Film scores

Soundtrack review: Our brand is crisis (David Wingo – 2015)

FILM STILL - OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
FILM STILL - OUR BRAND IS CRISIS

“Our brand is crisis” is 2015 American comedy-drama film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Peter Straughan. It is a fictionalized account based on the 2005 documentary film of same name by Rachel Boynton, about the American political campaign strategies used by Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. The film stars Sandra Bullock, Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie and Ann Dowd. George Clooney produced the film and the score was written by David Wingo who wrote one of my favorite scores this year, “Maggie”.

The score begins by knocking at the door. The first cue “Go out a winner” is a one minute long intro that just asks to come it. Once I let it in the composer introduces me to the title theme of this score. Contrary to what I might have been expecting from a story like this, the brand of sound David Wingo puts forth here is more intimate and thoughtful. This main theme uses bells and an acoustic guitar to put me in a very good mood, that special place where I go whenever I listen to a Gustavo Santaolalla or Antonio Pinto score.

I always welcome a score where the composer isn’t afraid to experiment. A cue like “Fly” might not make sense at first but I like the strange nonmusical sounds. I find interesting inserts in almost every cue and this score does have a sound of its own. This alone would make it worth listening to. The story is set in Latin America so the acoustic guitar features prominently. It gives the music a relaxing sunset vibe. The score is light, there is no doubt about it. There’s nothing deep or intense about the music and there are no wow moments. I don’t hold this against it because I enjoy the music.

It is clear to me that “Our brand is crises” is the kind of scores that serves the movie more than the film music fan who wants to listen to the album out of context. I am enjoying this score once but there will be no reason for me to return to it if I don’t get to see the movie. I can’t find emotions to relate to in the music or traces of nostalgia to cling to. I’ll mark this down as one of the more enjoyable light scores I’ve listened to this year. I can’t dismiss a score that ends with a 10 minutes long track anyway.

Cue rating: 74 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 2 / 41

Album excellence: 5%

Highlights:

Our brand is crisis

 

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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