I'm checking off the music categories today, starting with Best Original Score. Read on to see (and hear) which soundtracks I dug the most from 2015's cinematic drop.
CAROL (Carter Burwell)
In a film where what characters feel is constantly subverted by what they say (or don't say), the music – from delicate mood setting to dramatic swells – speaks volumes.
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (Ennio Morricone)
Say what you will about this pointlessly sadistic anti-Western's many shortcomings; The soundtrack is ballin'. Interesting musical cues manage to keep recapturing our attention when things start to drag.
INSIDE OUT (Michael Giacchino)
As beautifully aeriform as the headspace it aims to evoke, using tubular tones and delicate chimes to underlie a lovely central piano line and other instruments specific to each emotion.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (Junkie XL [Tom Holkenborg])
These revved-up rhythms are like a nitro fuel injection into every action sequence. Screeching strings fused with metallic rock riffs that'll puree your eardrums from the inside.
SICARIO (Jóhann Jóhannsson)
Stealthily scary, often juxtaposing slow, deep strings against a percussive pulse. If someone asked me to define the word “dread”, I'd simply play them this soundtrack in response.
Boy and the World (Ruben Feffer, Gustavo Kurlat)
Creed (Ludwig Göransson)
Mr. Holmes (Carter Burwell)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams)
Steve Jobs (Daniel Pemberton)