Musical Score By: Rob Simonsen

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In Gifted, Chris Evans is Frank Adler, a single man trying to raise his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a Florida coastal town.  Frank tries to give Mary a normal school life, but his plans are disrupted when Maryís mathematical abilities become evident to Frankís mother (Lindsay Duncan).  Her plans for Mary and her education threaten to tear Frank and Mary apart, but with a little help from Maryís best friend and landlord, Roberta (Octavia Spencer), and her teacher, Bonnie (Jenny Slate), Mary and Frank may find a way to stay together after all.

                The musical score of Gifted was created by composer Rob Simonsen whose works have been a part of a number of noteworthy films over the past decade.  Under the apprenticeship of composer Mychael Danna, Simonsen contributed additional music to the scores for Life of Pi, Moneyball, The Nativity Story and more.  His solo career has churned out musical scores for such notable films as Foxcatcher, The Age of Adaline, The Spectacular Now, Burnt, Going in Style and more.  Television credits include Dollhouse, Blue Bloods and Life in Pieces.  In 2013, Simonsen co-founded The Echo Society, providing a platform for composers to experiment and create sound for life performances. 

                The musical score is a mix of pianos, guitars, strings and synths.  The opening track, School - Early Morning, is an upbeat track depicting a happy, carefree life and featuring acoustic and electric guitars as well as some synths.  Mary's Theme is sometimes intense, other times innocent.  Evelyn's theme is strings and synths based and seems somewhat more dramatic, louder and a bit imposing than earlier tracks.  As the score moves forward, synths, piano and strings combine to paint a rather dramatic picture.  Bostonís repetitive key-strike sets an ominous tone and Family History contains a rather dramatic and somber piano score.  Grandmother is actually quite ominous as though something bad is happening.  The movie score ends on a slightly lighter note and we hope this means a happy ending for all involved.

                The Gifted Soundtrack is a mix of sound, a blending we have become accustomed to whenever Rob Simonsen is involved.  This innovative style of composing score is very effective in expressing emotional strife.  It is also just as effective at expressing joy as sadness and loss.  All of these emotions come into play in Gifted and Simonsenís score for this film is perfect for the subject matter.  Definitely worth taking a listen.


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