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  • Stefan Riedlinger

The Holiday - Hans Zimmer - Soundtrack Review

This is the second time, I am posting a review during the Christmas holidays, and I have to thank you all for supporting me and reading my posts in the last months. Without you, I would be a writer without an audience….

The movie

This year, Hans Zimmer’s “The Holiday”, a lovely soundtrack for a lovely movie.

"The Holiday" is a 2006 romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers. Co-produced by Bruce A. Block, it was filmed in both California and England, and stars Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz as Iris and Amanda, two lovelorn women from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, who arrange a home exchange to escape heartbreak during the Christmas and holiday season. Jude Law and Jack Black were cast as the film's leading men Graham and Miles, with Eli Wallach, Shannyn Sossamon, Edward Burns and Rufus Sewell playing key supporting roles.

I am a big fan of the director Nancy Meyers. She gave us great movies such as “What Women Want”, “Something's Gotta Give”, “It's Complicated” and recently “The Intern”. Her second film as director “What Women Want” was the most successful film ever directed by a woman, taking in $183 million in the United States. Congratulations Nancy!

Nancy Meyers likes to work with Hans Zimmer, so she also hired him for “The Holiday”. The plot is simple but just right for some romantic scenes. Filmed in both California and England, Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet are playing two women from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, who temporarily exchange homes to escape the heartbreak during the holiday season. Jude Law and Jack Black are the movie's leading men, with Eli Wallach in a great supporting role. Of course, this movie is not such sophisticated as “What Woman Want”, but it is a heartwarming movie that I watched with my family two years ago at Christmas, and we had a wonderful time.

The music

I personally think that this kind of movie is best for Hans Zimmer and his ability to compose music. This score is one of my favorite Hans Zimmer ones because it is full of melodies, not overwhelming with his typical bombastic sound, and has some nice solo parts for guitar, piano, percussion and woodwinds. This is Zimmer at his best, and tracks such as “Kayak for One” are so typical for Hans’s way of composing music. I can spend hours listening to this music. Ennio Morricone and his music to “Once upon a time” plays a big part in the movie, so the first track “Maestro” is a kind of homage to the Italian musical genius, and one of the most enjoyable tracks of the album, same for “Kiss Goodbye”.

I found a fan made video with the music of “Maestro”, quite nice to watch and listen to:

Of course, Zimmer uses for this score again his co-composers, but he also hired Hector Pereira with whom he worked together on “Spanglish”, the far better score than “The Holiday”, but it is Christmas time, so I choose to discuss “The Holiday”.

It is a highly enjoyable score even though there are no real highlights, it is just easy-listening music, but wonderful to listen during Christmas or after a hard day at work. One of the best tracks is “Dream Kitchen”, a wonderful scene in the movie, and here you have everything that made Hans Zimmer famous, a heartwarming and funny piece! “Definitely Unexpected” and “For Nancy”, more jazzy, are typical for Zimmer’s composing style of the 80s, so it is a kind of looking back.

Because there is not such variation in the score, it is difficult to give you suggestions what are the best tracks. Except the already mentioned, I like very much “Three Musketeers” because of the piano part, “Busy Guy” and “Light My Fire” because of Heitor’s way of playing the guitar, and “Gumption” and “Cry” because these tracks are bringing the album to a nice ending.

I found the scene to “Cry”, so if you already did not watch the movie, do not watch this clip:

And another spoiler, but this is such a great scene, and the smile at the end saying “Yes, I did it!” ist so great to watch:

So, overall it is not the typical Hans Zimmer bombastic score, and also not as good as “Spanglish” that I will discuss in a few weeks, but “The Holiday” is still just a nice score for a nice movie by Nancy Meyers, the right movie and the right music for some quiet hours during Christmas, nothing more but also nothing less, so enjoy it and see you all next week with the last review of 2015...

Merry Christmas for you all!

Copyright © Stefan Riedlinger, 2015, all rights reserved. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Stefan Riedlinger.

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