We are now just a few hours away from 2013, but we’re not entirely done celebrating the great year in cinematic history that was 2012 just yet.
For the last two weeks we have been applauding the best work of the year, from our individual critical top 10s to lists of our favorite action scenes, on-screen couples, facial hair statements, lines of dialogue, breakthrough performances and much more. And now it’s time to celebrate those very special moments of 2012 when cinema and music fell into perfect harmony.
Just as I’ve done for the last three years, I have traced back through all of the films that I’ve seen this year and brought together the Top 10 Best Movie Music Moments of 2012. Last year’s big winners include amazing titles like Drive, The Muppets, Moneyball and X-Men: First Class, but what will make the cut this year? Find out below!
WARNING: the very, very last page of this feature includes spoilers for two separate movies, so count as you go and tread carefully as you get towards the end!
Song: “Skyfall” by Adele
A big reason why director Sam Mendes’ Skyfall works so well is because of how it pays loving tribute to the legacy of the James Bond character (while deconstructing it at the same time). In the movie we see 007 get his Walther PPK, ride around it in super spy-ready silver Aston Martin, visit exotic locales, sleep with strange women…really, this list could go on. But a truly great Bond film is nothing out with a truly great title theme, and Adele helped deliver just that.
After two straight films with more modern themes (Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” for Casino Royale and Jack White & Alicia Keys’ “Another Way To Die” for Quantum of Solace), Mendes wanted to make his audiences remember the great work that Dame Shirley Bassey did for the franchise and Adele’s track fits the bill in every way. Beyond its stirring sound, filled with beautiful strings, horns and a wonderful lone piano, the song becomes more amazing once the secret behind the film’s coded title is revealed, with theme’s relating to the relationship between Bond (Daniel Craig) and M (Dame Judi Dench) and the battle with Silva (Javier Bardem), as well as a premonition about the third act. Without question one of the best Bond themes of all time.
Silver Linings Playbook
Song: “What Is And What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin
In Silver Linings Playbook the lead character is Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) is psychiatrist-diagnosed with bipolar disorder and throughout the film is subjects to moments of what paranoid delusions brought on by stress and manic episodes in between times of normality and peacefulness. With that in mind writer/director David O. Russell couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate song to use in the scene where Pat frantically searching for his wedding tape at three o’clock in the morning.
The magic in Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be” is in its constantly changing tones. As Pat gets more and more panicked, scaring his parents, waking up all of his neighbors and getting the attention of the police, Robert Plant’s vocals and Jimmy Page’s guitar alternately speed up and slow down as the song goes between verse and chorus, brilliantly mapping out the protagonist’s fractured state of mind. The track’s psychedelic nature puts the audience right inside Pat’s head adds to the chaos in breathtaking fashion. Music can be used to say words that can’t be phrased, and that’s exactly what Russell did with this Zeppelin track in Silver Linings Playbook.