This year brought moviegoers an array of music that ranged from uplifting (About Time “How Long Will I Love You”) to depressing (The Great Gatsby‘s “Young and Beautiful”) to catchy (Inside Llewyn Davis‘ “Please Mr. Kennedy”) to nostalgic (Saving Mr. Banks‘ “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”) to just plain out there (Spring Breakers‘ “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”). Whether it was a film about throwing (or attending) the best party of your life or one about intense family drama, the music pushed stories to new heights, whether it was an Alien rapping on the beach or two mothers pushing their children to the breaking point.
Film music is no longer just orchestration and catchy pop songs – it is dubstep and bands you would normally hear on the radio taking to the conductor’s stand. Simply put – it is an exciting time for music in film because there are no rules.
Now it’s time to relive some of the best music moments from this past year with scores from composers new to the scene and those continuing to churn out groundbreaking music, as well as soundtracks that featured songs from bands and artists who discovered new talents while collaborating.
13. Saving Mr. Banks
As is standard with any Disney film, Mary Poppins is full of music you can sing along to, and anyone who grew up with this Disney classic should be taken right back to their childhood when these songs strike up. Saving Mr. Banks takes audiences behind the scenes of the making of Mary Poppins, but it is the scenes featuring Mary Poppins‘ author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and composers Richard Sherman (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert Sherman (B.J. Novak) creating this music that shine, giving these iconic songs even more meaning.
Composer Thomas Newman rounds things out with a score that helps tie together these catchy tunes with the conflicted emotions Travers had bringing her story to the big screen to create a nostalgia driven compilation that should also stand the test of time.
12. About Time
Richard Curtis knows how to put together a great soundtrack, and he proves that fact once again with the soundtrack for About Time. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is a man who can bounce around the timeline of his life and Curtis wisely uses recognizable music to help subtly place the time period he has landed in. But the music is not merely a story device, it rounds out the narrative to make Tim and Mary (Rachel McAdams) feel like real people who listen to the radio and comment about music in every day conversation.
The soundtrack itself is a great mix of artists from Ben Folds to The Cure to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds that never feel forced within the context of the film and work together as a fantastic playlist when listening to the soundtrack on its own.