By," while "Miami" has a light samba feel. Like the film itself, Bernstein's score never sounds like a parody of 1950s melodramas, but much like the genuine article, and Far From Heaven ranks among his very best work.
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2.0 out of 5 stars An aesthetic which evolves from bland to boring Nov. 5 2002
By "trm4"
Format:Audio CD
As I write the review of this soundtrack disc, "Far From Heaven" has not yet opened in wide release across the United States. As a remake of the wonderful Douglas Sirk film, I was expecting a beautiful, hauntingly lush score akin to those composed for the domestic melodramas of the 1950's. Elmer Bernstein's name alone made me purchase the disc film unseen. What a mistake! This music may be wonderful in its cinematic context, but it cannot stand alone. The score is mainly spare and bland with an overabundance of solo flute and oboe which tends toward monotony after a few tracks. A couple of the musical cues gave me brief hope but unfortunately were too short. If you long for the lush splendor of fifties-style soundtracks which hold up to repeated listenings long after you may have forgotten the film, I would recommend Krishna Levy's rich and stylish score for François Ozon's stunning French film, "8 Femmes"("8 Women")which, by the way, was musically and visually modeled on Douglas Sirk's filmic opus. Although I have enjoyed other films scored by Elmer Bernstein, this brooding, low-key offering evolves from bland to boring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Score Close To 'Heaven' Jan. 21 2003
Format:Audio CD
Elmer Bernstein's score for 'Far From Heaven' is undoubtedly one of the best soundtracks of the year and is destined for an Academy Award nomination. Obviously it won't suit everyone's taste; no soundtrack does. But this one serves its purpose very well. Todd Haynes' film is a cinematic marvel set in the 1950's when truth and emotions were often suppressed. Bernstein at 80+ years old has managed to compose a wonderful score that draws the audience into the movie's characters even when they're at their most pretentious because it also unveils the pain buried inside of them. "Autumn in Connecticut" and "Cathy and Raymond Dance" (which sounds like a hit ballad from the Big Band era) are my favorite tracks. I'm not sure how a score can be appropriately reviewed without seeing the movie for which it is written, but this is certain: this score is quite close to 'Heaven'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seventh Heaven Feb. 2 2003
Format:Audio CD
The soundtrack to "Far From Heaven" is anything but. If you've already seen the movie, you will know what an integral part this soundtrack was to the overall feel of a movie that was trying (and succeeding) to emulate the 1950 style movies of Douglas Sirk. The most memorable song on the soundtrack is Autumn in Connecticut. Though the other songs are not all songs per se,(some are just interludes between scenes), taken as a whole, it is another masterpiece for composer Elmer Bernstein. He is destined to be nominated for an Oscar. Go see "Far From Heaven" and then purchase this soundtrack. It's a treasure.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful score
After watching the movie, I had to get the score. I really enjoy the grand and lush feel of this incredible CD. You don't have to like the movie to appreciate the music. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Spuggers
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to see the movie
The Oscar-nominated score by Elmer Bernstein, is so compelling, I now want to see the movie, too. The music evokes the long-lost melodramas of the 1950s and earlier, when scores... Read more
Published on March 30 2003 by L. Bruce
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nostalgic!
At first, I didn't give full attention to this new song. I didn't care because the artist is from foreign. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2003 by leo p. udtohan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great soundtrack!!!
This is an amazing score!!!! I think it sounds great alone and in the movie too!!! I recommend this very much!!!
Published on Jan. 14 2003 by "dave20"
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland
I haven't seen the movie. The music that Mr. Bernstein wrote for it amy work very well in that context. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2003 by Hoc Stercus
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent soundtrack!!!!!
I would agree that it is very reminiscient of the 50s scores you use to hear alot. I think it is goregous and suits the movie very well!! I highly recommend this soundtrack!!!!
Published on Dec 29 2002 by "dave20"
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant score... Reminiscent of 50s film scoring !
In contrary to the other readers' opinions, I found Bernstein's score a real 'charmer'. It sounds very 50s, and is deserving of the glowing accolades it has received in the media. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2002 by P. Longworth
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
50 years in the business and still on the top of his game...Elmer Bernstein has written a flawless masterpiece with Far from Heaven. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2002 by Christian Kuehn
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment
What a disappointment to buy this CD in advance of the movie, anticipating a return to the powerful, lush and sweeping scores of Elmer Bernstein of the 50's and 60's. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2002 by GreatTracks
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