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Soundtrack review: The miracle season (Roque Banos – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The miracle season (Roque Banos – 2018)

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“THE MIRACLE SEASON” is based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship. The film was directed by Sean McNamara and stars Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Danika Yarosh, and Erin Moriariy. Roque Banos wrote the score.

I am a sucker for sports dramas and their scores, for sports stories and comebacks so I can’t wait to see the movie. Just a few weeks ago I reviewed another sports drama score, Panu Aaltio excellent “95”. This time, it’s Roque Banos. The score opens with a light and very pleasant theme “The best friends” where the horns, the string section and melancholic make me thing of a carefree life in an American small town. Roque, usually so good with the tension and terror uses a soft, gentle brush here to make us care for the characters and every stroke of the piano or blow of the horn is warm.

The sound of “The miracle season” is unmistakable, it’s that evocative Americana sound which has made so many scores enjoyable in the past. I know exactly where the story takes place and how emotional it is by the seriousness in the music, by the sombre orchestral tone and in a piece like “The terrible news” I recognize none other than James Horner’s brand of Americana, so far only the violin is missing. I hear echoes of “The perfect storm” with that horn blowing somewhere far away, calling the other instruments.

I just like this particular sound and Roque Banos uses it quite compellingly. It is such a familiar and comfortable musical place for me, this score is simply a joy to listen to. Every now and then the mood is just right to listen to a composition without great tonal variations, a score that just flows beautifully, restrained at times, a score that makes me think of an orchestra where all the members are dressed in a suite and play their par seriously, without a smile, but everything takes place in the park gazebo on a beautiful Sunday afternoon; it’s that wonderful contrast before the serious tone of the music and the joy of the surroundings. The violin joins in in “Back to training” and I have to say the Horner vibe is getting even stronger for me.

The emotional release is there as well in the bursts of orchestral emotion at the end of some cues. You’ve heard music like this before and I am sure you loved it because it’s impossible not to love; this is orchestral music at its best, both joyful and sad but always rewarding, also as a standalone listen. Roque Banos never lets his music get overly dramatic or lose sight of the fact that the characters are in high school, animated by certain goals and emotional triggers while in the same time giving his score the feeling of a lesson itself. “The miracle season” is a tender, elegant and evocative Americana score that will surely put you in a good mood.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Highlights:
The Terrible News
Back to Training
Missing Caroline
Win for Yourselves

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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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