Fathers & Daughters

Musical Score By: Paolo Buonvino

Songs By: Michael Bolton

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the dramatic film, Fathers & Daughters, Russell Crowe is Jake Davis, a Pulitzer Prize winner whose life falls apart after the death of his wife.  Struggling to raise his five-year-old daughter on his own, the famous novelist battles Pulitzer Prize and the sister-in-law attempting to take custody of her.  Some twenty years later, that very same daughter is an adult living in Manhattan and struggling with trust issues stemming from those tumultuous years after her mother’s death.

                The Fathers & Daughters Soundtrack features songs performed by Michael Bolton and musical score created by Italian composer Paolo Buonvino.  Beginning his composing career in the late 1990s, Buonvino’s breakout score was created for L'Ultimo Bacio, winner of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.  Since then, he has created a number of musical scores for full feature films as well as television movies.  He also works as a music conductor for symphony orchestra.

                Because there are a great deal of flashbacks in the film, the composer chose to create very different styles of music for each setting.  According to Buonvino, “The entire movie takes place in two different timelines.  When Katie is a child, I approached the score in a more classical way of writing – you can hear that in the track ‘Father and Daughter’ used for the scene with the bicycle.  For the adult scenes where she deals with the illness of her father (Russell Crowe) I used a combination of electronic music, the orchestra and a solo violin.  The solo violin plays some harmonics.”

                As I listened to the score, I noted the differences between tracks from the earlier stages of Katie’s life and those from the latter stage.  When Jake is doing well, there is a definite lightness in composition, expressing a happiness in the relationship between father and daughter.  When Katie faces her own relationship issues as they relate incidents in her past, there is a distinct darkness and despair resonating through the music. 

Michael Bolton was never a favorite of mine, but I can understand the reason he was chosen to sing the songs on the album.  There’s a certain sort of angst in Bolton’s voice, lending a poignancy to the old Carpenters tune Close to You.  The song, Fathers and Daughters, relates a love of a father for his child and a need to make everything right for that child.  The line about a father and child never saying goodbye is relevant in the fact that Jake’s actions have a profound effect on Katie in the years to come.  She can never quite walk away from what happened between her and her father.

                I had never even heard of Fathers & Daughters before listening to this soundtrack, but after hearing it, I had a distinct desire to see the film.  I have a feeling it will make for a dramatic tear-jerker that I will definitely be able to relate to.  Paolo Buonvino created a terrific musical score that beautifully tells a story of love and anguish.  I can’t wait to see this film.


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