Home > Reviews > LAST CHANCE HARVEY – Dickon Hinchliffe

LAST CHANCE HARVEY – Dickon Hinchliffe

December 26, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A contemporary romantic comedy-drama directed by Joel Hopkins, Last Chance Harvey stars Dustin Hoffman as the eponymous Harvey Shine who, while visiting London to attend his estranged daughter’s wedding, meets and forms an unlikely relationship with Kate (Emma Thompson), a middle-aged woman with a somewhat downbeat outlook on life and romance. However, as the pair spend more time together, Harvey finds himself renewed, and vows to repair not only his relationship with his daughter, but everything else wrong with his life before it’s too late.

The music for Last Chance Harvey is by English composer Dickon Hinchliffe, a former member of the indie rock band Tindersticks, and who previously worked on films such as Keeping Mum and Married Life. Hinchliffe’s score – which is actually performed by the Czech Filmharmonic Orchestra in Prague – is very much rooted in the conventions of ‘modern romantic comedy’, being built almost solely around a series of loosely connected instrumentals for piano, guitar, a soft string wash, and a rock/pop percussion combo, which clearly originate from Hinchliffe’s rock band roots.

The music is generally quite nice and undemanding – pleasant melodies, appealing harmonies, a light and generally upbeat attitude – but it’s all rather anonymous, and could come from any old romantic comedy made in the last decade or so. Cues like “The Brief Encounter”, “Kate”, “The Walk” and “Room 522” are pleasingly peppy and light, with cheerful orchestrations and a whimsical air, while cues such as “Parallel Lives” and “Kate Waits for Harvey” have an attractive bittersweet quality to them that at least gives the album some depth and a change of direction.

By the end of it all, though, most of the score has washed away, over you and out of your mind, leaving you feeling that you have experienced something generally nice and undemanding, but wholly unmemorable and inconsequential.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Opening Titles (0:48)
  • The Brief Encounter (3:01)
  • Parallel Lives (1:45)
  • Kate (0:59)
  • Taxi to the Airport (1:39)
  • The Walk (4:08)
  • Mother (0:43)
  • Harvey Waits for Kate (1:16)
  • Mean Son of a Gun (performed by Kitty Daisy & Lewis) (2:37)
  • The Thames (0:50)
  • Somerset House (2:17)
  • The Kiss (1:11)
  • Room 522 (1:00)
  • Kate Waits for Harvey (1:57)
  • Last Chance Harvey (3:58)
  • The End (1:56)
  • Where Do We Go (performed by Sandrine) (2:47)

Running Time: 32 minutes 52 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-34060 (2008)

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