This past year was a great one for music and movies, so I'm bringing you the best movie soundtracks 2012 style. I love it when a great movie comes together with a fantastic soundtrack, although sometimes you also get a so-so movie with fabulous music. Being a music lover, I'm good either way. If you feel the same, check out these amazing movie soundtracks 2012 edition – and don't be afraid to add your own favorites if I've missed them!
1. Les Miserables
Of all the year's movie soundtracks 2012 had the end-all, be-all to me. To be fair, I was predisposed to love this soundtrack: I'm a band geek from the way back and my particular band was always mad about Les Mis. We watched the movie in class, we traveled to see the musical, we did a show based on it. Everyone I still know from back then flipped to see this – and to hear the soundtrack, which really doesn't disappoint. Memorable songs, sung by unexpected voices – loved it!
2. Pitch Perfect
I blame this on the Better Half and on Glee. All the mash-ups! Of course, I wanted to see it too, simply because of Rebel Wilson, but between watching it several times in one week, then listening to highlights from the soundtrack on a lengthy trip between Massachusetts and Michigan (thanks, Heather!), I got into it. I'm sorry, the Treblemakers are awesome. I honestly really like their version of “Right Round,” many of the covers by the Barden Bellas are fun, and “Don't You (Forget about Me)” is prominently featured.
This film isn't a huge favorite but for me, it was one of those movies I mentioned before. It's the kind film that has a soundtrack so good, it makes the movie a little better. Nick Cave collaborated on the soundtrack (doubling as scriptwriter, by the bye), and it's just magnificent. If you like the Bad Seeds, you'll love this. It reminds me a little of O Brother, Where Art Thou? in its setup, which is just fine with me. The covers are incredible – some of them are actually hauntingly good.
4. Moonrise Kingdom
I'm feel generally amorous toward most of Wes Anderson's soundtracks. I mean, the OST for The Royal Tenenbaums introduced me to Elliott Smith. “Needle in the Hay” still qualifies as the best musical find of my life. For me the best part is the way the songs chosen for his films always perfectly complement the scenes in which they're played. Sons of Anarchy has a gift like this, as well; I love movies and shows that introduce me to songs that change my world. Moonrise Kingdom did that, and for me it was an excellent movie as well. My favorite! You'll find gorgeous instrumentals, along with classics from Hank Williams and Alexandre Desplat, who also features hugely in the OST for Zero Dark Thirty.
5. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
This movie took me back, evoking a nostalgia that I'm sure I'd feel if I, too, sought a friend for the end of the world. I particularly loved the use of “Wouldn't It Be Nice?” by the Beach Boys, a band and a song my father introduced me to when I was little. Frankly, any OST that includes Wang Chung and INXS is good with me – and again, the songs are used in all the right places. Not surprising, since Lorene Scafaria is also known for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A lot of movies were heavily anticipated in 2012, but I've heard people talking about this one for years, and many of them were always just as interested in what music would feature in the film as they were in the film itself. I myself am very, very happy with it. It's sort of awkwardly upbeat, beautifully esoteric, and almost complex at the same time. To be honest, it's like a soundtrack for the teenage Lyndsie. Dexy's Midnight Runners on any album, ever, with the Cocteau Twins? Yes, please. There's Sonic Youth and the Smiths, even David Bowie – seriously? I'm in heaven with this soundtrack!
7. Django Unchained
Say what you will about Quentin Tarantino, his movies have very … interesting soundtracks. I often whistle the Bride's song from Kill Bill. Drives the BH crazy. But this is not Kill Bill; this is Django Unchained. This is a masterpiece of a soundtrack. Samuel L. Jackson is on this soundtrack. It mimics the feel of the movie, the modern twists in the long ago. Where else will you find Jim Croce and Rick Ross and John Legend?
8. Zero Dark Thirty
This soundtrack gives me chills. Every song captures the gritty realism you see on film. The music puts you there, and if you've seen the movie, if you've seen even a preview, you know how powerful that is. I can't even talk about it without getting the shakes.
9. Silver Linings Playbook
I can't resist this soundtrack. I love Danny Elfman. I mean, I love him. Besides that, I can't even talk about this OST, it's just so good. The movie is absolutely fantastic, but what I heard in the background actually made me like it even better. Listen for Danny, first of all, he's just so ridiculously good at making the perfect music. Pay attention to the dueling rasps of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Lose yourself in the nuances the music creates in each scene.
10. The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey
And this one is just … sweeping. I couldn't help it. A lot of people have a lot of things to say about The Hobbit, and not all of them are totally positive. Even I wasn't totally positive, because while I'm glad I still get two more tries to be swept off my feet again, as I was by the LOTR trilogy, I had some problems with the first installment. The music wasn't one of those problems, though. It swept me back to the Fellowship but still introduced me to something new, it made the excitement brighter, the danger more thrilling, and the suspense even more suspenseful. I just hope the following films live up to that.
For movie soundtracks, 2012 was a really great year. Les Miserables alone made it a good year, really. As you can see, some films were actually made better by the songs that played in the background. Like say, let me know your favorite soundtracks from the past year. For that matter, what's your favorite movie soundtrack of all time?