The score of a film can make it special. Most people don’t pay attention to it but music adds suspense, can make you cry, or add a great sense of joy during a positive moment. Certain movies, like Top Gun, can be recognized by just listening to the music on a black TV screen. I know when it is on if I turn the movie on because the music is so memorable.
One of my favorites is the trombones in Inception. They give the movie and excellent dramatic effect.
The Social Network won for best score at the last Oscars and I agree. It helped give the movie its serious tone and get the message across.
Another movie in which I think the music is original is Taxi Driver. The lonely saxophone is so memorable and haunting. It plays throughout the movie and to me, symbolizes Travis’s mood.
The score in American Beauty is wonderfully beautiful. The spunky, fun music played during Lester’s fantasies make them seem much lighter to the audience so they aren’t completely disgusted with him. The song played during Ricky’s plastic bag video is beautiful and is a tune that can make you cry.
Comedy films generally have more pop-culture songs than drama films because music is usually used to make a dramatic point which comedies don’t usually need. Actually most comedies use a song to add to the funniness.
One of my favorite moments is at the end of Fight Club watching the buildings blow as the Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” plays. The guitar is awesome and it leads right to the credits.
Ironically, as I am a huge fan of a good score, I find musicals to be cheesy and awful. The songs are catchy in all but having a group of people suddenly break into song and dance is a bit much.
Having a song that matches the tone of the movie during the opening and closing credits is important. If you have a happy-go-lucky 50s’ song playing and then it is a soppy movie that takes place in the 00s’ it doesn’t work. Also on that note, I have never heard a hard rock/punk/heavy metal song during the credits of a sweet romance movie.
While a good score won’t make or break a film it could be the difference between and oscar win and nomination.
(On and Added not, Quentin Tarantino is the master at using great music in a movie in the correct places. He may not be my favorite director but is choices are always good)