Rachel Portman, the Academy Award-winning composer of Emma and nominee for The Cider House Rules and Chocolat, has a knack for interpreting dramas. For The Human Stain she weaves a thick web of atmosphere around the story of a New England college professor who suffers under the oppressive weight of a childhood secret. Utilizing the orchestral piano approach that has become her forte, she establishes a brooding melody that deconstructs itself throughout the recording, mirroring the protagonist's road to redemption. While memorable only in relation to the film, Portman has constructed a taut, ominous, and wintry work worthy of her lauded talents.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger