Effie Gray

Musical Score By: Paul Cantelon

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on the real-life Victorian era scandal, Effie Gray is about a love triangle involving art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise), his wife Effie Gray (Dakota Fanning) and artists John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge).  Trapped in a loveless marriage, treated as a possession without a mind of her own, Effie struggles to be free of the prison she has created for herself and be more than what society has decided women are supposed to be.

                The musical score of Effie Gray was created by American composer Paul Cantelon.  Beginning his musical career as a violinist and debuting at the age of thirteen, he became a concert pianist after studying under Vlado Perlemuter at the Paris Conservatory at the age of fifteen.  Studying under Jakob Latiener at Juilliard and Dame Mary Berry at Trinity College, Paul Cantelon began touring in the Far East to promote his second solo album.  By the early 1990s, he had formed the band Wild Colonials.  Cantelon didnít begin composing music for film in earnest until 2005, beginning his film composing career with Everything Is Illuminated.  Since then, he has created musical scores for Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Other Boleym Girl, W., New York I Love You, Conviction and Fear of Falling.

                The Effie Gray Soundtrack has a definite period piece feel, featuring a piano driven score with strings, woodwinds and sometimes guitars.  Tracks like Venice, Vorrei Comprare Del Formaggio and Gondola feature a bit of exotic sound, sometimes in the form of a xylophone, sometimes as exotic strings and in one track, a tambourine is used.  The entire score is an emotional affair, mostly somber as Effie feels increasingly unhappy and suppressed in her marriage.  However, the last track, End Credits, features a much more upbeat style, with piano and guitar at the forefront, leading one to believe that perhaps Effie has found happiness after all.

                I love piano-driven scores and Effie Gray is definitely an excellent example of how a good piano score can adequately project and enhance the dramatic emotions present throughout the film.  Paul Cantelon has done an excellent job with the score of Effie Gray and this soundtrack is well-worth the listen.


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