Film scores

Soundtrack review: En mai, fait ce qu’il te plait (Ennio Morricone – 2015)

en-mai-fais-ce-quil-te-plait

At the time when i am writing this review, Ennio Morricone has just celebrtated his 87th birthday. We’ve been spoiled this year with a bunch of expanded releases of his older scores and I have been brimming with anticipation for his first original score for a Quentin Tarantino movie. Until then though, we get the gif of another new composition from him, which is just amazing to me. The movie is “En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait”(Ïn may, do whatever you like”), the story of a motley group of people. In may 1940, when the German troops enter France and frightened by the progress of the enemy, the people of a small village of Pas-de-Calais decide on the recommendations of the prefecture, to give up everything to go on the road, fleeing to the coast.

The maestro starts slowly and very reserved. It’s almost as if he wanted to try writing an ambient music score. The 9 minute long opening makes me think of watching a painter sit in front of a blank canvas and start to draw a landscape. The way the music develops is as natural and superb as a drawing taking shape from absolutely nothing. The composer carefully and tenderly puts note after note until everything starts making sense. As the music progresses I can’t believe that a few minute earlier there was nothing there, no sound, no idea, no image. Morricone takes his time in placing us in the world he wants to present before breathing life and emotion into the scenery.

The feelings he shows us are not happy. The tone of the score is somber and melancholic but the exquisite beauty of the music makes me hopelessly addicted. I don’t care that it’s sad… the music is honest and melodic and meaningful and I want to hear this story. The suspense in a cue like “Traverser la guerre”” makes me shiver and be grateful for being in the safety of my home. I feel the music as if it was the memory of an ordeal I went through but survived. The subdued tone and the richness of emotion wanting to break free show a side of Ennio Morricone I am not used to seeing but very happy to discover.

My heart skips a beat at the echoes of his older scores I hear in the sweet harmonica of “Tout laisser”; this is the maestro’s stamp, like the signature in the low corner of a painting. This cue is the key that opens an immortal treasure chest where I keep my dearest and most cherished memories.

To have Ennio Morricone still write like this 55 years after his first score is amazing. I am grateful for yet another gift from him and I hope we’ll get to celebrate his century with a new score just as good as this!

Cue rating: 96 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 37 / 44

Album excellence: 83%

Highlights:

En Mai

Ils Resteront Trois

Traverser La Guerre

Tout Laisser

Respirations

Tous Ensemble

Et Mкme Les Animaux Sont Avec Eux

A La Recherche De La Paix

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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