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Soundtrack review: Nouvelle France (Patrick Doyle, 2004)

Composer of the month Patrick Doyle month

Soundtrack review: Nouvelle France (Patrick Doyle, 2004)


“Nouvelle France” is a 2004 French historical romance. The subject of the movie seemed right up Patrick Doyle’s alley, because I can’t imagine a movie like this without a sweeping orchestral score. So I started listening to the score with these expectations. When the bar is raised as high as Patrick Doyle has, I expect to be impressed almost every time…
…so how come I can barely find my words to write about it? I knew what to expect, and yet I find myself completely overwhelmed by the score’s beauty. The music is so beautiful that it actually puts a distance between me and it…You know that feeling when you’re looking at something so stunning that you are afraid to get close to it and touch it? What if you break it, what if the magic disappears? You are almost paralyzed and just stay there and look at that beautiful thing. It’s the same with “Nouvelle France”. It is so beautiful that it intimidates me and I can’t get as close to it as I would like. I listen to it, but there’s a space between us, it passes just by me without touching me.
I manage to get closer to it when I hear “Les Retrouvailles”. This cue is so beautiful and intense that it tips the scale and I need to get closer to make sure it’s real. This track is divine, out of this world, and it warms my insides. I’m thinking again about that quote from “American Beauty”. “La Berceuse De Marie-Loup” is like a lullaby. The “Ouverture”, is majestic, one of those orchestral pieces that you will never forget. “Le destin the Marie-Loup” is almost 8 minutes long and includes the best themes from the score.
Still, I think it’s unfair to single out cues from this symphony. Each of them is worth a listen, and all of them are wonderful. Hope is beautiful, sadness is beautiful, and love is beautiful in this score. There isn’t a single note that doesn’t soothe the soul.  “Nouvelle France” is an amazing standalone listen, a joy for the ears and soul, and a composition that will be appreciated by any music or beauty lover. It’s more than normal film music, it’s art. And it’s only fitting that the vocal theme of the movie, “Ma nouvelle France” is sung by Celine Dion. ..
My ratings:
Cue rating: 91 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 50 / 55
Album excellence: 91%
Cues to listen to:
 Les Hommes De Bigot
Des Etoiles Dans Ma Tête
 L’intervention d’Angelique
 La Lettre
 La Bataille De Québec
 Nouvelle / France N’est Plus
 Maillard & Marie-Loup
 Les Retrouvailles
 Bagarre Dans La Forêt
 La Berceuse De Marie-Loup
 Le Départ De France
 Le Destin De Marie-Loup
 La Fin De L’histoire
 Ma Nouvelle-France

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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