" The thematic inclusions vs. Thomas Newman "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the regular release
The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 American biographical drama film about the rise of pornographic magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt, and his subsequent clash with the law. Starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, and Edward Norton, the movie was positively accepted in the year of its release (receiving 2 Oscar nominations for best actor and best director). Music wise Thomas Newman continued to deliver what he could do best, namely bring it quirky, eccentric and just typically him.
The People vs. Larry Flint can best be described as Thomas Newman going eclectic. This is a soundtrack that throws everything together, from quirky original music to classic songs to classical pieces to musical sfx. It's like every ingredient is here, but it doesn't mesh. And the man who had to mesh it was Thomas Newman and then the soundtrack producer. Now you receive background music that has a taste for the eccentric.
Call Thomas Newman what you will, but his mind sure works on mysterious ways. There's very little melody if even a theme moment for you to discover. In fact, it's easier to just go along with the whole sound design of the music. From the moody and eclectic sound design of "Tick Tick Tick" to the zany guitar moments in "Jail Bait" and "Twenty-One". From the disturbing clashes of noise in "Shooting (Georgia, 1978)" to the atmospheric "Porn Again". From the quirky rhythms of "Lewd and Shameful Manner" and "The Half with the Brain" to the brief moments of actual dramatic music in "Scumbag", "Falwell Verdict (Virginia, 1984)" and "Los Angeles, 1987" to the fun Texan violins in "Kentucky, 1952". Newman's score is hardly memorable, but effective once again.
In fact the saving grace has to come from the classic songs and the classical inclusions of Antonin Dvorak. I think it was always meant to be: Thomas Newman = effective sound design // classical music = important scenes. Hence the reason the Stabat Mater of Antonin Dvorak receives its crowning achievement at the end of this score. Honestly I don't know if even Thomas Newman fans will get a kick out of this one, because the impact of Thomas Newman is very little here. His thematic ideas are non existent and his quirky ideas run amok from start to finish. That the songs and classical inclusions give the soundtrack some weight shows perhaps why The People vs. Larry Flint was never meant to be a score people would talk about.
1. Eggsplat (0.12)
2. Kentucky, 1952 (2.47)
3. Hello Walls: Faron Young (2.26)
4. Hang On Sloopy: The McCoys (3.54)
5. Tick Tick Tick (1.50)
6. Jail Bait (1.09)
7. Lewd and Shameful Manner (0.55)
8. Cold Turkey Pervert (1.14)
9. Battle Hymn of the Republic: Ruby Wilson And Kurt Clayton (1.08)
10. My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord: The Collins Chapel Youth Choir (1.47)
11. Shooting (Georgia, 1978) (2.43)
12. Porn Again (1.17)
13. Polonaise From "Rusalka" * (0.58)
14. Triple Dose (0.57)
15. Surgery (North Carolina, 1983) (0.32)
16. Fanfare and March From "Dalibor" ** (2.19)
17. The Half with the Brain (1.57)
18. Psycho Ward (0.35)
19. Althea (1.17)
20. I'm Your Boogie Man: K.C. & The Sunshine Band (4.05)
21. Twenty-One (0.58)
22. Scumbag (1.52)
23. Deep Depravity (0.40)
24. Falwell Verdict (Virginia, 1984) (0.59)
25. Happy You And Merry Me: Mae Questil (0.42)
26. Los Angeles, 1987 (1.20)
27. Stabat Mater Dolorosa (Ending) From "Stabat Mater" * (1.11)
28. Rosefall (0.41)
29. Stabat Mater Dolorosa (Beginning) From "Stabat Mater" * (7.35) Excellent track
30. Dream Weaver: Gary Wright (4.18)
* Composed By Antonin Dvorak
** Composed By ""Bedrich Smetana
Total Length: 54.18