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Soundtrack review: Nanny McPhee (Patrick Doyle, 2005)

Composer of the month Patrick Doyle month

Soundtrack review: Nanny McPhee (Patrick Doyle, 2005)



Nanny McPhee is a children’s book adaptation, directed by and starring Emma Thompson. It’s a Mary Poppins like story that separated itself from the other scores in the genre by being smarter, funnier and by having a stellar cast.

Just as the movie, Patrick Doyle’s score also raises its head above the pack of similar compositions. It has the spark I’m looking for in a score and even if it has its forgettable moments, the listening experience was very pleasant. After a normal start, the score shines with 10 minutes of brilliance in “I did knock” and “Goodnight children”. These two cues, especially the first one, have a Harry Potter feel to them and I loved them. They are emotional, lyrical, the orchestra just flies with it and both cues have time to develop into very fulfilling compositions.

“The girl in the carriage” is another beautiful melody. Listening to this score, I remember how I stumbled upon this movie once, on a Saturday, with my wife, and we were in the right mood to enjoy it. It relaxed us, it made us laugh and we have a fond memory of it.

Patrick Doyle really knows how to finish his scores and this is one of my favorite things about him. “Snow in August” is a 7 minute long epilogue that earns its place among Doyle’s finest pieces. It’s a sweeping, romantic and rich cue that makes me dream and feel that life is beautiful. It is one of the cues I will dearly listen to again and the track I associate with the nice memory of a Saturday afternoon…

Cue rating: 66 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 22 / 54

Album excellence: 41%


Cues to listen to:

I Did Knock

Goodnight, Children

The Girl in the Carriage

Mrs. Brown’s Lullaby

Snow in August


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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