This is a small score, recorded with only a handful of musicians and without the grand, sweeping scale of Burwell's most memorable work like Rob Roy or Conspiracy Theory. However, director Bill Condon has compensated for the film's limited scope by giving Burwell huge swathes of the film to work with. Many of the tracks are five minutes long.
It's rare for a director to trust his composer so much, giving over such sizable chunks of a film to music. The score unites the film beautifully, especially the opening sequence, and the music stands up just as well as an album.
This is not huge, hummable "Star Wars" type film scoring, but lovely, tender romantic music for a deeply human and intellgent film. Every new score by Carter Burwell is cause for celebration and this is no exception.