Top Nerdy 10: Film Scores Edition


By Rachel Cheng (@iamrachel)


Have you ever tried watching a film with the music removed? It’s a rather jarring experience. A movie’s score typically sets the tone for a scene before a single word is even spoken. So for this week’s collaborative Top Nerdy Ten, Roni and I share some of our favourite film scores. Just to clarify, this list isn’t all encompassing. We’ve left out quite a few so we have something more to explore in the future 🙂


1. The Mission (Ennio Morricone)


Roni: This is my personal favorite. To me, this is a perfect score! Gabriel’s Oboe is a beautiful piece full of optimism and sadness all at once.


Rach: I agree. There is a reason why this ends up on so many top score lists. Emotionally evocative music feeds your soul.



2. August Rush (Mark Mancina)


Rach: The final scene in Central Park where August is conducting his rhapsody in the hopes of reuniting

him and his parents is so beautifully done. There is a theme of longing in the music that pairs perfectly

with August’s desire to find his family.


Roni: Talk about showcasing how important music is to film. This movie takes it to a new level having the

story revolve around the music. Music is the most important thing.



3. Gladiator (Hans Zimmer)


Roni: Depth and majesty wrapped in the Maximus’ emotions.


Rach: Epic films need to be balanced with equally epic scores, especially when your backdrop is Ancient Rome. There is so much depth in Zimmer’s score.



4. Spirited Away (Joe Hisaishi)


Rach: Just like the worlds that Miyazaki creates, Hisaishi’s score is both whimsical and magical. The

music speaks for itself.



5. Amelie (Yann Teiersen)


Roni: Amelie is my number one favorite movie of all time, this means I adore everything about it. The

whimsical story of this curious girl is amplified by the playful, sometimes sad sounds of her score.


Rach: The melancholy undertones are intricately layered sometimes with just a piano.



6. The Pagemaster (James Horner)


Rach: Mystery, wonder, adventure, that pretty much sums up Horner’s score. And the strings really

shine especially in the theme.



7. Superman (John Williams)


Rach: I struggled with deciding which Williams score I would incorporate to this list (which led to the

decision that we will have a separate homage to Williams), so thankfully Roni chose one. This theme is

so iconic.


Roni: As memorable as the main Superman theme is, I am quite partial to Krypton’s theme.



8. Life Is Beautiful (Nicola Piovani)


Roni: Beautiful, heart wrenching film and it’s corresponding music. It’s easy to get lost in.


Rach: Obviously the story of the film is incredibly tragic and yet a lot of the music is still so uplifting.



9. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Howard Shore)


Rach: The score to the Lord of the Rings truly is like an extra character in the saga of Frodo Baggins. The music instantly transports you into Tolkien’s worlds.  “The Shire” theme and “May It Be” will always give me the chills.



10. Chocolat (Rachel Portman)


Rach: Can a score be alluring? Because that’s exactly how I would describe the music from Chocolat.

Alluring and decadent, just like the film’s namesake.


Roni: This score also has sexy moments.



What are your favourite film scores? Let us know in the comments below!


‘Til next time,


Rach & Roni

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