Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Answer the Latest Criticwire Survey Question: Good Soundtrack, Bad Movie

Q: Many great movies draw strength from their musical soundtracks, but sometimes the films don't measure up to the songs themselves. What's your favorite example of a great soundtrack to a not-so-great film?

A few answers came readily to mind when I read this question. If we’re talking scores, than I think Thomas Newman’s work on Steven Soderberg’s The Good German is a brilliant homage to the classic Hollywood scores of the 1940s – in a way the rest of the horrible movie didn’t come close to living up to. His work on Soderberg’s Side Effects earlier this year is also better than the movie itself – although I did quite like the film.

As for Soundtracks themselves – I listened to the soundtrack for David Lynch’s Lost Highway – especially the brilliant track A Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails – way more times than I watched the movie – which remains for me a major disappointment from one of my favorite directors – a film that plays more like someone aping Lynch than Lynch himself. In my teenage grunge years, I listened to the Singles soundtrack for a few years before I actually saw Cameron Crowe’s movie – and for a few years after I completely forgot about the movie as well (I couldn’t give you a plot description of that movie right now if I tried). I also quite liked the soundtrack to Baz Luhrman’s Romeo & Juliet – and absolutely hated the movie.


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