Movie Soundtrack

Reservation Road

Composed by: Mark Isham

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            It all happened at Reservation Road.  The Learner family, on their way home after attending a recital in which 10-year-old son Ethan performed cello beautifully, stops at a gas station on Reservation Road.  Dwight Arno, driving his son home from the Red Sox game they attended, also ends up on Reservation Road.  A simple act of stopping at a gas station becomes a life-shattering event leaving one child dead and a grieving father seeking revenge upon the hit and run driver who murdered his son.  Reservation Road, starring Joaquin Pheonix, Jennifer Connelly, Elle Fanning, Mark Ruffalo and Mira Sorvino, is based on a novel of the same name written by John Burnham Schwartz, who, along with Director Terry George, adapted it to the screenplay version.

            The soundtrack of Reservation Road was composed by Mark Isham, a composer with over 50 film scores and several jazz and New Age music albums under his belt.  New York-born Isham began his career as a trumpet player for the Oakland and San Francisco Symphanies and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.  He later went on to play in jazz and rock bands and began to explore electronic music.  Combining interests in both classical and electronic music, Isham began to compose music for both film and television.  He has won awards for his compositions for the movies Blade and Crash and television series such as Family Law and EZ Streets.  Isham has also earned nominations for his work on the musical scores of Nell, Men of Honor, A River Runs Through It, Fire in the Sky, Chicago Hope and more.  He is also known for his work on the musical scores of Life as a House, October Sky, Rules of Engagement and more.

            Given the subject matter of this film, there is no way that the soundtrack of Reservation Road could be anything but dark.  In fact, it is downright depressing.  The majority of the 22 track featured in this soundtrack are rather short Ė two and a half minutes seems to be the average time for each track.  As the soundtrack progresses, the music turns from sadness to ominous as the person responsible for the crime suffers at the guilt of not having reported it and the father of the murdered child seeks to exact revenge.  Podcasts seems to be the most ominous of the tracks, with reverberation techniques used to add a spook-factor to the sound. 

            The Reservation Road Soundtrack is very well suited to the movie.  The composition perfectly reflects the subject matter.  But is the soundtrack special enough to add to your music collection.  I, for one, donít think so.  Perhaps if you found this soundtrack at a bargain price, it would be worth the effort to at least check it out, but I doubt you would want to keep it. 


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