Press

Film Music Magazine Names THE LOVERS as one of the TEN BEST SCORES of 2017

THE LOVERS Soundtrack Review (Mandy Hoffman / Milan Records)

"Azazel Jacobs’ witty, French-styled movie about a roundelay of cheaters is about as low key and indie as you can get, which is all the more reason to grace it with an impossibly romantic orchestral score by Mandy Hoffman. Certainly knowing something about falling head over heels with her work on Amazon’s “I Love Dick,” Hoffman channels the string-swooning, harp glistening ghosts of such incurably romantic melodists as Georges Delerue and Nino Rota for a thematically lovely score that’s as big as the movie is small, in all the right ways. Rarely have American scores of this type captured the starry-eyed, waltzing magic of blissful attraction, the score practically singing with unbridled passion. It’s an ironic counterpoint that also enriches the comedy of characters that’d seemingly rather not speak at all. And when the almost perfect affairs begin to collapse, Hoffman’s impossibly lush approach isn’t afraid to go for drama that might befit a Shakespearean tragedy. But all’s well that ends well in Hoffman’s witty, heartfelt dance that doesn’t stint on the strings and crashing cymbals for a rapturous, yet quite droll score that will likely make you fall in love again with a dearly departed style of unabashedly emotional scoring that, like its suddenly interested husband and wife, certainly isn’t past its prime in Hoffman’s wonderfully attuned hands."

See the full list and article here.

Daniel Schweiger of Film Music Magazine

From Interview With Mandy Hoffman

"The American indie “The Lovers” delightfully has it both ways, no more so than in its gorgeously swooning score by Mandy Hoffman...But listening to Hoffman’s wondrously full-blooded thematic score will likely make cineastes think they’re back in the Gaelic glory days, a sound whose waltzing orchestral richness ironically belies a quite intimate indie film – music that captures the spell of rekindled romance, as well as the moral blowback that must ultimately arrive."

You can read the whole Film Music Magazine interview here.

Glenn Kenny of RogerEbert.com

From The Lovers

"The first thing that really hits you about 'The Lovers' is not its muted color palette, ever-evocative of a smog-suffused Southern California dusk, but its musical score. A lush, romantic through line of melody, performed by a whole orchestra, with passages reminiscent of Ravel, Debussy, even Wagner. The score is by Mandy Hoffman, a longtime collaborator with this film’s director, Azazel Jacobs."

Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle

From 'Lovers' A Sincere-Sardonic Portrait Of Middle-Age Despair

But really it's very much it's own thing, a movie with a singular vision and sensibility.The easiest way to describe that sensibility, because it's worth describing, is to start with Mandy Hoffman's score.  It is a full-on classic Hollywood soundtrack, surging and commenting on the action, insisting on the importance of these lives, not in a naive way, but in a self-conscious and knowing way.  At times, the romanticism of the music borders on a wise-guy response to the bizarre behavior of these characters, and yet it's always emphatically sincere.

The music is not quite saying, "Life has meaning," but it is saying, "Let's assume life has meaning," and "This is real for the characters."  The music is combined with performances that are not inflicted for laughs, but are serious, and with situations that would be comic in any other context.  The result is this wonderful double thing of a movie that's distancing and yet involving, absurd and yet heartfelt, extreme and yet small-scale and human.

Jason Bailey of Playlist

From ‘Hala’: Geraldine Viswanathan Turns In Another Star-Making Performance In This Beautiful Coming-Of-Age Drama [Sundance Review]

"...Mandy Hoffman’s score is an elegant and occasionally unnerving counterpoint (and a relief, considering how easy it would be to score this story with the kind of easy, push-button, “feel this” music that’s infested indie drama as of late)."

Peter Debruge of Variety 

From Terri:  Jacobs' slow-building portrait of a late bloomer makes this poetic pic an outsider even among outsider movies

"Though the film's open-hearted tone springs directly from ...beautiful, sun-bright lensing and Mandy Hoffman's soulful, empathy-inducing score..."

