Emily’s Top 5 Movie Soundtracks

Written by Emily Stewart September 05, 2013

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Cast

As much as I love film and TV, I am a music junkie. Through my four years of studying film, I can say that music is crucial part of filmmaking – the media are similar to each other as well. Although we don’t usually see the performers in films that aren’t musicals, the soundtrack shapes the film. It should represent the film as a whole and not be just a bunch of songs put together-and that’s how I judge the quality of albums as well. In fact, the four films and single television show are on my list are some of my all-time favourites partly due to their soundtracks.

5. “Instant Star” (2004-2008)

Alexz Johnson in Instant Star

 “Instant Star” kicks off my list as the lone television soundtrack. I was addicted to “American Idol” and its Canadian counterpart in my early teen years, so this show gives a great aftermath perspective of talent competitions. Alexz Johnson also got into character with her role as Jude Harrison by co-writing the songs. The songs in “Instant Star” represented what Jude went through during the specific episodes, just like a musician writing about their own experiences. The first “Songs of Instant Star” album is like Johnson’s debut album because she connected with Jude so well.

4. “Juno” (2007)

Michael Cera and Ellen Page in Juno

Star Ellen Page told director Jason Reitman her character Juno MacGuff would listen to the Moldy Peaches. The mellow and sombre tunes of the duo and others fit the mood of the film and the interests of Juno. The final, and probably most popular song, “Anyone Else But You,” sums up the relationship of Juno and Bleeker (Michael Cera) perfectly. Despite a touch of romantic tension between Juno and Mark Loring (Jason Bateman), she and Bleeker really are meant for each other – even though it’s clear they get on each other’s nerves.

3. “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” (2010)

Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Well, would you look at that! A second film starring Cera in a row! Anyway, there is a lot to enjoy in “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” The soundtrack is just one of them, and reflects the title character’s interest. Let’s be honest, he would listen to songs that remind him of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Other than that, there are songs by the artists in the franchise like Sex Bob-Omb and Crash and the Boys, representing the musical aspects of the comic books. Also, Metric; you can’t go wrong with Metric.

2. “Dirty Dancing” (1987)

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing

This classic dance film has wonderful soundtrack to match. All the songs on the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack are catchy, fun and well, danceable. It’s no wonder Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) had a passion for dancing after visiting Kellerman’s hotel.  The energy of the film is captured within the music, and why shouldn’t it? “Dirty Dancing” is a dance film after all. Now if only this didn’t mysteriously disappear from my music collection, it was one of my favourite CDs of all time as well.

1. “A Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)


“Nightmare Before Christmas” is on another Top 5 list of mine. I could honestly include nearly every Disney soundtrack out there in this Top 5, but this one is my favourite. It is easy to sing along to the upbeat and cheerful tunes. Combine that with spooky visuals and “Nightmare Before Christmas” is a great film to watch while passing out candy or wrapping presents. Then again, the music is so enjoyable, it can be listened to any time of the year. There is an entire album featuring covers of the soundtrack as well. While it’s great as well, the original tunes captured the characters and their feelings best.

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About Emily Stewart

Emily is a Media, Information and Technoculture student at Western University who likes to put her critical thinking skills and passion for writing to good use, including reviewing TV shows for We Eat Films.

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