PG Cooper: Music Awards (2011)

Posted: January 1, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

*Why a totem? I wanted a physical item to represent these awards, so I decided to borrow an item from last year’s PGCMA Best Picture winner, Inception.

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.

“About Today” by The National, Warrior- As the final fight between Tommy and Brendan comes to it’s end, this acoustic song is slowly worked in. It’s a highly emotional scene and the way the song is eased in is great. It’s a simple song that captures the emotions of the moment, as well as the emotions of the film very well.

“Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin, performed by Karen O, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo– This epic cover of “Immigrant Song” was used to great effect in the film’s marketing, but I had no idea it would actually be featured in the film. After a brief prologue, the film has a great opening credits sequence with awesome images set to this kick ass tune. It’s a title sequence that would do James Bond proud.

“A Real Hero” by College (feat. Electronic Youth), Drive Drive was full of awesome songs, including Kavinsky’s “Nightcall”, Chromatics’ “Tick of the Clock”, and Desire’s “Under Your Spell”. While all were great, “A Real Hero” shines by capturing the themes of the film the best, as well as fitting so seamlessly with the 80’s soundtrack.

“Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner, Rango- This classic song has become burned into film buff’s brains since Apocalypse Now. Rango uses it to great effect during it’s pivotal chase scene. It’s funny, it’s exciting, and  the song is given a sort of Western twang. It isn’t the most clever of references, but I liked it none the less.

“Tiptoe Through The Tulips” by Al Dubin and Joe Burke, performed by Tiny Tim, Insidious- This song may be beloved by some, but it’s creepy as hell. Because of this, it works perfectly in Insidious. Though it’s used more than once in the film, the best time, when we see the little boy dancing. The build up is very good, and the reveal is insanely creepy without being over the top.

And The Winner Is…




“A Real Hero” by College (feat. Electronic Youth) Drive

There was some good competition for this award, but at the end of the day I had to give it to Drive.  The song is used twice, and I like how it’s used to make us question how we feel about the Driver. On top of that, I think the song fits perfectly amongst the 80’s style score, despite being written in the 2000s. Bottom line, when you hear this song set to the images in Drive, you just know that it was the perfect choice of song, and no other song could ever fit better. You can feel it.

Best Score

The Chemical Brothers, Hanna- Hanna is a film that divided audiences, some loved it, others hated it. I found myself meeting it in the middle, but it seemed everybody could agree on one thing; the score from the Chemical Brothers was awesome. It’s odd mix of techno beats with an almost trance-like calm at times created a score that matched the film and it’s bizarre protagonist very well.

Alexandre Desplat, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two- Desplat was nominated last year for Part One, and all the things that made that score great were back in full force for Part Two. It’s an epic score at times, but also maintains it’s emotional core. I also really like how Desplat took familiar tracks from past films and gave them a darker edge.

Cliff Martinez, Contagion- The score here is subtle, but I find it very dark and foreboding. The dark subtleties of the score fit the tone of the film quite well, and I love the way techno elements are mixed with more traditional elements. It’s a very haunting score that’s really stuck with me.

Cliff Martinez, Drive Cliff Martinez has the distinction of being the only person this nominated for two different films in one category. Martinez gives Drive a cool, 80’s type vibe with his awesome score. The score can be dark and ominous when it needs to be, soft and tender, fast and intense, this score does it all.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- For the second year in a row, Reznor and Ross deliver a killer techno soundtrack for a David Fincher film.While it doesn’t have the same surprise factor their work for The Social Network did, this is still an excellent score which is incredibly dark and tense.

And The Winner Is…




The Chemical Brothers, Hanna

Like last year, I had a really tough time choosing a winner from the nominees. I really love all these scores and would have been happy to see any of them walk away the winner. Ultimately though, I felt no score really fit their film or elevated it quite the way Hanna‘s did.

  1. Eric says:

    Nice post! I had no idea that “About Today” was used in Warrior — makes me want to watch the movie even more now. I haven’t had the chance to see Hanna yet, but I agree with your selection of Drive. One hell of a soundtrack.

  2. Matt Stewart says:

    Interesting, when will the Best Picture winner be revealed? :D

  3. Ipodman says:

    The score for Hanna is by Chemical Bros? o.O

    I didn’t know that… I havent watched Hanna but now I must get on it!

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