John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter

From 'The Lovers': Film Review

"Smart, unpredictable performances by Debra Winger and Tracy Letts and an uncommonly crucial score by Mandy Hoffman ensure that the picture's odd nature won't be misconstrued as indecisiveness..."

David Sims of The Atlantic

From The Lovers Is A Strange Tale of Matrimonial Harmony

"Through it all, a swooning,  boldly orchestral score by Mandy Hoffman plays. It’s incongruous with the mundane setting and story being told, but perfectly matches the thrill of Mary and Michael’s new attraction." 

Katie Walsh of The Chicago Tribune

From Movie Review: 'The Lovers' Is An Exploration Of The Way That Love Can Be a Many-Splendored Thing

"One of the unique stylistic choices that Jacobs makes with "The Lovers" is the grand, sweeping orchestral score, composed by Mandy Hoffman. It's unexpected for a smaller romantic indie drama, but it gives the film a sense of a romantic epic while following the quotidian routine of this couple. It adds a layer of artifice to the film, signifying that this is a heightened reality, and infuses every frame with drama and romance."

Dan Mecca of The Film Stage

From 'Hala' Sundance 2019 Review 

"Aided by a beautiful score from Mandy Hoffman, the narrative goes where expected while never feeling tired or overly familiar."

David Edelstein of New York Magazine

From Movie Review: The Lovers Is A Very Smart Movie About A Dumb Idea

"With its waltz-like score and farcical symmetry, The Lovers is about as full as a movie can be..." 

Joey Nolfi of Entertainment Weekly

From The Lovers: EW Review

"He dresses the picture with Mandy Hoffman’s jovial, string-based score that expertly recalls puffy big screen romances of yesteryear, nudging at how the complexities of love have outgrown the mold, as Michael and Mary soon discover."

Jake Meaney of Pop Matters

From his review of The GoodTimesKid in Non-sequiturs

"But its real ace-in-the-hole, which makes it stand out above the parade of inferior, low-budget peers, is its buoyant, ambitious orchestral score by first-time film composer Mandy Hoffman. A riot of clashing styles and loopy refrains, referencing everything from musicals to spy films to Westerns, her compositions provide vital aural clues to the “action”, which is mostly free of dialogue and, well, free of significance too, it seems. But it’s also just a lot of fun to listen to on its own, and I hope beyond hope that it somehow gets a separate release as a CD."

Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times

From Review: Amazon's 'I Love Dick' Makes An Uneasy Transition From Page To Screen

"On a purely sensual level I would note the Southwest-flavored score by Mandy Hoffman..."

Dan Callahan of The Wrap

From 'The Lovers' Review: Debra Winger and Tracy Letts Rekindle Their Marital Spark

"He takes a real chance by allowing musician Mandy Hoffman to create the kind of full-blown and near constant score with violins that hasn't been heard much since the early 1990s, and this music really bouys the scenes up and makes them sparkle."

Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post

From 'The Lovers', with Debra Winger and Tracy Letts, Is A Charming Late-In-Life Sex Comedy"

"Anchored by vivid and masterfully calibrated performances from Winger and Letts, and sent aloft by a lilting orchestral score that infuses the most everyday banalities with big, melodramatic emotions, the movie is a tarnished ode to aging, compromise and new beginnings."

Noah Gittell of Washington City Paper

From Azazel Jacobs' The Lovers Skillfully Threads The Line Between Comedy And Tragedy

"The engaging score by Mandy Hoffman reflects its ethos of unpredictability, shifting so frequently between major and minor keys that we can never even settle on a feeling, allowing us to ride the waves of its characters’ passion."

Kimber Myers of The Playlist

From Azazel Jacobs' 'The Lovers' Is A Wonderfully Adult Romantic Comedy (Tribeca Review)

"The score from Jacobs’ frequent collaborator Mandy Hoffman is a sweeping orchestral one, full of strings and emotional builds. It emphasizes that what we’re watching is a blooming romance, even though it’s between people who have been married for decades."

Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times

From In 'The Lovers', Debra Winger and Tracy Letts Give Us An Achingly Poignant Portrait of A Modern Marriage

"But then something wondrous and sublimely simple happens. Perhaps encouraged by the ever-present caress of Mandy Hoffman’s score, Mary and Michael find themselves falling back into each other’s arms, shocked to realize that, after years of emotional numbness, they still have real, passionate feelings for each other."

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of A.V. Club

From For The Dead-End Couple of The Lovers, Even Breaking Up Is A Compromise

"Employing a clean camera style, he treats the office parking lots, dens, and kitchens where so much of the movie unfolds as intimate blank spaces—beige boxes, akin to the classic black-box stage of a small theater, with Hoffman’s score as the counterpoint that, like a play, asks the audience to imagine what the characters see."

Christopher Bourne of Screen Anarchy

From Tribeca 2017 Review: THE LOVERS, Break Up To Make Up, That's All They Do

"Jacobs is also greatly aided by the lush, waltz-like orchestral score by Mandy Hoffman, which also lends grand romantic strains to the comic romantic complications."

Eric Kohn of Indiewire 

From Tracy Letts and Debra Winger Are Brilliant As A Couple Who Rediscover Passion In Azazel Jacobs' "The Lovers' - Tribeca Review

"Set to an ebullient score by Mandy Hoffman, “The Lovers” has a storybook quality that allows the serendipity of its clever premise to work far better than it should." 

Pete Hammond of Deadline

From 'The Lovers' Review: Debra Winger & Tracy Letts Soar in A24's Wickedly Funny Tale of Marriage Gone Sour

"Jacobs is in complete command of his material, even to the point of letting composer Mandy Hoffman take a real risk with a big score that could have been disastrously intrusive on the proceedings but manages to strike just the right tone." 

Christopher Gray of Slant

From The Lovers

"The film's opening act unfolds in arch, choreographed parallels, united by a ubiquitous orchestral score that labors mightily to elevate the script's mild humor into a rarified romantic farce....Like Mandy Hoffman's willfully obtrusive score, every fussed-over line, nuance of posture, and methodical camera movement in the film draws attention to its construction."

Colin Covert of The Star Tribune

From Ponder This: Debra Winger's 'The Lovers' Is A Thinking Person's Comedy, May 18, 2017

"Writer/director Azazel Jacobs sets up a moody sensibility. He chooses things carefully. From the bland beige emptiness of the home and look-alike work offices that his characters occupy to the smoothly composed serenading-strings soundtrack to the inspired casting, he keeps the laughs from feeling cheap."

Matt Zoller Seitz of The New York Times

From his article: A Father and Son Tell Their Own Tales of Love and Loss

"Shot in ripe color on 35-millimeter stock reportedly stolen from a Hollywood production, and featuring a Mandy Hoffman score that suggests Nino Rota music performed by an orchestra that's being gradually digested by a boa constrictor, "The GoodTimesKid" finds poetry in wordless scenes of observation..."

 

 

AWARDS

2006 Pasadena City College Music Department

  • Faculty Honors in Composition
  • Best Electronic Musician

 

 

PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

"ONE OF THE 10 BEST SCORES OF 2017" - FILM MUSIC MAGAZINE

"SOULFUL, EMPATHY ENDUCING SCORE" - VARIETY

"AN UNCOMMONLY CRUCIAL SCORE" - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"REMINISCENT OF RAVEL, DEBUSSY, EVEN WAGNER" - ROGER EBERT.COM

"AN ELEGANT AND OCCASIONALLY UNNERVING COUNTERPOINT" - PLAYLIST

"ON A PURELY SENSUAL LEVEL" - THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

"A SWOONING, BOLDLY ORCHESTRAL SCORE" - THE ATLANTIC

"A BEAUTIFUL SCORE" - THE FILM STAGE

"MAKES THEM SPARKLE" - THE WRAP

"AN EBULLIENT SCORE" - INDIE WIRE

"ITS REAL ACE-IN-THE-HOLE" - POP MATTERS

"GORGEOUSLY SWOONING SCORE"  - FILM MUSIC MAGAZINE

LISTEN NOW

  1. THE LOVERS Chinese Food (Orchestral)

    THE LOVERS Chinese Food (Orchestral)

