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THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU – Thomas Newman

March 8, 2011 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Looking back over Thomas Newman’s career to date, it’s interesting to note how much his musical style has altered over the years. During the late 1980s and 1990s he was very much his father’s son; scores such as The Shawshank Redemption, Little Women, Oscar and Lucinda, Meet Joe Black and The Horse Whisperer showcased his lush, theme-driven, string-heavy music, and made him a popular favorite within the film music world. Then, in 1999, he wrote American Beauty, and from then on began his gradual transformation into a composer whose music relies on sound design, instrumental texture and unusual instrumental combinations than the straightforward orchestral through-composing that made many – including me – such an admirer. Since the turn of the millennium, for every Cinderella Man or Angels in America, there have been a half-dozen other “quirky” scores dominating his filmography: Erin Brockovich, White Oleander, In the Bedroom, Jarhead, Little Children, Revolutionary Road. These scores show flashes of the orchestral brilliance of which he is capable, but more often than not eschew the lyricism in favor of rhythm and texture, with very little thematic content to grab hold of. Unfortunately, The Adjustment Bureau is more of the same. Read more…