Movie Review: Score gives film music an overdue spotlight, then talks over it

The role of film composer is a crucial yet relatively uncelebrated one—this despite a movie’s score often doing 90 percent of the emotional lifting. (For proof of its importance, look no further than all those popular “melodica” covers on YouTube.) As gushingly expressed by director James Cameron near the beginning of Score: A Film Music Documentary, it’s “the heart and soul of the film,” absolutely essential to a movie’s success, and a subject deserving of a spotlight bigger than an annual Academy Awards montage. And so first-time director Matt Schrader aims to rescue this often overlooked world of film music from the background, primarily by yakking over it.

Part history lesson, part educational film, part time-killer for tourists at Universal Studios (right down to the requisite filler blather from Leonard Maltin), Score is a loving tribute that approaches its subject with a hooray-for-Hollywood reverence that people …

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