First rule of adapting a classic to the silver screen: make sure your music is top-notch.
John Williams did it again and again with the Harry Potter score, and where would Charlie and the Chocolate Factory be without the Oompa Loompa chorus? From making our hearts race in the intro credits to The Hunger Games, to crying every time you hear “The Rains of Castamere”, there’s no doubt that music in the movies has gone on to become iconic (one word: Psycho).
Check out some of our favorite bookish picks, and give them a listen the next time you crack open Tolstoy in a dark, silent night.
Anna Karenina (2012)
Composer: Dario Marianelli
Listen to: “She’s Of the Heavens”
Marianelli has a thing for period films (Atonement, Jane Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice), and always manages to work a little element of the musical themes of time period into his soundtracks without force-feeding us a history lesson. Not only is it an awesome handful of songs to dance to at your Anastasia-themed wedding (naturally), it’s a great introduction to traditional Russian music.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Composer: John Williams
Listen to: “The Chairman’s Waltz”
When John Williams calls you up to ask if you’ll let him soundtrack your movie, you don’t tell him no. The result is a beautiful rendition of Japanese instruments combined with some of YoYo Ma’s best cello movements to date that set us right smack in the middle of Gion, the geisha district from which Sayuri tells her story. All we’re saying is, thank god Rob Marshall took that phone call.
The Chronicles of Narnia
Composer: Harry Gregson-Williams
Listen to: “A Narnia Lullaby”
This entire score is epicness in music form. Yes, we know it’s not a word- we don’t care. Just tryto walk through a forest while listening to this on your iPod and not believe in Aslan. We dare you.
Composer: Ilan Eshkeri
Listen to: “Zombie Fight”
We love us some Neil Gaiman here at Quirk HQ, and the film adaptation of “Stardust” not only stars the inimitable Claire Danes (sadly, not crying), but pretty much encompasses everything we imagine would be playing in the background during our own fantasy adventure movie.
Composer: Hans Zimmer
Listen to: “Discombobulate”
Nobody does iconic action movies like Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean, anyone?). Both Sherlock Holmes film scores have an anxious sort of energy that perfectly translate the kind of fizzy electricity that goes on inside the head of the world’s only consulting detective. Add to that the famous Sherlock violin and accordion notes, and you’ll find yourself living a jam-packed mystery adventure in the three and a half minutes it takes you to finish the track.
What are your favorite book-film score adaptations? Do you make your own playlists for your favorite books?