Soundtrack review: Nina’s children (Gaute Storaas – 2015)
“Nina´s Children” tells the story of a Jewish orphanage in Oslo during World War II. Through interviews, archive material and reconstructions the viewer learns about the children’s destiny and how they were rescued by a brave woman named Nina Hasvoll Meyer and her good friends in the resistance movement. The film is written and directed by Nina F Grunfeld and the score was written by Norwegian composer Gaute Storaas. The score is released by MovieScore Media and for the first time all the revenues will go to UNHCR in order to support the refugees in Europe. It’s a release for charity.
The main theme is a quiet and respectful piano theme. At least I think all of it is piano because the opening could also be played on a harp; it’s that fragile and innocent. At first I am a little surprised by how the score opens because Engabo is a really nice and optimistic theme more appropriate for a romantic comedy then a war drama. Then again maybe the composer wanted to play the inner world of those children and then it makes sense.
I love the piano. It’s always in a toe to toe fight with the violin for my favorite instrument to hear in a film score. I love the piano so I am enjoying this score, but I am enjoying it the same way I would a normal Thomas Newman score because the music is so light and breezy. There’s little depth in “Nina’s children” but the emotional content is there. There are some moments when the music tries to break free and gets sweeping but they don’t last very long. It remains contained and elegant.
There are very little surprises in this score. It is what it is and if you are in the mood for a light and enjoyable piano based composition you will have a great time listening to this one. The few instruments featured do their job right and the music is optimistic and feel good most of the time. There are some dramatic moments like “Escape 1942” when it gets serious but still nothing special.
I guess the score was a little too quiet and shy for me. it didn’t dare to grab me, move me or challenge me. Musically it was very nice and enjoyable but emotionally it let a lot to be desired. I see what the composer did here and where he went; it’s just that I probably was in a state of mind when I needed more than a nice serenade…
Cue rating: 84 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 8 / 32
Album excellence: 26%
Denmark, Norway, Sweden