My Favourite Movie Soundtracks

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The soundtrack to a movie is hugely important.  It gives a movie impact by stirring the relevant emotion in the viewer.  Think of John Barry’s music for Out of Africa for example.  Here is a list of some of my favourite soundtracks, some well known, others not.

 

The Talented Mr Ripley – Various artists

Beautiful, brilliant and haunting…..just like the film, this music will get inside your head.  I love that Matt Damon and Jude Law perform on the soundtrack.  My favourite piece is a classical music piece, Italia, by Gabriel Yared. It reminds me of how I feel when I arrive in Italy on holiday.

 

The Virgin Suicides – Various Artists

Again, beautiful soundtrack.  Everything about Sophia Coppola’s films are in the little details and the soundtrack is perfect, making one think of lazy, hot summers and first love.  I adore Playground Love by Air.

 

Tron Legacy – Daft Punk

I have always liked Daft Punk so I thought it was pretty cool that Disney gave them free rein on the soundtrack.  Daft Punk have created an amazing score that could not be more perfect for this film.  Various pieces have been used for adverts, unsurprisingly.  We always listen to the whole album when driving over the San Gottard pass to get to Italy every year.  My favourite track? Two, Outlands and Disc Wars, but if you love electro then you’ll love the whole album.

 

Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet – Various Artists

The music for these two fantastic films, is key. It is quite unusual for the music to be centre stage in what are not quite musicals in the traditional sense, or Romeo & Juliet is not at least.  I love the variety of rock and pop.  My favourite tracks are I’m Kissing You by Des’ree and Diamond Dogs by Beck.

 

Hitch – Various Artists

Just like the film itself, the soundtrack is totally feel-good, I  mean, this film has Heavy D & the Boyz for goodness sake!  My favourite track is 1 Thing by Amerie.  This movie and soundtrack reminds me of a great year in my life.

 

Despicable Me (1 & 2) – Pharrell & Various Artists

What can I say?  I have two little boys who adore these films and I admit, I enjoy the soundtrack with them too.  My 5 year old knows the despicable me ‘rap’.  Best track?  Happy.  End of.  Pharrell is indeed a clever guy.

 

The Bodyguard – Whitney Houston

Now, more than ever, this soundtrack is more heartbreaking because of poor Whitney.  She was at the top of her game here and surprised everyone with how good an actress she was to boot.  I love, I Have Nothing.

 

Lord of the Rings – Howard Shore

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Sweeping and epic, like the trilogy, the Lord of the Rings soundtrack is a triumph.  Instantly recognisable, like other hugely successful film saga soundtracks, this is already a classic.  All of it is as brilliant as the three films themselves.

 

The Empire Strikes Back – John Williams

Speaking of epic sagas, John Williams score for Empire is just that.  The best track on the soundtrack is undoubtedly Finale.  Best soundtrack of the trilogy for the best film of the trilogy.  I’m not including episodes 1-3.

 

The Lost Boys – Various Artists

One of my favourite movies from my teens, this is one awesome soundtrack.  Really, no competition, best track is People are Strange by Echo & the Bunnymen.

 

Last, but not least….

When Harry Met Sally – Harry Connick Jr

I love this film.  Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal and writer, Nora Ephron (RiP), are at the top of their game.  So was Harry Connick Jr when he made this soundtrack.  Perfect songs for a movie about a couple of friends in New York trying to find true love.  My favourite track? Gotta be, It Had to be You.

 

There are so many more, too many to mention, but anything by John Williams, the fab techno soundtrack to Run, Lola, Run, Quentin Tarantino’s movies always have good music (Kill Bill a prime example), I love Danny Elfman’s quirky sound (he scores Tim Burton’s movies), Michael Ghiacchino’s score for Star Trek: Into Darkness, Alan Silvestri’s score for Avengers Assemble, the Bond movie soundtracks…..

 

images: IMDb

 

 

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Moulin Rouge (2001)

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“There was a boy….a very strange, enchanted boy….they said he wandered very far, very far…..over land and sea, a little shy and sad of eye….but, very wise was he…..and then one day, one magic day, he passed my way….while we spoke of many things….fools and kings….this he said to me, the greatest thing you’ll ever learn….is just to love and be loved in return.” Nature Boy, sung by John Leguizamo on Moulin Rouge soundtrack

Moulin Rouge

In 2001, a riot of colour, song, beauty and costume exploded on the cinema screen.  Moulin Rouge.  If I’m honest, I sat through the first 20 minutes wondering what the heck was going on, but then, I let go of reality as soon as Kylie appeared as the green absinthe fairy and stopped thinking and let the creative mad genius of Baz Luhrmann envelop me and I was hooked.

Jim Broadbent, Ewan Macgregor, Nicole Kidman

Already a fan of Luhrmann’s pop culture interpretation of Romeo & Juliet, I knew Moulin Rouge would not be some run of the mill romance story.  Once again, his use of modern pop and rock music for a soundtrack, along with amazing visuals and a brilliant story was a winning formula.

Moulin Rouge tells the story of Christian (Ewan Macgregor), a penniless writer in search of true romance and success in literature, arriving in Paris in 1899.  He befriends the artist, Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo) and gets sucked into the seemingly glamourous night-world of the Moulin Rouge.  Christian meets and falls in love with the beautiful star of the Moulin Rouge, and courtesan, Satine (Nicole Kidman).  She takes a chance and returns his feelings.  The lovers plan to escape together, away from Satine’s pimp and manager of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler (Jim Broadbent) and a wealthy patron of the club, the Duke (Richard Roxburgh) who has become obsessed with Satine.  Although the lovers are helped by their friends, as they work on a new musical for the Moulin Rouge, things are not as simple as they appear….

I love that Nicole and Ewan sing their songs, rather than somebody else.  This gives the film more heart.  The soundtrack is amazing, it includes covers of songs by Nirvana, David Bowie, Elton John, Sting and Randy Crawford.  I have the soundtrack and my favourite is Beck’s cover of Diamond Dogs.

Satine and Christian (Kidman & Macgregor)

Nicole Kidman is at her most beautiful and Ewan Macgregor his most charming.  Jim Broadbent and the rest of the supporting cast are fantastic too.  If you love art, stunning costumes, colour, romance and music….you will love this film.

Satine (Nicole Kidman)

Satine: “Never knew, I could feel like this…like I’ve never seen the sky before, want to vanish inside your kiss…..every day I love you more and more.”

Trivia:

The necklace that Satine (Nicole Kidman) wears was not costume, but made with 1,308 diamonds and platinum.  It was the most expensive item of jewellery ever made for a film, worth $1million!

Moulin Rouge is dedicated to Baz Luhrmann’s father, Leonard, who passed away just before filming began.

Images: IMDb