This probably Patrick Doyle's most obscure scores, it was only released in France and thus on import everywhere else. The film wasn't released very widely and so no-one knows much about it. The title, for those of a non French speaking persuasion means 'A French Woman' - not quite so inspiring as it's rather more impressive sounding French title. It was also Doyle's second collaboration with director Regis Wargnier (their first being Indochine). The opening cue is a very jolly pastiche of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht music, with bouncing strings coming to the fore. This isn't exactly the style for the rest of the music and this melodic material doesn't appear later on. The second track introduces the main theme which is a very elegant string melody that is re-interpreted in many ways throughout the score. The second major motif is a quite typical device introduced in track 3 and features the undulating string passages that Doyle is so fond of using. This produces quite an unsettling feeling. These two motifs contribute the bulk of the scoring style for the rest of the score. I am rather under the impression that it is a rather dialogue heavy film and underscoring dialogue is difficult to do with subtlety, but to me it sounds like Doyle achieved this very well.
The one or two pleasing diversions include a wonderful dance (a Tango I think) in track 5 which starts from a simple violin start until it gets faster and more frenetic until coming to a terrific climax, but without a resolving chord, what is technically known (I think) as a suspended cadence. Well it sounds good anyway. The final few tracks provide a more eclectic selection such as the irrepressable mambo of track 14, but the crowning track of the score would have to be the penultimate track; a soprano solo very much in the Ennio Morricone style, even the soloist has Edda Dell'Orso's rich soprano voice. Of course the music is all Doyle and stands out as a highlight cue in a career which has many great highlights. For some reason, Doyle chose to include a short coda after this track, when I would suggest Une Femme Francais (the cue) would have made a fitting emotional high point to a mostly gentle and understated score. Also, the fact that it's more of a soft jazz, saxophone version of the main theme means that it rather breaks the more classical mood set down by the previous cues. Of course it's the final cue, so you just need to press stop at the right point.
I suppose if there's any problem with Une Femme Francais is that it's just a fraction too understated in some ways, but as I mentioned, I feel it's probably a dialogue heavy film and so scoring must be extremely subtle and never overplay it's hand. That having been said, the melodic material is wonderful, the occasional, unexpected diversion means that the more gentle material never becomes tiresome. As it's extremely difficult to find, I'd probably suggest that only avid Doyle fans seek it out, but I think it's worth hearing the penultimate cue at least once, it's a true gem.