Jump to content

Rachel Portman, anyone?


alicebrallice
 Share

Recommended Posts

I really think the british composer Rachel Portman deserves some recognition in here!

I've heard people call her style "girly"... I don't know about girly, but her style is definitely defined by all her upbeat, funny, happy, sensitive scores. She hasn't composed too many scores, but she's still one of my favorite composers. Her score for The Cider House Rules is my absolute favorite.

Anyone enjoying Portmans music?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She has some absolutely fantastic themes, but the albums tend to be a bit repetitative (basically repeating that theme over and over again). The non-thematic cues aren't very interesting either, IMO. But we really need more female composers, and she's really talented. I just wish there was a BIT more versatility in the overall compositions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She has some absolutely fantastic themes, but the albums tend to be a bit repetitative (basically repeating that theme over and over again). The non-thematic cues aren't very interesting either, IMO. But we really need more female composers, and she's really talented. I just wish there was a BIT more versatility in the overall compositions.

I definitely see what you're saying... and in some moments different scores/themes/cues sound a bit the same. don't know if I agree that the non-thematic cues aren't very interesting, though!

I wanna see her score a Michael Bay action film!

haha!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She's a great composer. I was also very fond of her latest score for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Great stuff.

As mentioned before, we need for more female composers out there. Debbie Wiseman is another example of someone whose kicking ass (her action is awesome, with Aresene Lupin and Lesbian Vampire Killers). Also more recently, you can hear newcomer Pinar Toprak's score for the Wind Gods on her site. That scores really deserves a full album release.

http://www.pinartoprak.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also more recently, you can hear newcomer Pinar Toprak's score for the Wind Gods on her site. That scores really deserves a full album release.

http://www.pinartoprak.com/

never heard of her before! listening to wind gods right now, not too bad! thanks for the tip:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like her work, especially Chocolat soundtrack which I listen to quite regularly - such a lovely, relaxing music - which of course also matches the movie perfectly. To finish with, I need to quote Thor:

But we really need more female composers, and she's really talented.

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I'm just listening to Never Let Me Go (not for the first time).

I am generally not into the Rachel Portman sound but this score is definitely a masterpiece!

Should have been nominated for an Oscar. A perhaps overlooked gem (I don't know how many here have listened to it).

A Rachel Portman with a mature voice!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlTjn7mBI9c

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicholas Nickleby is charming, even though the young Charlie Hunnam looks positively slap-able in that picture.

I shall never, ever forget her mischievously creepy score to The Woman in Black.



That shit scarred me for life.

Damn it. I squealed like a wee lass. I'll have to find the rest of that score.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 years later...
19 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

A good performance of themes from Portman's Chocolat - an outstanding score. 

 

Theme, yes. Score is a little samey, like I pointed out in my 2012 post above.


I wonder what happened to alicebrallice, btw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

Theme, yes. Score is a little samey, like I pointed out in my 2012 post above.


I wonder what happened to alicebrallice, btw.

 

I actually think it is has a lot of variety. Some standalone scene specific cues. And I might be mistaken - but I think at least a half dozen themes, probably more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

Does anybody know her The Little Prince musical?

 

 

It’s an opera, and it’s one of her greatest works.


My favorite Portman film score is easily Never Let Me Go, which has quite a bit more depth compared with her other (usually perfectly charming) work for film.

 

Yavar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody listen to her album, Ask The River? A non-score album that's a collection of intimate pieces for violin, cello, and piano.

I just picked it up as a special request for my wife's birthday.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/21/2020 at 9:19 AM, riotengine said:

I just picked it up as a special request for my wife's birthday.

 

On 10/21/2020 at 7:23 PM, Yavar Moradi said:

My wife got it for me for my birthday.

 

I sense a conspiracy going on here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
  • 8 months later...

