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Soundtrack review: 5 flights up (David Newman – 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: 5 flights up (David Newman – 2014)



“5 flights up” is a 2014 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, about a couple that realizes the 5 flights of stairs up to their apartment are too much for their age and decide to move. This starts en entire chain of events, both good and bad. I think the movie might be worth it if only for the quality of these two actors. David Newman, of “Ice age” and “Anastasia” fame, wrote the score.

I am not surprised by the sound of this score. I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but as soon as the “Main titles” start I nod my head and tell myself that this is exactly how I expected this movie would sound. The music is upbeat, joyful at times, a little more subdued in other moments when the piano becomes a little more serious; we as listeners are walked through the entire range of feelings the characters will feel. Scratch that. The music will walk us on the surface of what the characters will feel, without going too deep. This score will not be an exploration of feelings, rather a care free musical representation of what they might be.

David Newman’s best scores came from comedies and I can hear that. The tone of “5 flights up” is charming and light as a spring breeze. I know from the first couple of cues that I will not be returning to this score but I also know the minutes spent with it would be enjoyable. I won’t be returning to this score per se because I will hear many similar scores in the future just as I have heard in the past. It’s the classical sad / romantic sound that doesn’t interfere and doesn’t challenge the listener. It doesn’t frustrate him either. It just happens and then it’s over and you will have a vague recollection of some piano theme.

I suppose David Newman fans will like this one a lot. I don’t see the need to hear it again, nice as it was. For me, that imperceptible shadow of sadness was all I could take from it.

Cue rating: 69 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 0 / 23

Album excellence: 0%

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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