The Myth of Fingerprints is a film about a Thanksgiving weekend which reunites a dysfunctional family in their near-empty, snow-covered hometown -- a setting which leaves the characters little to do but stare at the mysteries, desires and dissatisfactions they've been avoiding in their busy urban lives. The soundtrack evokes that feeling a good sight more consistently than the movie, which is dotted with quiet fits of underdeveloped brilliance. The CD maintains its mellow, reflective mood through an impressive array of sensitively sequenced genre changes: jazz, opera, mellow alternative rock, 1940s pop standards, and the ethereal acoustic, new age instrumental score by David Bridie and John Phillips (formerly of the Australian band Not Drowning Waving). The score uses vast expanses of shimmering guitar ambience, shaded with oboe, cello, piano, and subtle sampling, to capture the wide geographical and emotional spaces in the film. The song selections include tracks by Bing Crosby, the Rosh Nazz Quartet, and My Friend the Chocolate Cake (Bridie's current band, whose wonderfully warm "Low" underscores one of the film's most winningly intimate scenes). Rufus Wainright also contributes a couple of tracks in an appearance which predates his 1998 solo debut, providing wistfully contemporary covers of two old standards which appear in other versions elsewhere on this album. Collectively, this is music of melancholy and mysterious peace; music which furrows in quiet moments for the source of the sadness and tension which gnaws at the many noisy moments; music which pauses to absorb easily overlooked beauty and warmth; music which listens for the subtle sources of hope. The Paul Simon song for which the movie is presumably named does not appear on the soundtrack.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Darryl Cater