These scores stood out in 2011 as being superb in every sense. They were as great as the films that they accompanied and were the backbone of their respective narratives. Without the music listed here the films would have suffered a crippling absence of emotion an cohesiveness. This is why movies are great and these scores represent the cream of the crop of 2011.
10. Super 8 by Michael Giacchino
Emotional, intense and character driven. The mother’s motif is one of the most nurturing pieces of music I’ve ever heard and it’s responsible for those tears you’re wiping away from your cheek.
9. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes by Patrick Doyle
The score represents the inner struggle of Caesar so well. It’s bold, tribal but most of all emotionally stirring.
8. Drive by Cliff Martinez
A brilliant electronic palette of sounds paints the soundscape as Cliff Martinez builds tension and knows when to back off to create even more tension.
7. The Tree Of Life by Alexandre Desplat
A brilliant and masterful accompanying score that didn’t see much use in the final cut, but still holds the thematic grandeur of Malick’s brilliant film. Think of it as a companion piece.
6. My Week With Marilyn by Conrad Pope
Playful and emotive. Conrad Pope strikes a great balance while building off a theme by Alexandre Desplat. This is a fantastic score that was unjustly ruled ineligible for Oscar consideration.
5. The Artist by Ludovic Bource
A score that represents what score is all about. It infuses the time and place while executed in modern fashion. The emotion and feel of the characters are felt throughout making it a memorable experience.
4. Kung Fu Panda 2 by Hans Zimmer & John Powell
Pure emotion fuels this score with memorable themes in grand epic proportions. Powell’s distinct style and Zimmer’s edge rounding nuances create a score fueled with greatness. It’s not just better than the original it’s better than most scores out there. The third act is breathtaking and tear inducing. There are moments of poignant beauty as Po overcomes his struggle to find his true self.
3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Alberto Iglesias
The 1 score nominated that deserves to win the Oscar (but wont). Iglesias crafts a mini-masterpiece of a score that absorbs you into the world. It’s the glue that holds this dense film together and without it the film’s plot would have been even harder to digest.
2. The Skin I Live In by Alberto Iglesias
Iglesias’ better effort of the year is a sultry and seductive score that is charged with pure emotion. The score is intense and elegant with moments of beauty. The climax is riveting and enthralling in what is one of Iglesias’ best scores.
1. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Alexandre Desplat
Desplat rounds out his amazing year with this incredibly moving film. The score turns the character of Oskar inside out so we can feel his every nuance and thought. It’s a score that will make you feel everything he is feeling. It’s uniquely bold and generous in the emotionally charged moments. The score has striking moments of beauty as it makes us feel we too can overcome the most tragic moments in our lives.