I love music in songs. Some of the classic films are heightened by one song that propelled it into greatness. Pulp Fiction is an amazing film, somehow improved by the fact that it worked so well with ‘Son of a Preacher Man’, a song by Dusty Springfield that most of us had forgotten about. We will always associate the appearance of the Terminator with ‘Bad to the Bone’. It is scientifically impossible to make a Vietnam movie without having an awesome song playing during a helicopter ride. So with this in mind, let us turn to 2013 and see if anything outstanding appeared in this year’s amazing selection of films.
3 – EMELI SANDE – HERE IT COMES (TRANCE)
Emeli Sande provided the title song for the fantastic thriller by Danny Boyle, Trance. There is something that really catches the mood of the film here. In fact, the entire soundtrack does. If you enjoy getting your hands on movie soundtracks, Trance has impressed me more than any other this year. This is a film about dreams, ambition and desire, something that is never forgotten in the music. The entire film has been carefully crafted and the music is not left out, when Boyle approaches the film holistically.
The reason I chose this song is because it really made the ending. I loved the final frame of ‘Trance’ and I felt that this song is one of the main reasons for that. Trance is a tricky film to watch, as it is full of twists and turns and entire scenes that are not real. I loved it, but I understand that it was a hard pill to swallow at times. In many ways, this song and ending are the reward we get for making it to the end of this story. While we could argue that ‘Trance’ does not have a truly happy ending (some of the characters survive, rather than getting anything from the story), but this song makes it feel like one. It is a testament to how a well-chosen song can make a moment, which is what this entire list is all about.
2 – RADIOHEAD – CREEP (FILTH)
I nearly missed this, when compiling my list of the best movie songs of the year. If someone suggested that Radiohead would make it to the best song of a year in this decade, I would have frowned. I hate it when modern movies take an older classic to make their movie feel greater. The best soundtracks are made from obscure songs that you wouldn’t think of and ‘Creep’ is already such a powerful song, one that is played a lot to this very day. It doesn’t need to be included into a movie soundtrack.
Then why does it work so well for ‘Filth’? Well, the main reason is that this song could very well be the internal monologue of Detective Bruce Robertson from the film. When the music plays, as Robertson contemplates where his life has led him to, these lyrics are pretty much the thoughts running through his mind. It is a very poignant moment. It helps that the movie’s soundtrack is made up of really happy songs, contrasting the dark subjects of the actual movie. Any song from this movie could very easily get onto this list. It is an amazing selection of music. But the very fact that this is the only serious song makes the moment. It tells us that the character has finally pushed through the false happiness his life consists of and is letting the misery he has caused others get to him. It is a great moment that ties up the film really well. I can think of no finer runner-up for movie song of the year.
1 – ZAZ – EBLOUIE PAR LA NUIT (DEAD MAN DOWN)
Maybe Zaz has a secret weapon that helped her reach the best movie song of the year. That secret weapon is the fact that the film she performed for was so bland and generic that the closing song is the one thing that stays with you long after you leave the cinema.
Dead Man Down was a film I saw at the other end of 2013. That is a year full of amazing blockbusters and terrific OSCAR worthy performances. Somehow I still think to this song and let it get stuck in my head. It is such a hauntingly amazing piece of music. It really resonates through you and I cannot help but think that it deserved a better movie. It is a song that, even if you do not understand the lyrics, makes you sit back and just think. You let the song wash over you and reflect. This song is triggers memories and thoughts in you. It is the perfect song for a movie.
So were there any songs that should have made the list? Maybe you hate Zaz’s song and feel that one of the other two deserved the top spot. Post in the comments below.