Review: Christmas Carol, A
2.5 / 5 Stars
Stephen Warbeck, who won the Academy Award for his work on Shakespeare in Love, tackled (the umpteenth) film adaptation of the classic Dickens' story A Christmas Carol. This time the role of Scrooge was played by Patrick Stewart, and his performance was enhanced by Warbeck's traditionalist score. But the lack of a main theme that jumped out at the listener brings down what could have been an otherwise engaging score.
The story of Scrooge is quite well known, and it's filled with moments of horror, drama, remorse, and ultimately redemption. The score that Warbeck provided has all of these elements, but are done in such a standard was that they don't really lend anything without the actors performing on top of it. I hate to suggest it, but this is an album that could have used a bit of dialogue!
The score is interweaved with traditional Christmas carols, such as "O' Little Town of Bethlehem", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", and the most dramatic interpretation of "Silent Night" I've heard in a while. The way Warbeck quickly moved from the traditional tune into a dark creepy underscore was quite effective. Plenty of the score has the dark brooding quality that many people tend to associate with Howard Shore's works. "Haunt Me No Longer" is a great tense cue, as well as "The Corpse".
"Death" is a rather somber cue that slowly builds to a rousing climax. After that point, Scrooge changes his ways, and the score takes on a more upbeat, optimistic tone as heard in "A Different Side to Scrooge" and "The End". Running about 45 minutes long, this album has some great moments of underscore, and some nice arrangements of Christmas Carols. But there doesn't really seem to be any major theme that stands out and that left me feeling a bit detached from the score.
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