After having been exposed to the wondrous beauty of Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to Bruckheimer's 'Pearl Harbor', I was thrilled to hear Portman's soundtrack to the similar WW2 film, 'Hart's War'. The composer manages to weave some loving and memorable melodies that are at once stirring and dramatic. Of the fourteen tracks on this CD I was absolutely bowled over by many of them, in fact the whole score is weaved together like a symphonic suite that makes the most out of strings and full orchestra to telling effect. The story may not be one of the best on screen but Portman's soundtrack definitely rises above the mediocre.
Portman is also gifted with a touch for melody (heard in the tellingly touching 'Chocolat') and at times the music tends to be rather sentimental but, I thought, entirely appropriate. Decca have produced a wonderful album with sound that is as thrilling as one could imagine and a few stills from the film that touch up the respective atmosphere. At 45 minutes, it is again quite short but at least the quality is really fine.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech