PG Cooper: Music Awards (2010)

Posted: January 6, 2011 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Music is a very important part of film. While often we subconsciously absorb the music in film, this category is dedicated to rewarding that which we often take for granted.

Best Use of Source Music

This award is basically about scenes that play prerecorded music in the background. This award isn’t about the best song, rather, the best combination of a scene with a song.

“Burnin’ For You” by Blue Oyster Cult, Let Me In – I love in movies, when the song lyrics don’t match what’s going on screen. Sometimes that makes the scene all the more memorable. This is a fine example of this. While Abby’s father struggles with a teenager in the back of a car, this classic Blue Oyster Cult song plays over the radio in one of my favourite scenes.

“Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard, Predators Predators was a great homage to the original classic film. My favourite reference to the first is probably this song, a reference I’m sure went over a lot of people’s heads. As the credits role, the song plays, as it did in the original film during the helicopter ride into the jungle. It’s a brilliant, subtle nod to the first film.

“Non, je ne regrette rien” by Edith Piaf, Inception – A lot of you may not recognize the title, but I guarantee you’d recognize the song if you’ve seen Inception. To be prepared for “the kick”, Cobb’s team needs a sound cue. What better sound cue than a classic French song? The song was also brilliantly integrated into the score.

“O Children” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One – Is it wrong that one of my favourite scenes from The Deathly Hallows Part One is a scene that isn’t even in the book? Maybe, but it’s hard to deny the memorable bitter-sweet dance scene in the tent between Harry and Hermione while this song plays in the background.

“You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman, Toy Story 3 – It’s hard to imagine Toy Story without Randy Newman. While he did the score for the films, he’ll probably be best remembered for this song as it has become almost has iconic as the films themselves. The song returns here, but rather than playing the whole song, it’s cut off at the lyric “and as the years go by, our friendship will never die…”, setting the tone for the rest of the film.

And The Winner Is

 

 

 

Toy Story 3

What sets this apart from the others is no other song could have been used but “You’ve Got A Friend In Me.” It had to be this, and it works perfectly. We see Andy playing with his twos until the song slowly dies out. This scene alone embodies the entire film.

Best Score

The score of a film, for those who don’t know, is the music created by the composer for the film. Anyway, this one is sometimes harder to judge, but I think I’ve done a good job.

Carter Burwell, True Grit – Burwell’s score does two things very well. One, in fits and enhances the mood of a Western perfectly. Second, it manages to still be unique and original. Burwell has scored almost all the Coen’s films and this is among his best work with them.

Alexandre Desplat, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One – Several different composers of scored the Potter films. With such an inconsistent record of composers, I find it someone surprising the music has been so good throughout the series. Desplat’s score for Deathly Hallows is great, and arguably the most powerful and emotional of the series.

Clint Mansell, Black Swan – Mansell is among the most acclaimed film composers of our time and based on this score, it’s easy to see why. Mansell based the score off of Tchaikovsky’s ballet but made radical changes to the music. The score is both haunting, powerful, and ultimately moving.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network – Probably the most unique of all these scores, the work Reznor and Ross did is more robotic and less powerful but make no mistake, it’s done this way by design. Reznor and Ross managed to blend electronic sounds, as well as an under current of emotion. Though this score didn’t initially grab me the way others did, it went on to really win me over.

Hans Zimmer, Inception – Hans Zimmer is known as something of an icon among film composers. He’s done great score after great score and shows no sign of slowing down. With Inception, Zimmer has managed to blend tremendous scale and the sense of an epic with the music, as well as more intimate emotions.

And The Winner Is

 

 

 

Inception

This was the hardest award to decide so far. I couldn’t decide between this, Black Swan, or The Social Network. While I do love all of them (including the other nominated scores), what tipped it in Zimmer’s favor was how it managed to be both epic and grand, while remaining deeply personal. A close race though, to say the least.

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