As of today I am officially the drum major for the Needham High School Marching Band! In honor of this event I shall do a music related blog about movie soundtracks! Since I’m clearly a very musical person, a film’s score and soundtrack is often just as important as the quality of the movie itself. So, here we go!
An Education — As I mentioned yesterday, this soundtrack is fantastic. It’s a great culmination of ’60s Jazz and big band, with a little bit of French pop from the time, in addition to some modern tracks (for example there’s one by Modest Mouse). Overall, it’s a fantastic listen, and a great look back to that time. My favorite tracks include “On The Rebound” by Floyd Cramer, “Sous le ciel de Paris” by Juliette Greco, and “A Sunday Kind of Love” by Beth Rowley.
Brideshead Revisited — To be honest, this film was not great. It was kind of a neat little perspective into the ’20s, but overall not great. The soundtrack on the other hand is great. A symphonic soundtrack with a lot of piano melodies and sweeping violins, it’s a great classical background. Of course, if you’re not a classical person like me, this might not be your cup of tea, but it is a great one.
Ciderhouse Rules— This is a fantastic movie, a perfect adaptation of John Irving’s novel, and the soundtrack is simply beautiful. Scored by Rachel Portman the main theme, primarily expressed through piano with full orchestra is gorgeous–perfectly bittersweet, an amazing fit to the tone of the film.
Pride and Prejudice — Both the original and remake of the movie are fantastic, but the soundtrack that I hold so dear is from the most current rendition. Scored by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the themes are simply moving. I’ve listened to it dozens of times, and watched the movie repeatably and it still brings me to tears.
Up in the Air — This soundtrack has a great mix of stuff. The original music composed for the movie (done by Rolfe Kent) is a little bland, but there’s a fantastic Graham Nash song entitled “Be Yourself” that I find myself unable to stop listening to once I’ve started. In addition, there is a fantastic blues rendition of “This Land is Your Land” by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings that I recommend to everyone.
(500) Days of Summer — I was not as enamored with this film as everyone else seemed to be (I didn’t think it was bad, just not fantastic), but it did have a great soundtrack. I have a million favorites from this one, (Carla Bruni is even on it!) but my absolute must listen tos are “She’s Got You High” by Mumm-Ra (which unfortunately is not a band on iTunes…), “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates (Hall & Oates is ALWAYS a good idea, soundtrack or no–I mean, you gotta love the mullets), and any of the Regina Spektor songs on it, including all of her other stuff. Oh yeah, The Smiths are great too.
Danny Elfman — No, this is not a movie that you’ve just never heard of. Although I’m not as much of a fanatic of this composer as I used to be, I still really like his stuff. He’s done everything from Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas to all other Tim Burton films, such as Weird Science and Batman. He also did the most current Spiderman movies, which I think were done really well, so you should check them out.
Some other movies that I have to mention that have great soundtracks and/or scores are The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone, Avatar by James Horner (who although always, for whatever reason, writes horrendous ballads, seems to be able to put together a great score), just kind of an overall mention of Alan Menken, who’s done like every single Disney movie, and Hans Zimmer who has done everything.
There are so many more I could mention, and I didn’t even touch musicals (since I did a different musical post I thought I’d let it be in this one), and didn’t make it to half of my favorites just the ones I’ve been most infatuated with recently.