The Face of Love

Music By: Marcelo Zarvos

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In The Face of Love, Annette Benning is Nikki, a woman devastated by the death of her husband Garret (Ed Harris) in a drowning accident.  Five years have past and Nikki has met a man named Tom (also portrayed by Harris) who is a doppelganger for her original husband, not only in looks, but in humor and in his passion for art.  As their relationship flourishes, Nikki wonders how long she can keep secret the reason for her attraction to Tom and what will happen when all is revealed.

                The musical score of The Face of Love was created by Brazilian composer and pianist Marcelo Zarvos.  Known for his ability to blend classical, orchestral, rock and electronic music with ethnic elements to create dramatically emotional musical scores, Zarvos has enjoyed popularity as a composer ever since hitting the indie film scene in the year 2000.  Since then, he has compiled quite an impressive résumé of movie scores, including Kissing Jessica Stein, The Door in the Floor, The Good Shepherd, Brooklyn's Finest, Sin Nombre, Reaching for the Moon, The Bay, Won't Back Down, The Words, Enough Said, Ray Donovan and more.

                The Face of Love is basically defined by the love theme performed on piano in the first track I Built It For You.  There is a sad beauty to the music and it is woven throughout the entire score as a reminder that Nikki's thoughts and love, no matter who she is with, will always lie with her first husband, Garret.  There are moments featuring some fast-paced intensity as performed by the string section in Beach Chase and some heartfelt anxiety in the darker tones of Come With Me to Mexico, but always, somehow, that original theme winds its way in. 

                Listening to The Face of Love on a day where I was tremendously stressed was a plus for me.  For this film, Marcelo Zarvos has created an incredibly relaxing score.  I found it to be less ethnic based than past Zarvos scores I have listened to, but no less emotionally dramatic.  There was something about that main theme that I fell in love with and continually looked for throughout the album.  Having listened to the score a number of times, I have no doubt that it is perfect as the background music for this film.  As a stand alone album, there is a classic beauty to the score that makes it a must listen for any music aficionado.  Definitely an enjoyable experience.


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