Sarah and Ariana's Top Fives: Movie Music

Filed under: Top Fives

In honour of the Oscars having taken place last week, we bring you film-themed Top Fives! We realize it might have been good to post this pre-Oscars so you could download all of the wonderful movie music we have picked to get yourselves ready for the ceremony, but as usual, we're a day late and a dollar short. Blame Sarah's midterms.

Sarah's taking a page from the Oscars themselves and bringing her picks for Top 5 Movie Scores, and Ariana's introducing a new category, Top 5 Songs from a Soundtrack.

Top 5 Songs from a Soundtrack (not originally written for a movie)

by Ariana Heppner

5) Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer (from She's All That) (buy it from Amazon)

It's the song that defined romance for a generation of teenagers, and put us in the mood to accept Freddie Prinze Jr. as a dreamy heartthrob. Leigh Nash's sweet, honest vocals are the perfect complement to this refreshingly simple take on what it is that we all really want.

4) Let Go, Frou Frou (from Garden State) (buy it from Amazon)

This moody and melancholic number was used in almost every promo for the movie, and is easily the most recognizable in a soundtrack chock full of great songs. It provides the perfect background for the big romantic conclusion, both musically and lyrically.

3) Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen (from Wayne's World) (buy it from Amazon)

Don't tell me you've never given yourself a huge kink in the neck trying to recreate this epic scene.

2) I'm Shipping Up to Boston, Dropkick Murphys (from The Departed) (buy it from Amazon)

This Celtic punk anthem, the perfect mix of tradition and rebellion (much like the movie itself), is featured prominently throughout The Departed and is, when it comes right down to it, simply a kickass tune from a kickass movie.

1) In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel (from Say Anything...) (buy it from Amazon)

Featured in perhaps one of the most epic – and epically tragic – scenes from a teen movie of any kind in any time, a scene that has catapulted Lloyd Dobler to the top of every girl's Imaginary Boyfriend List since 1989. You know the one. "The world is full of guys. Be a MAN. Don't be a guy." Advice well taken, Lloyd Dobler.

Top Five Movie Scores

by Sarah Miller

I just thought I'd put a little disclaimer here: I've tried to pick scores that have been done reasonably recently, in order to avoid another list that includes Indiana Jones, Jaws and Star Wars. Those scores were all great – nay, brilliant – but it's time to move on and celebrate movies that have come out in my lifetime.

5) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Howard Shore (buy it from Amazon)

The music from The Lord of the Rings, much like everything else in the series, is epic. There's a really interesting special feature – I think on The Return of the King – in which Howard Shore talks about his writing and recording process for the scores, and the amount of detail he put into each theme and instrumentation choice is pretty incredible. You should watch it, if you're into that sort of thing. I picked The Fellowship of the Ring as my favourite because it introduces most of the themes that occur throughout the trilogy, but really, the entire work is amazing.

4) Atonement (2007), Dario Marianelli (buy it from Amazon)

I was initially going to put Phillip Glass's score for The Hours at the #4 spot on this list, but the more I thought about it, the more good things I had to say about Dario Marianelli and the music from Atonement. This score is more orchestral than the piano-driven one he wrote for Pride & Prejudice, and it matches the sad and slightly mysterious tone of the movie. Perhaps the best part is the use of an old-fashioned typewriter as a percussion instrument and driving force within the score, much as it is in the movie.

3) Catch Me If You Can (2002), John Williams (buy it from Amazon)

It seems like John Williams scores every other movie produced in Hollywood, so I had a hard time picking my favourite of the ones he has done recently. He has a knack for finding exactly the right theme to fit the movie, from the two notes that make up the theme to Jaws or the magical celesta themes from the Harry Potter movies. But I picked Catch Me If You Can as my favourite of them all because it's the first score of his that broke away from the big orchestral sweeping themes and started experimenting with jazzier, more contemporary sounds. I distinctly remember sitting in my basement listening to the DVD menu music over and over, trying to transcribe the main theme.

2) The Incredibles (2004), Michael Giacchino (buy it from Amazon)

I know what you're thinking" "How can she be a self-proclaimed music expert and pick the score for a cartoon as one of her top five favorite film scores?!" Well, I make no apologies for this one. Michael Giacchino is an awesome up-and-coming film composer that you will be talking about in a few years and saying to yourself, "Wow, Sarah was right, this guy is talented!" He has done a lot of work for TV in the past, scoring for Alias and Lost and pretty much anything else involving J.J. Abrams. He was also nominated for an Oscar this year for Ratatouille. I love the music from The Incredibles because it's jazzy and akin to something from an old-school spy movie; it's really wonderful, and you should go watch the movie and pay special attention to the score. You'll see what I mean.

1) Pride & Prejudice (2005), Dario Marianelli (buy it from Amazon)

This score almost defies words, but I shall do my best. It's achingly beautiful. It's perfectly matched with the long, sweeping shots of the movie. I loved it so much that I ordered the piano music off of Amazon, which I almost never do. (I don't have anything against Amazon, I just always feel guilty for buying sheet music, like I should be transcribing things myself or something. Welcome to the world of musician guilt). I am trying to learn it to play at a wedding this summer, and while it appears simple at first glance, it's deceptively complicated, all time signature shifts and key changes left and right. The melodic arc from beginning to end is near perfect.

So, that's what we think. Now it's your turn to leave us a comment below and tell us your faves, or how horribly wrong we are on all counts, whichever.

Tags: Top Fives, Movie Music, Film Scores, Soundtracks

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Original Comments Posted (1)

jonnypage says...

Um, you missed Star Wars :p Great Lists!

Mar 15, 2008 2:16pm

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