I love a great hook, a moment where the song in the background and the storyline mesh in such a way that it elevates what’s happening onscreen. Almost Famous is my favorite movie and it’s helped by the film’s astounding usage of music from Joni Mitchell’s “River” when Penny Lane and Russell reunite to one my favorite scenes in any movie ever where the band, band aids and friends sing to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”. Today filmmakers such as Xavier Dolan know how music enhances the movie experience. Music and film are both looking to target emotions and draw forth emotional responses so when they’re combined, they create something captivating. So, now that I’ve been self-indulgent, here are my Top 12 moments in film where music helped aid the narrative or, maybe, was just a bit of fun. (I already feel like I’m forgetting something great, let me know in the comments which moments you would have chose.)
Whiplash – Ending Scene
Teacher and student, abuser and victim, master and pupil: however you want to see it, the dynamic between the two leads played by J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller is frightening due to its intensity and the dynamic is never as apparent as it is in the last few moments. Teller’s character has been shot down again but takes his seat one last time to prove to his abuser that he has what it takes and screw him if he doesn’t think so. It has all of the elements of a great thriller and the composed jazz music amps up the tension to edge of your seat proportions.