Free State of Jones

Music Composed By: Nicholas Britell

Songs By: Lucinda Williams

Distributed by: Sony Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The movie Free State of Jones style= was inspired by Newton Knight's style= rebellion against the Confederacy style= during the Civil War style=.  After surviving the Battle of Corinth style=, Knight, a Confederate Army style= battlefield medic style=, deserts and returns home to his wife (Kerri Russell style=) in Jones County, Mississippi style=.  Coming home to his living as a poor farmer style= does nothing to inspire loyalty toward the army he deserted as the Confederacy continues to confiscate crops and livestock style= for its troops.  Befriending a slave (Gugu Mbatha-Raw style=) who has learned how to read, Knight decides that it is time to fight back against the Confederacy and all it stands for.  But can a handful of deserters and runaway slaves hope to fight an entire army?

                The musical score of Free State of Jones was created by American pianist, film producer and composer Nicholas Brittell style=.  As a musician, he was noted as among "the most talented artists at work" by Vogue style= magazine.  He made his break into film composition with his score for New York, I Love You style=.  Since then, he has composed  music for Gimme the Loot style=, The Seventh Fire style=, A Tale of Love and Darkness style=, The Big Short style= and, most notably, additional music for the critically acclaimed 12 Years A Slave.

                Free State of Jones takes place during a sad time in American history, when the nation was split in two and brother fought against brother.  This was a time when slavery style= was still an acceptable thing - when it was believed that humans could be bought and sold and put to work as a white man's property.  Thus, it doesn't surprise me that the score of this film is woven through with an innate sense of sadness.  Battles are accompanied by morose trumpets, strings and percussion.  A sense of Mississippi style= and the poor farmer that Newton Knight was can be heard through sultry strings, banjos, acoustic guitars and mandolins.  The ending song, I'm Crying style= by Lucinda Williams style=, is dedicated to the memory of all that slaves had to contend with.

                The Free State of Jones Soundtrack style= is very dramatic, perfectly expressing a sad time in our history through music and the grit and determination of the few to fight for what is right.  Though an excellent score created to accompany the film, I'm not quite sure that it will be a high seller in music stores.  This is one of those niche items - if you enjoyed the film or the composer's work, you will definitely want to pick up this soundtrack, but if not, it may be something people pass up in favor of lighter fair.


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at