If you know me at all, you know that I love movies!

Comedy, action, adventure, sc-fi, drama, documentary…I love them all.

There are very few and far between films that I don’t like for one reason or another. (I should post about that list sometime!)

But today I want to talk about my favourite Movie Soundtracks!

A lot goes into making a movie and the score or song selection has a lot to do with how what we are watching makes us feel.

Here are a few of my favourite albums, in random order, and highlighted picks from among their track listings. (Believe me, I have many more favourites but here’s the short-list.)

Amelie –  An amazing film about a shy young woman in France with a vivid imagination and a penchant for the dramatic and love of life. From upbeat accordions to softly dramatic piano score, even carnival-like sounds this album exudes pure happiness with a hint of mystery in every track.
The Power of One – This amazing movie based off of the book by the same title by Bryce Courtenay  changed me as a young person. Viewing the movie, it was the first time I had ever learned anything about the struggles in Africa between whites and blacks. The film is one every person should see. It tells the fictional story of a young white man, born both of British decent and born of Africa, stuck in the middle of the horrible war between the white Afrikaans and the native black African tribes people. I later read the amazing book and it’s sequel “Tandia”. The film  and its’ music brought this tormented African world to life. The stirring sounds of the male African prisoners singing in rebellion in the “Southland Concerto”, the haunting “Funeral Song” and the simple and sweet “Penny Whistle Song” along with every other track are just amazing! Read the book, watch the film, find the soundtrack!
Dumb & Dumber – Yes, it’s dumb, it’s silly, it’s funny…I still love it! The movie and soundtrack both are just plain old fun. The music from this album includes both fun tunes and awesome songs perfect for a road trip. Crash TEst Dummies “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkin Head” and “Crash” by The Prinitives are some highlights….along with the ridiuculously fun “Whiney, Whiney [What Really Drives Me Crazy]” by Willi One Blood.
Empire Records – This takes me right back to high school with fond memories of the quirky movie about an independent record store and its’ employees fighting to keep their beloved store from turning into a big name chain. Emprie has a few amazing popular hits from The Cranberries, Gin Blossoms & Better Than Ezra with some pretty amazing not as well know songs from The Martinis, Ape Hangers & Coyote Shivers. A lot of Indy fun!
Romeo + Juliet – I love Shakespeare and the thought of pairing his poetry with Hawaiian shirts, pistols, and parties at first had me discouraged. However, this film quickly became one of my all-time favourites. The OST, too, is one I can come back to anytime and sure, skip a few tracks, but ultimately listen through over and over. I always skip over track #1 by Garbage and continue to some of the more action- or love-packed tracks like “Kissing You” by Des’ree, “Lovefool” by the Cardigans, the short clips “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” by Quindon Tarver and my two favourites “To You I Bestow” by Mundy & “You and Mee Song” by The Wannadies.
Dead Like Me – Though this is a soundtrack derived from a TV show, I include it because several of the songs from this album have remained my favourites that I always include in new playlists. DLM was a 2-season show about a young adult girl who is kill by a freak accident but chosen to remain as a grim reaper and help move souls as they die from other freak accidents. It’s quirky, weird, and funny but had a huge heart in dealing with death. Not all the tracks are great, but my favourites include “Boom Boom Ba” by Matisse, “Que Sera Sera” by Pink Martini, “Mad World” by Gary Jules and “Hell” by the Squirrel Nut Zippers (amazing swing band!).
Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse – Yes, yes, I must give a shout out to the recent supernatural-teen-franchise that is Twilight. These three albums especially did their best to include current, popular independent bands as well as a few familiar names. A handful of my favourites are: Twilight – “Full Moon” by the Black Ghosts, “Spotlight (Twilight Mix)” by Mutemath, “Never Think” by the Rob Pattinson himself. New Moon – “Hearing Damage” by Thom York, “Possibility” by Lykke Li, “Sattelite Heart” by Anya Marina, “Roslyn” by Bon Iver & St. Vincent, “Shooting The Moon” by OK Go. Eclipse – “Heavy in Your Arms” by Florence and the Machine, “My Love” by Sia, “What Part of Forever” by Cee Lo Green.
The Fifth Element – One of my all-time favourite movies. Sci-fi at its best in a fun romp through past & future as an odd space opera/adventure with a taxi driver thrown in. Many of the tracks are simply background score from the film in which Eric Serra does an amazing job of giving us spacey sounds and haunting overtures that sound out of this world. A few of the tracks are musical or rap-like tracks featured in the movie. “Ruby Rap” is amazing with comedic actor Chris Tucker as an intergalactic radio talk show host and Bruce Willis as the unsuspecting hero caught up in his show. Two of the best tracks are the operatic number “Lucia Di Lammermoor” by the Diva Plavalaguna and the subsequent “Diva Dance” where her opera turns into an amazing techno track. (Note: One song not included on the OST – “Cheb Khalid” by Alec Taadi used during a hover taxi & police car chase is my favourite! I found it elsewhere and added it to my Fifth Element playlist.)
Garden State – This entire soundtrack is a must-listen! The movie, too, is pretty emotional and amazing. Some think it’s boring or odd, but I think it’s perfect. Real life struggles, emotional change and finding love amongst it all. From Coldplay, The Shins, Zero 7, Simon & Garfunkle, to Iron & Wine, each song fits nicely within the next and evokes emotions on so many different levels. (Special Note: My sister actually had her friends play many of these tracks with acoustic guitar and bass at her wedding.)
Juno – I couldn’t talk about movie soundtracks without mentioning the funniest and most odd out there. Juno has so many fun and amusing tracks paired with the film’s story of a bright young high school student getting pregnant and going through the struggles with friends, boys and family along the way. Kimya Dawson plays a huge roll on the album with sweet tracks such as “Rollercoaster”, “Tire Swing”, “Loose Lips” & “So  Nice So Smart”. The Moldy Peaches bring my favourite track, “Anyone Else But You” also sung by the film’s stars Michael Cera And Ellen Page.
Les Miserables – Before this new film version of the classic tale and musical I had never heard many of the songs from this title but after seeing the film I could listen to the soundtrack any day. The drama, the deep pain and the loving courage drive this album with heart-wrenching moments from Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and my favourite “On My Own” by Samantha Barks. Sacha Baron Cohen & Helena Bonham Carter also perform a hilarious rousing pair of inn keepers with their “Mater of the House” piece.
Pitch Perfect – I cannot leave out the recent pop culture hit Pitch Perfect. This is a movie I can put on any day, any time and sing along. The a capella phenomenon hits full force in this collegiate comedy musical. My favs are the “Cups” song by Anna Kendrick, “Since U Been Gone” medley, “Riff Off” medley, and “Bright Lights Bigger City/Magic” by the Treble Makers in the finale.

I haven’t mentioned many soundtracks that are mostly musical score that are just as inspiring and easy to listen to despite not being able to sing along. I can think of the many Star Wars scores, The Last Samurai, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings scores just to name a few. 

What are YOUR favourite movie soundtracks?