5 Flights Up

Composed By: David Newman

Songs By: Max Calo

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the movie 5 Flights Up, Alex and Ruth Carver (Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton) have been married for decades and have lived in the same Brooklyn apartment for forty years.  Unfortunately, the five flights of stairs have become a bit much for them and the need for an elevator has become quite apparent.  As the happily married couple surveys the market for perspective buyers and looks around for a new apartment they can live out the rest of their lives in, they start to wonder why they wanted to leave in the first place.

                The musical score of 5 Flights Up was created by American composer David Newman.  The son of composer Alfred Newman, brother of composers Thomas and Maria Newman, cousin of singer/songwriter and composer Randy Newman and nephew of composers Lionel and Emil Newman, it would seem that composing is in the Newman bloodline.  An accomplished violinist and concert conductor, David Newman's first musical score was created in 1984 for Tim Burton's short Frankenweenie.  Since then, Newman has gone on to create musical scores for such notable films as Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Other People's Money, Matilda, The Mighty Ducks, The Freshman, Ice Age, Life or Something Like It, Monster-in-Law, Serenity and more.

                In addition to the musical score, the 5 Flights Up Soundtrack features three songs by Italian songwriter Max Calo.  These songs vary in musical styles - Blue Bar features a jazz sound, I Was Younger features a 50's rock sound reminiscent of Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny and Ritrovarsi features an exotic sound.  The musical score by David Newman is mainly guitars and piano with some strings and other orchestral instruments thrown in.  The score is quirky and upbeat and reminded me of love, which is actually perfect for this film, a story about two people in love with one another for many years who have overcome numerous hurdles for love and that couple's love for the apartment in which those hurdles were met and conquered.

                The musical score of 5 Flights Up was so enjoyable, I decided to look up the movie and check out its trailer.  Based on what I saw in the trailer, the music created by David Newman fits perfectly.  The songs, more than likely, are used in flashbacks of the characters lives, representing the music of the various time periods.  Listening to the music and watching the trailer, I am inspired to see the movie and isn't that what a great soundtrack should do...inspire the listener to want to see the film the music was created for? 


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