Film scores

Soundtrack review: Everything will be fine (Alexandre Desplat – 2015)

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“Every Thing Will Be Fine” is a 2015 German drama film directed by Wim Wenders and written by Bjørn Olaf Johannessen, and released in 3D. It is Wenders’ first full-length dramatic feature in seven years. The film stars James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rachel McAdams and Marie-Josée Croze. The film centres around Tomas (James Franco), a writer who causes an accident while driving and spends the next 12 years examining the effect of the tragedy on his life and that of Kate (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who lost someone close. This looks like a clear awards bait to me. And if it’s a movie made for awards, who else to write the score than the composer who guarantees awards, Alexandre Desplat.

Some scripts are an open invitation for a composer to explore darkness and create an intense score. This story makes me think of movies like 21 grams or Mystic river and those scores made my skin crawl and made me want to be somewhere where there’s light. The opening of this score is a light rain. The piano doesn’t really hurt; it’s just a bit serious and sad. “The accident” is the first cue I like because the strings give it a feeling of implacable descent. I can work with a cue like this one. I won’t remember it, because I’ve heard it many times before, but it’s enjoyable.

I like the sound of this score. I need to forget about the story and mood I was expecting and just focus on the music in order to do that, but it’s there. “Everything will be fine” makes me think of a calm and quiet autumn day when a gentle rain keeps the mood at the border between reflective and sad. For once Alexandre Desplat seems respectful to the sadness and keeps his music subdued. The piano sounds are contained and the strings are touched with elegance.

“Suicide attempt”, though not as dark as it should, has enough depth to count. This is a depth I rarely found in Desplat’s music until now. He seems to be moving away from his generic sound lately. Even if the mood rarely changes throughout the score and it flows quietly the same way, I cannot dismiss music as melodic as this. This is one thing Desplat gets right and the thing that keeps me invested in the score until it ends.

Even if this score will fade in a sea of other similar scores in tone and I will not remember it, I enjoyed it in the moment. It had enough emotional depth to mean something and even if it was quiet it said a lot and it might be one of my favorite Desplat scores so far.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 7 / 45

Album excellence: 17%

Highlights:

Suicide Attempt

Tomas’s Success

Kate Leaves the House

Summer

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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