The heartfelt drama film Nostalgia, is a multiple story film about different types of personal loss, explored through objects that hold nostalgic value.
This film did not get much attention at the box office earlier this year (now available on home video), but be sure not to miss the Nostalgia Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by French composer Laurent Eyquem (Copperhead, Winnie Mandela).
Even though it’s only 31 minutes long, you don’t want to miss this layered musical score. The listener has time to absorb their experiences well, as you’ll likely reflect on them long after the music has stopped.
(Note: Somehow, I did not got the chance to see this movie yet before reviewing this score. Also, some of the track titles noted below might act as spoilers.)
Eyquem bookends this soundtrack with the two best tracks, beginning with the “Opening Theme” and ending with “Moving On.” The musical pace matches the methodical, easygoing plot as the characters explore their relationships to some special memorabilia. “Emptiness” showcases this pace superbly as the piano slowly echoes the emotions.
“The Letters” has a moderate pace. First, piano and then a cello, which then matches together near the end as the piano finishes alone. The slow pace is a perfect fit, and the orchestration even allows for a long pause after the last piano note before the next track, “Emptiness,” begins. It soothes the listener with the slowest pace on the score. It ends perfectly without any frustration or unwanted anticipation. It was a wise decision to let several other tracks establish the tone first before unleashing this peaceful masterpiece.
“Opening Theme” has an impressive piano motif that even has a dramatic pause at :43, and it is eventually combined with a solo trumpet, plus cello and violin. It’s an outstanding tune. This track also ends a bit abruptly before flowing into “A Life in Pictures,” which thankfully begins slowly in low volume. It showcases the string orchestration, as does “The Granddaughter.” The introductory piano playing paves the way for the “chills-up-the-spine” string section.
“The Decision” begins with strings and showcases the cello; then the piano comes in at 1:45 almost like a totally different piece of work. Not sure about the decision-making there, but overall, it’s an average song for me.
“Ready to Say Goodbye” leans on piano and strings. The piano on this track absolutely floored me. My head felt light with emotion as the driving rhythm appealed to the percussionist in me – I wish I learned how to play the piano though.
“The Absence” is the only track with a running time over four minutes. The sustaining orchestration matches together so well while the piano punctuates the emotional payoff.
“Moving On” features the piano, followed by a cello, violin, and then a trumpet, as Eyquem smoothly adds layers to enhance the emotional experience. This track starts slowly and builds into an incredibly emotional piece with a nice touch of jazz.
“An Empty Life” begins building to a steady pace. The listener might imagine a character riding a bike or on a boat. Then the piano enters and a solo trumpet appears – the latter peacefully ends this track.
The moderate flow yields true beauty here. I was never really sad to the point of crying, but I certainly grew emotional and even melancholy while listening to this recommended score. Each character has many stories, and Eyquem reflects them in his tracks. Eyquem himself overcame a series of major tragedies, including a near fatal accident that almost cost him his right arm.
Available on Varèse Sarabande Records on digital and physical CD, the Nostalgia Original Motion Picture Soundtrack easily earns high marks (***1/2 out of four stars).
The Bleecker Street film Nostalgia is now available on home video and was directed by Mark Pellington (The Last Word, Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” video). Pellington also co-wrote the screenplay with Alex Ross Perry, who also wrote the original story. Matt Sakatani Roe does the impressive cinematography. Nostalgia stars Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Amber Tamblyn, Patton Oswalt, Catherine Keener, Ellen Burstyn, Bruce Dern, John Ortiz, and James LeGros.
- “Opening Theme”
- “A Life in Pictures”
- “The Granddaughter”
- “Lives Lived”
- “The Decision”
- “Ready to Say Goodbye”
- “An Empty Life”
- “The Letters”
- “The Absence”
- “Moving On”