Movie Soundtrack

A History of Violence

Music By: Howard Shore

Distributed By: New Line Records


Reviewed by Melissa Minners



            Tom Stall (played by Viggo Mortensen) was a quiet, mild-mannered man, living with his wife (Maria Bello) and two children in the sleepy town of Millbrook, Indiana.  But one act of heroism turns Tom’s life upside down.  After foiling an attempted robbery on his diner, Tom finds anonymity a thing of the past and all of the notoriety gets him noticed by the wrong people.  Soon Tom is confronted by a mysterious and menacing character who believes that Tom is a man who wronged him in the past.  Such is the premise of the movie A History of Violence which began its release in select theaters in September of 2005.

            The Original Score of A History of Violence is composed, orchestrated, and conducted by Howard Shore, the three time Academy Award composer for the Lord of the Rings trilogy (two for Best Original Score and one for Best Original Song).  This is Shore’s 11th film collaboration with director David Cronenberg, composing music for such well-known movies as Dead Ringers, Scanners, The Fly, and more.  The films he has worked on with Cronenberg have prepared him for working with the main character’s dual nature.

            The soundtrack opens quietly with the track Motel, a lighthearted, sweet composition that gives the impression of serenity and happiness.  The composition is fairly light and calm until the track Diner, which is harsh and tad bit menacing.  The listener gets the impression that something horrible is about to happen to the main character.  The album picks up from there as the action of the film builds.  Shore’s use of horns building in crescendo contrast by lilting flutes is perfect in giving the listener the impression that although Tom seeks to be gentle and mild-mannered, he has an underlying propensity toward violence.  The music is perfectly suited for the movie and Howard Shore is to be commended for yet another job well-done. 



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