2011 Calvin Awards: Best Use of Music

February 15, 2011

No, seriously, when you're part of a boy band, the chicks throw themselves at you even if you're g

We're always a bit proud of our Best Use of Music category, as we feel we distinguish ourselves from other awards by honoring movies that use all kinds of music. We go further than exploring the score and instead expand this category to include fantastic soundtracks incorporated well. Often times, those great scores do wind up making our list because you can't help but notice their impact, but BOP believes that it's perfectly appropriate to honor the Almost Famous-es and High Fidelity-s of the world, too.

Our winner in this category is The Social Network, thanks to Trent Reznor's blazing score (with writing partner Atticus Ross) that is almost a character in the film in its own right. The music compliments the varied emotions and themes that occur throughout the film - corruption, anger, vulnerability and loneliness. There are themes that match the character of Mark Zuckerberg himself, and driving beats that hammer the listener with the ideas that are being evoked. Normally, the word "hammer" would likely be used in a negative connotation, but here, it's an appropriate description and meant in the best possible way. The BOP staff is universally impressed.

The runner-up for use of music is Black Swan, where composer Clint Mansell took the score for Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and made sweeping changes to the compositions to match them thematically to the moods embodied in the movie. The orchestral arrangements are exceptionally striking throughout the film, and anyone who has seen Black Swan will confirm that the music is an integral part of the overarching success of the picture.


Inception takes third place for its memorable score by Hans Zimmer, one of the finest composers in the business. One particularly noteworthy approach taken by Zimmer is the adaptation of Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regretted rien," which is integrated into the score, particularly in the brass instrument portions. Also, if you haven't seen the Inception Button by now, you're missing the big, deep, brass note that will be inextricably linked with the film. You probably just want to go ahead and bookmark it right now. You can find it here.

"I've liked you for a thousand years, a thousand years." These are the simple lyrics of Plumtrees song "Scott Pilgrim," which never features the name of the hero of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but nonetheless inspired Bryan Lee O'Malley to write the series of graphic novels by the same name. Since many of the primary characters in the film belong to various bands, it's obviously critical that the music be fun and memorable. As the battle of the bands progresses through the movie, we get to see Crash and the Boys play such songs as "We Hate You, Please Die," while Sex Bob-omb has such masterpieces as "Garbage Truck" and "Threshold." Musicians such as Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric provided the "voice" for the different bands, and the film also incorporated a number of songs that O'Malley says were important to him as he wrote the books. Edgar Wright, here's a tip of the imaginary hat to you.

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