Thomas Newman's score for Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer walks the perilously fine line between mystical and mawkish. 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. The music doesn't merely tug the heartstrings; it yanks them. Wrought from lush synthesizers, backwoods strings, and French horn flourishes, The Horse Whisperer nevertheless boasts a surprising affinity for nuance that makes its climactic moments that much more dynamic. For all its sentimentality, this is music of uncommon beauty and artistry.
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