    0:00
  2. THE LOVERS Intro & Title (Orchestral)

    THE LOVERS Intro & Title (Orchestral)

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  3. LITTLE RUNAWAY Secrets  (String Quartet)

    LITTLE RUNAWAY Secrets (String Quartet)

    0:00
  4. LIDSCHLAG DER LIBELLE ODER DIE SCHADELNACHT AM HIMMELSZELT (String Quartet)

    LIDSCHLAG DER LIBELLE ODER DIE SCHADELNACHT AM HIMMELSZELT (String Quartet)

    0:00
  5. GRACE (Orchestral)

    GRACE (Orchestral)

    0:00
  6. I LOVE DICK Dear Dick (Guitar)

    I LOVE DICK Dear Dick (Guitar)

    0:00
  7. TERRI Coney Island (Piano)

    TERRI Coney Island (Piano)

    0:00
  8. MOP & LUCKY Theme (Rock)

    MOP & LUCKY Theme (Rock)

    0:00
  9. DOLL & EM The Play (Piano)

    DOLL & EM The Play (Piano)

    0:00
  10. I LOVE DICK Day Drinking (Guitar)

    I LOVE DICK Day Drinking (Guitar)

    0:00
  11. Lost Somewhere (Jazz)

    Lost Somewhere (Jazz)

    0:00
  12. ANA MARIA IN NOVELA LAND Dangerous Love (Orchestral)

    ANA MARIA IN NOVELA LAND Dangerous Love (Orchestral)

    0:00
  13. THE LOVERS Something Weird Happened / Mary Cries (Orchestral)

    THE LOVERS Something Weird Happened / Mary Cries (Orchestral)

    0:00
  14. LIKE NEW The Crib / Facing Ghosts (Electronic)

    LIKE NEW The Crib / Facing Ghosts (Electronic)

    0:00

NEWS

Winter 2019 - Sundance was a blast!  HALA got picked up by Apple.  Also scored a short called REMEMBER that features a solo piano and an orchestral score.  Teamed up with a co-wirter for an indie feature called HONESTY WEEKEND that features a quirky, sexy score with lots of guitars and a baritone sax.  Also doing an orchestral arrangement for a concert event.  More to come!

Fall 2018 - So excited that HALA will be premiering at Sundance 2019 in the US Dramatic Competition! 

Sept 2018 -  The Future is Female was spectacular! What a glorious evening.  Also premiered GRACE at the Boston Film Festival, and what a great audience.  There was the Q&A with director Devin Adair, financier Laure Sudreau, and actor Tate Donovan.

August 2018 - Getting all prepped up for a big concert on Sept 4 at The Wiltern in LA, where the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra will perform the world premiere of my piece, "The Forest and the Trees".  It is part of The Future is Female  - A Concert Celebrating Women Composers, and I am one of 12 composers.  So honored to be included!  Click the link to buy tickets!

May 2018 -  I will be speaking on a panel on Weds May 23 at the Independent Film Project Labs addressing relationships between directors and composers.  On Thurs May 24, the first film I ever scored  - THE GOODTIMESKID - will be screening at Metrograph Theater in NYC.

Spring 2018 - Working on a new feature length comedy that has a very lively, fun score, and some personal projects in the works.

Winter 2018 - Finished an orchestral score for a beautiful film called HALA for Overbrook Entertainment that features a string quartet juxtaposed with a 30pc string orchestra creating a "push-pull" effect.  Got to work with some extremely talented humans on this one!  

Fall 2017 - Wrapped a delicate electronic score for the short film "Like New" which touches on some heavy material.  Looking forward to see where the film goes.  Starting work on a wonderful new feature led by a talented writer-director.  

September 2017- Participating in BMI's Fall Workshop with composer Rick Baitz and working on some short films.  

June 16, 2017 - Over at Avatar Studios again, this time finishing up the mix for the score for the feature film "Grace", written/directed by the talented Devin Adair.  The score came out super nice and marries some warm piano and guitar with some psychedelic synths and a live 40piece string orchestra.  

