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Soundtrack review: 5 to 7 (Danny Bensi and Sauder Juriaans – 2017)

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Soundtrack review: 5 to 7 (Danny Bensi and Sauder Juriaans – 2017)

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“5 to 7” is a 2014 American romantic film written and directed by Victor Levin and starring Anton Yelchin, Bérénice Marlohe, Olivia Thirlby, Lambert Wilson, Frank Langella and Glenn Close. Yelchin plays Brian, a 24-year-old writer who has an affair with a 33-year-old married French woman, Arielle (Marlohe). Arielle and her middle-aged husband, Valéry (Wilson), have an agreement allowing them to have extramarital affairs as long as they are confined to the hours between 5 and 7 p.m. Danny Bensi and Sauder Juriaans wrote the score.

I have heard good things about this movie as it kept being mentioned as one of his best at the time of Yelchin’s unfortunate death. These two composers have been getting my attention with their way of writing minimalistic music, always with a catch or a twist, and I get surprised in this score even earlier than I was expecting as the first couple of cues, “The letter” parts 1 and 2 are two elegant string based pieces of music that make me think of British period dramas, more specifically the closing credit themes of those sombre and emotionally restrained storied; the strings wail beautifully and when the flute gently adds another coating to the music I am just delighted. I almost feel the need to put on a tux and head to the concert hall by the time these two cues are over. I wouldn’t have time to settle in there as I need to head to the ball room next with “The waltz”. Bensi and Juriaans put on different masks for this score and blend their style with the romance touch in the story.

Soon enough the playful parts of romance, the clumsiness, the excitement of meeting the one you care about and a touch of comedy take over and I am discovering gem after gem in this score; if the movie is anything like the music I am going to love it and remember it for a long time. Every note from this score is elegant or charming and brings a smile on my face and a short flutter of butterfly wings in my stomach as I think about the one I love and how these moments that the music evoke to me, dinner dates, holding hands, the nice little gestures that show you care, are familiar and current to me. “Bloom’s city” is such a delightful soft piano theme that makes me dream and be grateful and think about sharing moments with my loved one, both dressed elegantly. Somehow this score feels very personal to me as the simple yet efficient music punctuates familiar emotions.

For such a short score, the peasant surprises and tonal variations are just amazing; there’s even a gem in there, “A huge mistake” that brings Ennio Morricone nostalgia with that unmistakable orchestral romance sound that nobody writes like him and that’s engraved inside me from countless French and Italian romance movies watched over the years.

From all the scores I’ve heard from Danny Bensi and Saunder Juriaans until now, this is for sure the most special; it’s an orchestral score that’s all about romance and elegance, quiet and poignant, honest and simply touching. I was charmed from beginning to end and it just justifies even more why I never want to miss a Bensi / Juriaans composition. You shouldn’t miss this one either and now for sure I am going to rush and see the movie as well.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 26

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:
The Letter Pt. 1
The Letter Pt. 2
The Waltz
To Be Continued…
Reporting For Dinner
Finally
Bloom’s City
Marry Me
Are You Saying Yes
A Huge Mistake
French Movies
Epilogue Pt. 1
Epilogue Pt. 2
Epilogue Pt. 3
End Credits

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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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