I'm gonna resurrect this thread to sing the praises of Portman's Godmothered score from December 2020. The opening of this cue gives the general flavor of the excitement and optimism of the score (and reminds me a bit of Williams' Home Alone brass and strings writing):

 

 

This score was what introduced me to Portman a couple months ago, and it's still by far my favorite score of hers (and one of my favorite non-Williams scores by any composer over the last few years). The main theme is simple but catchy, and the orchestral and choral writing is glorious and majestic to an extent rarely heard in modern film scores: 

 

 

 

If you want music to lift your spirits, this is it! Two other glowingly optimistic cues:

 

 

 

Anyway, virtually every cue in this score is a delight to listen to. Definitely a five-star effort -- and I dearly hope Disney gives Portman more opportunities to score these sorts of silly fantasy films that really give her a chance to unleash the orchestra.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite Rachel Portman scores are THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, EMMA, CHOCOLAT, MONA LISA SMILE. 
My problem with Ms. Portman is that she writes a rather simplistic theme and she keeps repeating it over and over again throughout the score. Her themes are not developed enough and her orchestrations are very similar. I like her work, but after a while it gets repetitive and boring. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think she's great in adult dramas (Chocolat, The Duchess), but her children's material isn't great. Dolphin Tale 2 was downright terrible. Didn't even know there was a B and the B sequel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, JTW said:

My favorite Rachel Portman scores are THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, EMMA, CHOCOLAT, MONA LISA SMILE. 
My problem with Ms. Portman is that she writes a rather simplistic theme and she keeps repeating it over and over again throughout the score. Her themes are not developed enough and her orchestrations are very similar. I like her work, but after a while it gets repetitive and boring. 

But definitely one of the top ten film composers of all time ;-) That's pretty much my problem with her music, it's lovely but you don't need much of it and it's fairly simplistic. Cider House Rules is pretty nice too, but like most of her scores, I never really think to listen to it!

 

1 hour ago, bollemanneke said:

I think she's great in adult dramas (Chocolat, The Duchess), but her children's material isn't great. Dolphin Tale 2 was downright terrible. Didn't even know there was a B and the B sequel.

It's certainly not a patch on Isham's original Dolphin Tale score, although I seem to remember thinking it was enjoyable enough. Beauty and the Beast 2 was during Disney's direct to video sequel phase (to go with Mulan 2, Hunchback 2 and the Aladdin spin-offs). I think it's technically a midquel (or whatever they call it these days) in that it occurs while Belle as at the castle but while the Beast is still a beast. I've not seen the film but the music is actually pretty nice and it's a shame it's never been expanded as I expect it's probably worth a listen. I guess when you're writing songs for a film, you end up with more thematic material to work from, which undoubtedly helps.

 

I would still highly recommend both Adventures of Pinocchio and War of the Buttons that I mentioned earlier, they are really good indeed.

 

What's everyone's thoughts on The Storyteller? Having been really excited by the release (I loved the show as a kid and remembered really liking the theme music) I kinda listened to it once and didn't feel any pressing urge to revisit it and any discussion about it quickly tailed off!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once dated a girl who had nothing to do with film music at all except she owned Portman's score to Chocolat. I never really took the score to be that mainstream that someone who didn't know the first thing about film music would own it.

 

That Godmothered score is very nice. I remember listening to it when it first released. As far as most film music these days goes, it's really top notch (again, compared to most film music these days).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, SilverTrumpet said:

I once dated a girl who had nothing to do with film music at all except she owned Portman's score to Chocolat. I never really took the score to be that mainstream that someone who didn't know the first thing about film music would own it.

 

It's got a nice cover.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

But definitely one of the top ten film composers of all time ;-) That's pretty much my problem with her music, it's lovely but you don't need much of it and it's fairly simplistic. Cider House Rules is pretty nice too, but like most of her scores, I never really think to listen to it!

She has a clear style, but she cannot deviate from it. It's like every theme is a variation of her initial theme composed for her first score. I stopped listening to and buying her scores after the 10th score sounded almost exactly like the previous one. 

I think her score to EMMA (which is a prime example of her monothematic scoring) won the Best Original Score Oscar because the Academy wanted to give the award to a woman. So she made Oscar history. But imho if you heard one Rachel Portman score, you heard them all.

I have yet to discover a truly great female film composer. Shirley Walker is pretty good, as far as her writing a good theme goes, her theme for SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES is excellent. 

1 hour ago, SilverTrumpet said:

I once dated a girl who had nothing to do with film music at all except she owned Portman's score to Chocolat. I never really took the score to be that mainstream that someone who didn't know the first thing about film music would own it.

She probably liked the movie so she bought the score. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we’re offering her films that have a specific genre, which not always require 6 themes and 14 leitmotives, like a Star Wars movie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.