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Six Favorite Soundtracks

Mar 16, 2008

Posted by Kimmy Sophia Brown

“Everything is Illuminated”, “Chocolat”, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, “The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood”, “Little Women”, and “Amelie”

I want to recommend this selection of six soundtracks because I love listening to them and hope that someone else might enjoy them too.

“Everything is Illuminated”
is a film directed by Liev Schreiber, starring Elijah Wood. It’s the story of an American visiting the Ukraine, in search of a woman who helped save his grandfather during World War II. The soundtrack is filled with Eastern European flavored folk music and a kind of Russian hip-hop (rrrrrock and rrrrolla). I’ve listened to this soundtrack a hundred times and I love it.

“Chocolat”
is a film directed by Lasse Hallström, starring Juliet Binoche and Johnny Depp, about a woman and her daughter who open a chocolate shop in a small village in France. Rachel Portland wrote a very atmospheric, original score, incorporating works of Django Reinhardt and Duke Ellington. This is a standard favorite in our family.

“O Brother, Where Are Thou?”
is a film by the Coen Brothers, based on the writings of Homer, music produced by T-bone Burnett. This soundtrack caused a resurgence of interest in American Roots music, helping along the careers of Alison Krause and Union Station, Ralph Stanley and others. I have listened to it a hundred times and still enjoy it.

“Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood”
is a film directed by Callie Khouri, starring Ashley Judd and Ellen Burstyn. This soundtrack is kind of like “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” with Cajun sauce.

“Little Women”
Score by Thomas Newman; It's from the 1990’s adaptation to film of the book by Louisa May Alcott, directed by Gilliam Armstrong, starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon. The music is joyous, tender, sympathetic and homey. I associate this CD with cooking in the kitchen on winter afternoons. It’s wonderful.

“Amelie”
a film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, starring Audrey Tautou. The film is odd and delightful and the music is too. It’s sweet, and French, and filled with longing and joy. All original compositions were performed by the composer, Yann Tierson. Songs by Edith Piaf are included. I love it.

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