Film scores

Soundtrack review: Old fashioned (Kazimir Boyle – 2015)

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“Old-fashioned” is, according to IMDB, the story about a former frat boy and a free spirited woman who try to achieve an old fashioned courtship in modern America. The score was written by Kazimir Boyle, a composer I was not familiar with until now. The soundtrack of the movie has 20 songs by all sorts of artists but I will only focus on the score cues written by Boyle.

The first one is “Gold in your eyes”, which is truly an old fashioned piano theme reminding me of the sound of flashbacks in some movies. I can almost see the old couple happily reminiscing the first time they danced together on this slow tune that makes me feel like I am floating. It evokes to me a poorly lit and empty hall he reserved so he could surprise her. It’s just the two of them and the piano player.

“I have a theory” still has the piano at the center but the sound is more reflective and almost ambient in some moments. The music still sounds intimate but in a different way. No more dancing, this is just a conversation in low voices in a room that’s even darker than the first one. It’s a moment of confession and a moment when everlasting bond is created.

“Love is the only gold” strangely reminds me of the more eerie moments of the “Twin Peaks” score. It’s minimalistic and tender and still there’s a trace of mystery in it. This track hides a question in all its sweetness. It almost makes me think that this cue only reflects the feelings of one of the two main characters. Only from 2:00 on he (or she) shares the thought he (she) just had with the other one. From that moment the music gets only a tone louder and lets the outside world in on that little secret.

“You are loved” is a string based piece which is even more melancholic than the other ones. It’s quiet but it tells me enough. It’s my favorite cue from the score. Those strings just get to me and the addition of a soft female voice in the background gives this track a unique feeling of purity and innocence. “You are loved” doesn’t need to do more to convince me. I hear what it tells me and I like it; I’ve been there, I know the feeling.

The final score track “Yes” comes back to the flashback / dance sound “Old-fashioned” opened with. The low key piano strokes slowly fading away and the divine violin at the end give the 19 minutes of score a sense of completion. These five tracks simply play like a set of sweet memories and maybe the story didn’t need more. I can tell that the composer and the director worked very closely because there’s a feeling of familiarity and coziness in the music. There is nothing generic about this music, it sounds personal and carefully crafted. I love getting such a feeling from a score even if it’s this short. I might even watch the movie to see how it fits in context.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 19

Album excellence: 61%

Highlights:

You are loved

 

About the author

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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