The Best Original Movie Soundtracks
Your favorite movies without music – unthinkable! Without music, filmmakers would sacrifice so much emotion, and likely a whole narrative, to the film. Music sets tone, and can even shape characters and sustain important themes. If you are a major fan of movie scores like us, especially soundtracks that use popular music, we invite you to check out the MRC team’s favorite soundtracks.
Katie’s Best OST
Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet
It’s hard to find any girl who grew up in the late ’80s and ’90s who wasn’t obsessed with this movie and its soundtrack. The soundtrack takes the movie’s drama, attitude and sex appeal and amps it up to another level. And fans of Radiohead got a whole new song to enjoy. But nothing beats Garbage’s “#1 Crush”.
The whole soundtrack is great (even when Ethan Hawke performs), but U2’s “All I Want Is You” in the scene where Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder are working through their unrequited love is perfection. Everyone is smoking, everyone is depressed, all they want is each other, literally. And when the song goes quiet and Ryder realizes it’s time to go after Hawke and the strings come in and the urgency builds and she misses her cab and Hawke is standing there all sad and greasy, my poor little teenage heart never recovered from that moment. The music is everything in this scene.
Kendrick Lamar is a genius and it is even more apparent with this soundtrack. So many of my more recent favorite hip hop and rap tracks have come from this soundtrack, namely Vince Staples’ “Opps” and off course “All The Stars” from Lamar & Sza
Pauline‘s Best OST
The Boat That Rocked
This soundtrack is just a declaration of true love to 60-70’s music, featuring some classic artists such as David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Otis Redding, The Box Tops, and Skeeter Davis’ magnificent “The End of the World”.
Laurence Anyways de Xavier Dolan (2012)
Music in this film (and pretty much all of Dolan’s movies) has a very special place. Playing and showcasing various genres, from kitsch hits to much more, it enabled me to discover some important québécois artists such as Isabelle Pierre, Céline Dion, Jean leloup. My favorite scene is the one with “A new error” de Moderat, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the way he used Oasis’ “Wonderwall” in “Mommy”. And shout out to Les amours imaginaires” which allowed me to discover “Pass This On” from The Knife on this incredible and quite incisive scene.
With its 80’s vibe, the music in Drive perfectly matches the film aesthetic with the aid of incredible artists such as Chromatics or French artist Kavinsky who became quite famous after Nightcall. The melancholic “Under Your Spell” from Desire or “A Real Hero” by College are songs I just keep coming back to. Check out the opening scene again featuring ”Tick of the Clock” & Nightcall”.
Avec une BO tout de même faite de Fatboy Slim, Blur, Counting Crows et la scène mémorable de fin avec “Bittersweet Symphony” de the Verve.
Camille’s Best OST
Apocalypse Now’s soundtrack is just full of big bold classics. It’s the album that allowed me to discover so many songs and bands which have never left my music library since. I have to say that ”Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival remains one of my highlights from the film.
What an awesome tribute to ABBA and their music! Can’t help myself from singing and dancing when I watch Mamma Mia (especially with my mom sitting next to me!).
This childhood favorite enabled me to re-discover so many artists and bands that I still love today. The songs they picked from the ‘80s and ‘90s bring up so many memories and still accompany me today.
Vanessa’s Best OST
As Pauline mentioned above, Dolan has a gift when it comes to picking the music for his films. This one in particular really does it for me. Very simple, kitsch even, these tunes played their part in unveiling the characters’ psychology, and played some kind of tribute to our teenage years with songs like ”Colorblind” by Counting Crows, ”Building a Mystery” by Sarah McLachlan, ”On ne change pas” by Celine, Dido and even Andrea Bocelli (?!) – who else than Dolan could pull this off?
Indie movies of the early ‘90s and 2000s often came with some mythical soundtracks – Noah Baumbach, Michel Gondry, Jarmusch, Léa Pool (Lost and Delirious!) Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz!) and Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums!). The music played its own role in their movies by setting the tone while adding a light touch. Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides is definitely one that struck me most. Of course we remember the music from Air, but Heart, 10cc, Carole King, Sloan (!), and the way she used Hello It’s Me and Alone Again embodied that magical-weird-tragic vibe. Tip : listen to the score while you read the book.
Inspired by the story of Geoffrey F. Bowers, this movie made quite a lot of people think and cry, and was not only a great film, but I also really enjoyed that score. Jonathan Demme opted for big artists such as Peter Gabriel, Sade and even got me to like opera with the way he created a very moving scene with ”La Mama Morta” by Maria Callas. This soundtrack also got me hooked to Bruce Springsteen and brought me unconditional love for Neil Young. The movie did receive the Oscar and Grammy for the best original music, so I guess I wasn’t the only fan.
Shoutout to Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
I can’t help but to mention that this soundtrack, although mostly an original score by Jon Brion, includes that amazing Beck cover of ”Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime”. Did you know that the movie has a kind of a ”meta” soundtrack? The movie showcases some great albums like Music for Airport by Brian Eno, Homogenic by Björk and Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs – not bad!
François’s Number 1
There’s only one that really comes to mind for me and it’s Singles. Grunge at its best with Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains with some of their biggest tunes ever; “Woods” and “State of Love and Trust” – couldn’t ask for more! Although it does make me a bit nostalgic.
Other soundtracks worth mentioning :
Little Miss Sunshine
Promising Young Woman
Can’t Hardly Wait
Guardians of the Galaxy
Pretty in Pink
500 Days of Summer
Gaz Bar Blues
Kill Bill vol. 1 et 2
La Grande Belleza
Do the Right Thing
Lost in Translation