My vote goes to Inception
. Never before, in my very humble opinion, has a soundtrack fit a movie so well as does that of Inception
. From the clock-like staccato "jing jing jings" of the strings in "Dream is Collapsing" to the warping tempos and rhythms from "Dream Within a Dream", the listener isn't shoved an out-of-place, sappy, beautiful overture when watching the movie (I would argue this is the case in some parts of his other scores, namely Pirates of the Caribbean
), but rather something that literally blends in with the action on the screen and that is incredibly thought-provoking. The intensity of the music varies so parallel with the action that, to me, there are times when I don't even notice consciously what is happening with the music in the background.
All in all, my favorite track has GOT to be "Time". As a pianist I feel like I can especially appreciate it; the entire piece is based off of two-note piano chords, which, amazingly, somehow bring to mind the concept of, well, "passing time" in a spatially-still setting. Listen to the last 30 seconds of the track and you'll see what I mean. It also blends incredibly well, again, with the on-screen scene, producing what I think is one of the best endings to a movie, ever. The track, with the same chords but in differing instrumentation with different decorations across its entirety, accompanies a dazed Dom Cobb in disbelief, a relieved Dom Cobb receiving a warm embrace to his home, and just as he goes to hug his children and the camera zooms in for that notorious, ambiguous ending with the top, the music reduces itself to only unaccompanied, piano chords, suddenly becoming cold and mysterious. The SAME, few chords manage to do all of that in a short scene. What beauty.
When crediting a soundtrack composer of course you have to credit the film director, as well, in this case Christopher Nolan. The director is the one who sets up the scenes with the tracks, and in this case, the two of them were truly in harmony.
And last, but not least, there's the famous fact that the signature Inception "BWONG.................. BWONG!!!" sound is actually based off of the Edith Piaf song used by the film characters in the movie, and yes, warped in time. In case you haven't already noticed this, or seen this viral video, this clip illustrates what I am talking about.
Yeah, I'm kind of obsessed with this soundtrack.