Composed By: Atli Örvarsson

Distributed by: MovieScore Media/Kronos Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on A Girl From Antwerp, a novella by Arnošt Lustig, Colette tells the story of an unlikely romance that arises in a Nazi Concentration Camp as seen through the eyes of an elderly writer named Willie (Jirí Mádl) as he writes about his romantic affair with a Belgian Jewess named Colette (Clémence Thiloy).

                The musical score of Colette was created by Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson who began his musical career at a very young age, performing and writing for some of Iceland's top pop and jazz ensembles before travelling to America to earn a master's degree in film music composition.  In 2006, he joined Hans Zimmer's state-of-the-art musical think tank, Remote Control Productions, and worked on a number of scores with him, including Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Angels & Demons and The Holiday.  Since then, he has created a number of musical scores for such films as The Eagle, Evidence, A Single Shot, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

                The score of Colette is orchestral, describing a love story set in the darkest of places, defined by ominous undertones throughout.  The central theme of Colette is quite sad, despite its beauty, describing the main character extremely well through music.  Violins are used quite often in films set in Nazi Germany and the Colette Soundtrack employs them as well, defining the sadness of the characters' situation as well as a love affair doomed from the start. 

                Two of the most intriguing tracks on the album are Workshop of Evil and Free As A Bird, two tracks that are the polar opposite of one another.  Free As A Bird is light and airy and you can almost picture a bird soaring over the countryside, relishing in its freedom.  Meanwhile, Workshop of Evil is an angry and dark piece offering up the sense of individuals moving with a dark purpose...overburdened soles forced into hard labor for an evil taskmaster.

                The musical score of Colette is very descriptive and offers the listener a visual picture of a doomed love between two individuals who are fighting for their very lives and their freedom in an atmosphere meant to crush them.  Atli Örvarsson's score is at once beautiful and unsettling, perfect for a love story set in a Nazi death camp.  The music is haunting in its beauty and definitely a must listen to for fans of dramatically emotional orchestral pieces.  Another job well done by Atli Örvarsson!


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