Music from the Motion Picture Mona Lisa Smile - Various - Much better than the movie

2006-03-29 18:34

So it's an absolute surprise to discover that the "music from the motion picture" is clearly tailored towards a mature, discerning listener. Translated? Tori Amos swings stylishly into the nostalgic standards "You Belong to Me" and "Murder He Says" as does Celine Dion on the Rodgers and Hart classic ""Bewitched." While both Alison Krauss and Barbra Streisand deliver the requisite sophisticated diva sheen on shimmering renditions of Irving Berlin's "What'll I Do" and Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" respectively.

As far as the guys go, Seal may carbon copy Nat King Cole's seductive vocal jazz croon on the lilting "Mona Lisa" but has a lush big band romanticism that is impossible to deny. It's a hip retro groove the Trevor Horn Orchestra are effortlessly at home with on both the swinging "Istanbul" and the 50s doo wop froth of "Sh' Boom (Life Could Be a Dream"). Of course, suave 'n sexy fellow that he is Chris Isaak milks "Besame Mucho" for every ounce of Latin lounge allure. And even Elton John's "The Heart of Every Girl" is an evocative enough pop ditty managing to actually tap into a Bacharach style breeze.

Only Mandy Moore sounds horribly miscast turning Sammy Fain's delicate ballad "Secret Love" into a sugary Idols outtake. Actually if you look very closely at the liner note fine print, there's a revealing warning: "Film may contain different version of song." We can only hope so. It's a minor blip on the screen though, with Macy Gray's idiosyncratic R&B rasp adding a smoky sex appeal to the Christmas croon "Santa Baby". Hell, even the previously bland Destiny's Child diva Kelly Rowland sashays her way through Ellington's "Beginning to See the Light."

With a power trio of major Hollywood actresses including Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles heading up it's cast, it's tempting to expect the soundtrack to Mona Lisa Smile to pander openly towards its potential "chick flick" demographic. You know, a sensitive romantic drama demand a savvy teen pop parade of trashy Boyzone ballads and Britney booty shakes?

Margaret Foreman 2004/01/14 2:46 PM
Mona Lisa Smile A lovely movie with excellent music Yes
kirsty 2004/01/14 3:15 PM
Mona Lisa Smile I think that the reason the mona lisa smile is so good is because it has the star thet every one knows and everyone likes "Julia Roberts" I for one. Although it not be as sucsessful as "Lord of the Rings" But I think every movie has a chance to show there stuff and ya I would recomand it to everyone how is in need of some tears and some laughter to brigten up there day and besides every movie has a good ending and on that leaves you with that comforting feeling does it not....? Any CD that was/is Just one that leaves ONLY good memoriese
vanessa 2004/01/21 4:51 PM
baby boy its the best hip hop
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