Last year was a pretty fantastic one for movie music. Directors like David O. Russell, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and Ben Affleck made not only fantastic films, but also beautifully crafted soundtracks that blended perfectly with the story and visuals on screen. The mix created some stunning, haunting, exciting, uplifting and thrilling movie music moments that we will remember for years to come. As a result, 2013 had a lot to live up to, but looking back on the last twelve months reveals that this year’s crop of filmmakers were more than up for the task.

As I’ve done for the last four years, I’ve taken a detailed look back at all of the films that have hit theaters this past year searching for the best movie music moments I could find. While there was a large crop to choose from, I’ve narrowed it down to my 10 favorites of the year. Will yours make the list? Read on to find out!

"Duet" by Phillip Glass
Uncle Charlie, the character played by Matthew Goode in Chan Wook-park’s dark horror Stoker, is a man that Winston Churchill may have described as a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. His niece, India (Mia Wasikowska) never even heard of him before her father’s death, and any story about where he’s been the last few years ends quickly and with few answers. Even small claims about not being able to play the piano turn out to be lies, as seen in the incredibly powerful sequence where India and Charlie team up on a piano bench to play the hypnotizing "Duet" by Phillip Glass.

As the plot of Stoker unfolds we learn that there is a deep natural bond that exists between India and Charlie, but it’s their paired performance tickling the ivories that first really informs their strange, important connection. As Glass wrote the music directly for the film, the audience is meant to believe that the two are composing the piece together on the spot (building on the piano work that India is seen practicing earlier in the movie), and it’s a perfect blend of the fantastical, phenomenal and disturbing that the two characters are able to perform so beautifully in sync. The aesthetic of Stoker is all about swirling together the horrific and the beautiful, and no scene in the movie does that better than Charlie and India’s duet.

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