Coming Soon - I will be speaking live at the studio with radio host and film music aficionado, Devon Goldberg, on Tuesday May 30 from 7-8pm EST on WFMU.  We will be discussing the scores of The Lovers and I Love Dick.

May 12, 2017 - I Love Dick streams on Amazon and the score is available as a soundtrack on Amazon Prime Music.  Track #12 "Dear Dick" can also be found on "Best of What's New on Amazon Prime" playlist (along with Garth Brooks and Ariana Grande) as well as "Wild West Scores" alongside my heroes Ennio Morricone, Elmer Bernstein, and Carter Burwell.

May 5, 2017 - The Lovers Soundtrack has a digital release today!  CD coming on June 2- download or preorder here.   Also, the film is in theaters now in NYC, LA, and SF.  The reviews have been very kind and there are a lot of mentions of the score - make sure to click on the Press page to check them out.

May 1, 2017 - Film Music Magazine published a fun article about my Lovers score.  Check it out!

April 22, 2017 -   The Lovers premieres at the Tribeca Film Fest in the Spotlight section to a warm audience and reception.  Reviews are starting to come in and people are really enjoying the film!  Two more dates in the festival, then a few private screenings in LA and NYC and an official theatrical release / soundtrack release on Friday May 5.

April, 2017 -  Click here to preorder "The Lovers" soundtrack on CD!

April, 2017 - The trailer is out for "I Love Dick".  I scored episodes 3-8 and they will all drop on May 12 on Amazon.

 

 

 

March, 2017 - Good news folks!  The Lovers will have a digital soundtrack released on the same day of the premiere (May 5, 2017) on Milan Records.  On June 2, a CD version will be released and possibly a vinyl release will happen in August.

Also, I'm starting a new feature that I'm very excited about and have some great projects on deck.  It's been a great year.

January, 2017 - Recorded "The Lovers" score with a 50piece orchestra in this acoustic dream of a chapel in Seattle and mixed it with the chief engineer over at the historic Avatar Studios in NYC.  Sounds incredible - samples and more photos to come.

December, 2016 -  Finishing up the score for the upcoming A24 feature, "The Lovers", written and directed by my long time collaborator,  Azazel Jacobs.  It is quite a gem of a film and will feature a fully live score performed by a 50 piece orchestra.  Collaborating with the talented Patrick Zimmerli as the orchestrator. 

September, 2016 -  Starting a new feature and doing music supervision on another, both terrific projects.  Going to be a fantastic Fall.  More to come..

August 17, 2016 - "Love, New York" will screen at the edgy Bushwick Film Festival, and has a cool new poster:

 

July, 2016 - Wrapped up a score for a short film called "Here Lies Us" by a new director, James Rohan.   The film has a beautiful bluish photographic tone to it and builds itself upon subtlty and nuance, so I ended up writing a very minimalistic and ambient electronic score that nods to the early days of synth music, pulling inspiration from my heroes Vangelis and Brian Eno.  

July, 2016 - Lots of new projects in the works and on the horizon, so stay tuned for updates.  I've added a LOT of tracks to my soundcloud page - feel free to skim around.

June, 2016 - Joined forces again with Dionna McMillian on a commercial for a fantstic new service and app called My Fave Places, which should go live soon.  Also did a piano arrangement for a song for a new film by A24.  More to come on that soon!

April, 2016 -  Wrapped up Love, New York and ended up supervising for a jazz song written by and performed by Slim Zwerling.  Working on a commissioned art project now and recently finished up a promo documentary for The Guide Dogs of America.  

Coming April 4 - The Mop & Lucky Files Season 2 airs, featuring a fun score by yours truly. 

March 2, 2016 - Some new projects in the works.  Stay tuned!

Feb 3, 2016 - Mop & Lucky Files trailer is out - show coming soon!

Jan, 2016 -  A new comedy series I scored called The Mop & Lucky Files will air soon - stay tuned!  Also, starting work on a new short Love, New York by a talented up and coming director, Dionna McMillian. 

