Composer Gabriel Yared has consistently avoided the overwrought symphonic excess of his contemporaries. His dedication to simplicity has made him a darling among filmmakers who favor character development over bombast. His elegant score for director Christine Jeffs' Sylvia Plath biopic utilizes the lush strings and Victorian solemnity that fueled his work on the English Patient. The main theme employs a tight, "Eleanor Rigby"-esque cello arrangement that appears frequently throughout, and paints the film in rich, period splendor. The author/poet's eventual suicide is characterized by a sparse piano motif that constantly interrupts the orchestral work, mirroring its' subject's manic episodes. Although the piece as a whole seems caught between the big and small screens, like Mark Snow's incidental X-Files music with a bit of Merchant Ivory thrown in, Sylvia works its magic, partly due to its talented composer, but mostly as the result of its doomed protagonist.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
|Sylvia, film score|