Maps to the Stars

Composed By: Howard Shore

Distributed by: Entertainment One

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Maps to the Stars is one of those films with an ensemble cast whose characters, though dealing with their own separate woes, are connected through some means.  Julianne Moore stars as Havana Segrand, a famous actress who is slowly fading into a Hollywood has-been.  In an effort to reboot her career, she tries out for a role in a remake of her mother's film.  It is her mother's death years before in a tragic fire that connects all of the characters in the film.

                The musical score of Maps to the Stars was created by Canadian composer Howard Shore.  Having composed the musical scores for over eighty films, he is best known for his compositions for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Other works include The Fly, Big, Dead Ringers, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Seven, The Aviator, A History of Violence, Doubt, A Dangerous Method and Hugo.

                As I listened to the Maps to the Stars Soundtrack, I found myself frowning, trying to find a clear pattern in the music.  Sometimes the score was piano and violin based.  Sometimes it was upbeat electronica.  Sometimes it featured ominous ambient sound.  When I listened to the score, I had no idea what the film was about and the plot was certainly not made obvious by a score that seemed to be all over the place.  After seeing the trailer and reading up on the film, I realize that there are various themes at play here, each representing one of the many characters featured in the film.

                That being said, that doesn't make the score any more enjoyable.  I was annoyed with it the first time, bored with it the second time and pretty much done with it after that.  I could not, in good conscience, recommend purchasing this score to anyone, unless they are hardcore fans of the film or its composer.


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