Dec 4, 2015 -  I have been uploading a lot more music to my soundcloud page.  Since my style is so eclectic, I've organized tracks by genre, enabling the listener to easily skip around and listen in the way they want to.  I will be continuously adding tracks to this page, so check back in or feel free to email me via the contact page with any questions.

Dec 1, 2015 - Finished a score to a series called The Mop & Lucky Files that features some really fun music.  Release date not announced yet, but looking like sometime early in the new year.  I scored the second season and coincidentally the first season's composer shares my last name but we've never met.

July 31, 2015 -  HBO has a start date for Doll & Em set for Saturday, Sept 13, 2015.  Get more info here.

July 2015 -  Having a blast doing a vintagey 70s score for this series.  Details to come..

June 3 2015 - Doll & Em airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK.  It was a blast working on the new series, revisiting some old themes and making some fine new ones.  Will air in the US on HBO again this September.

Mar 2015 - Beginning work on Doll & Em Season Two.  Lots of great cameos again in this season.  Stay tuned!

 

Feb 27th, 2015 -  Ana Maria in Novela Land opens today in AMC theaters! 

Jan 2015 - Doing a lot of experimental writing, more to come...

Dec 14, 2014 - I've uploaded a few tracks from the forthcoming Ana Maria in Novela Land.  It was a tough decision choosing tracks as there was a lot music for this film and I loved them all.  Sadly, this was Elizabeth Peña's last film, and it was an honor to score her performance.  Read more here.

Dec 8, 2014 - Composing some music for the Governor's Island Art Fair fundraiser.  Love this fair and honored to help out my fellow artists.

Dec 3, 2014 - Doll & Em is picked up by HBO for a second season! Read more about it here.  Excited to be part of this great project.

Nov 21, 2014 - Just wrapped a fun, fun feature with lots and lots of music.  "Ana Maria in Novela Land" starring the late Elizabeth Peña, Luis Guzman, and the incredible Edy Ganem (Devious Maids) and directed by award wining Georgina Riedel.  It will be opening in theaters across the country in February.  More info to come soon as well as some musical samples.

Sept 10, 2014 - Great news!  "Lidschlag der Libelle oder die Schadelnaht am Himmelszelt" (Blink of the Dragonfly) will premiere at the Uppsala International Film Festival in Sweden in October.  This was a collaboration with Vienna artist Barbara Husar that was part of an art installation in a Swiss Airport in 2013.  The film is lovely and it's just fantastic that it will now be celebrated in a film environment.  Listen to the composition on the audio page.

Sept, 2014 - Some new and fun projects are stewing.  Can't wait to tell you more!  Stay tuned..

August 1, 2014 - Doll & Em premieres today at the Melbourne Internationl Film Festival.  It will screen again as a feature, with all six episodes strung together.  You can also still view it on HBO Go.  

July 28, 2014 - A song that I wrote and produced (music and lyrics)  will be appearing in a Lufthansa French web campaign.   Of course it's in French, and I sang this one myself!  Ooh la la!  Check out the track on the Audio page, titled "I Want To Touch You."  Very different from my film stylings.

July 15, 2014 - Terri has now become available on iTunes in many new countries, including the UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Spain, and Japan.  Of course it's available here in the US too.

  

March 19, 2014 - Doll & Em premieres on HBO tonight at 10pm.  Tune in!

Sept 30, 2013 - Good news!  HBO has picked up Doll & Em!  It should air some time during or after the spring of 2014.  

Oct 10, 2013 - Doll & Em has its WORLD PREMIERE at the 57th London Film Festival, with all episodes showing at once in the style of a feature.  Due to air in the UK on the Sky Network in February of 2014.  

May 15, 2013 - Just wrapped up a new mini-series called "Doll & Em".  It's a gem written by and starring Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells, and directed by a longtime collaborator of mine, Azazel Jacobs.  Due to air in the fall of 2013 on the UK Sky Network.

And also just finished another collaboration with Vienna artist Barbara Husar for her video "Lidschlag der Libelle oder die Schadelnaht am Himmelszelt" that was part of an installation in a Swiss airport.  Listen to this string quartet on the Audio page, titled "Quartet for Libelle".