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Soundtrack review: Edie (Debbie Wiseman – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Edie (Debbie Wiseman – 2018)



“Edie” is a 2017 drama. Edie stars Sheila Hancock and Kevin Guthrie and features a truly moving performance from Hancock in the title role, an elderly woman, who in the aftermath of the death of her controlling husband, decides to fulfil a life-long dream of recapturing the magic she had as a young girl by climbing a Scottish mountain. Edie employs Jonny (Kevin Guthrie – Dunkirk, Whisky Galore!) to help her prepare for the gruelling climb ahead and this sparks a surprising friendship. Debbie Wiseman wrote the score and I always expect great things from her.

The score opens with “Training day”, a melodic alert piece that relies on a light guitar motif and a violin undertone to evoke both sadness and optimism. It’s the kind of opening that puts me in a good mood and also that guitar motif that builds up at the end brings me Mike Oldfield nostalgia. It’s the kind of piece he loves to write and perform. The guitar is the central instrument of this score and as the album progresses I like it more and more because of the resemblances with the light, positive and slightly melancholic Oldfield vibe. I don’t know if Debbie Wiseman was inspired by him but to me the similarities are there. The subtle Latin vibes are there as well.

I must admit I was expecting a heavier, more dramatic score but I am enjoying the light, slightly ironic and, in the end, infectious vacation sound. The composer focused on the joy of friendship and on the nice memories in her score and a cue like “Night of wonder, morning of trouble” is a playful and delightful little piece that puts a smile on my face with the flute and soft percussion. There are also these sudden emotional passages, still light but quite poignant like the beautiful “Alone in the past”. Debbie Wiseman just scratches a bit the surface of sadness and lets out just enough drops to make a difference. “Alone in the past” is vintage Wiseman.

“Edie” is the kind of score that is impossible not to like; it’s light enough not to be overwhelming but the emotions it evokes through simple, minimalistic melodies are honest and easy to relate to. I hear a mix of sadness and hope in this score that just gets to me, it rings true and it is remarkable how much the composer can tell with just a few guitar and piano motifs. It’s simply another gem from Debbie Wiseman that will bring joy to each listener.

Cue rating: 80 / 100

Alone in the past
Midnight stranger

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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