My 5 Favourite Film Scores

Wednesday 13 August 2014 by

First of all, let me put your fears to rest. You aren’t going to find any ‘My Heart Will Go On’ or ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ here. Although we all have those somewhere in our music collection (yes, even you) these aren’t the songs I’m talking about.

A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film. Think the ‘Jaws’ theme. A lot of the time the score uses orchestral music which may contain dialogue or sound effects, which are then timed to begin and end at specific points in the film to greatly enhance the dramatic and emotional impact of a particular scene. I swear I didn’t just Google that.

To me a films score is almost as important as the film itself. When I went to see ‘Gravity’ (see review here) I actually managed to download the soundtrack before the end credits had even finished. The music was so powerful and fitted each scene so perfectly I couldn’t wait to go home and be immersed in it all over again. Being a piece of music that is written to enhance emotion I always find comfort and even inspiration in film scores. I can personalise their meaning and relate them to my own feelings and emotions.

Below are 5 of my favourite film scores. Listen to them, immerse yourself in them and see where they take you.

Gravity – ‘Gravity’

Steven Price

Gravity, Film, Steven Price

Not only is this one of the best films scores I have ever heard, this particular piece of music ‘Gravity’ complemented the final scene of this movie beautifully. Powerful and dramatic, it enhanced the final few moments of our characters journey and expertly expressed the emotions of the scene. Rightly so Steven Price won an Oscar for his work. I still get goosebumps every time I hear this.

Thelma & Louise – ‘Thunderbird’

Hans Zimmer

Thelma & Louise, Film, Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer has created some of the most iconic and recognisable films scores in history, but this simple piece of music has always been my favourite. Everyone knows how ‘Thelma & Louise’ ends, the frozen in time moment of the car as it heads off over the edge of the grand canyon, carrying with it our 2 main characters. The music that accompanied the scene wasn’t overbearing and didn’t take control. Hans created a simple yet effective score that complimented the scene and paid homage to our characters journey throughout the film. The prefect example of ‘less is more’. Stunning.

Titanic – ‘Unable To Stay, Unwilling To Leave’

James Horner

Titanic, Film, James Horner

With the hype around Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ I’ve always felt that James Horner’s work on ‘Titanic’ was, and is still, underrated. With such a vast array of emotions to portray throughout the film, James managed to create a score that blended seamlessly together and gave much of the film its dramatic tension and enhanced emotion. This piece of music (although I could easily choose 3 or 4 more) demonstrates the relationship between Jack and Rose perfectly, even going as far as justifying Rose’s decision to jump back aboard the sinking ship. Beautiful.

Into The Wild – ‘Chris Dying’

Michael Brook

Into the Wild, Film, Eddie Vedder, Michael Brook

One of my all-time favourite films, its score is separated into 2 parts – the original score by Michael Brook, and the soundtrack written by Eddie Vedder. Based on a true, humbling story, with a dynamite performance by Emile Hirsch and directed by Sean Penn this film is not to be missed. This piece of music brings us to the films devastating conclusion. It actually has the effect of drawing you into the scene and at just over 2 minutes long, packs an emotional punch that makes the already distressing scene even more unbearable.

W.E. – ‘Dance For Me Wallis’

Abel Korzeniowski

W.E., Film, Abel Korzeniowski

Yes, the Madonna film. If you haven’t seen it, give it a chance. I thought it was beautifully directed, slightly lost in translation but overall a well-executed film on a great subject. The score was also magnificently created by Abel Korzeniowski, who seamlessly transported the audience back to 1930s London and showcased a score that explored the relationship of King Edward and Wallis Simpson. With so many elements to this piece of music, you’ll find it hard not to lose yourself in its emotion.

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