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Soundtrack review: Si tu voyais son coeur (If you saw his heart) (Gabriel Yared – 2018)

Best of 2018 Film scores perfect scores

Soundtrack review: Si tu voyais son coeur (If you saw his heart) (Gabriel Yared – 2018)

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“Si tu voyais son coeur” (If you saw his heart) is a 2018 French drama. Daniel is cast out of his community after the death of his best friend. He finds refuge in a hotel for castaways and broken souls and drifts into violence. An unexpected ray of light enlivens his existence when he meets Francine. The movie didn’t get good reviews at all but the score was written by one of my favourite composers who rarely writes scores anymore, Gabriel Yared.

The opening cue “Comme des freres” makes me say what I seem to keep saying whenever I review a Gabriel Yared score: there is nobody that can write orchestral sensitivity like he does. No one. There is James Newton Howard who can write low key emotions and sensitivity but not orchestral, he does it using other techniques usually but Yared, he just takes a couple of instruments, the strings, the piano and just uses them to write poignant motifs, often as fragile as butterfly wings. Minimalism is rarely as beautiful as in a score like this one when ever press of a piano key and every caress of the bow on a violin string are as silky and meaningful as touching touching the skin of your loved one. “Daniel seul” actually makes me think of the times when James Newton Howard also uses piano and violin as it’s as darkly beautiful as anything from, let’s say “The village”.

But this is Gabriel Yared’s intimate show and I am just in awe of how touching his music is. As always, it’s quiet, shivering, lonely with echoes of the flute and the slow burning strings and he manages to makes me feel as if I was alone, longing for someone, in the middle of a very vast and dark landscape. “En amour” is a vision, a John Barry like romantic piece that I will not be able to forget. Sometimes a quiet and lyrical score like this one transcends film music and can be appreciated by classical music lovers as well. “Les sentiments” is one of those moody solo piano themes that I fall for every single time, so poignant, so moving that I just want to listen to nothing but piano from now on.

And with all this, Gabriel Yared also gives us a theme, a wonderful period like theme in “Les amants”, a theme I will remember, a theme that I can’t believe is new and fresh, written in 2018 because it feels like it comes from the romantic age of film music. Luckily for us there is still a composer, Gabriel Yared, who refuses to give up on this sound even if this means he gets way less projects than he deserves. You should know by now what you are getting from a Yared score for a French movie and “Si tu voyais son coeur” is no different. Just even better.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 18 / 18

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:
Comme des frères
Daniel seul
Il faut pas
En amour
Le cœur brisé
Les sentiments
Les amants
Où est Francine
Générique de fin

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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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