Since the Oscars were just held a few days ago, I figured it was a good time to highlight six “Great Music-Based Movies.”
– Across the Universe
The story may be a little hackneyed, and the acting is hit-or-miss at times, but Across the Universe features lavish, often-beautiful recreations of Beatles songs. What more can one really ask for in a film?
– Crazy Heart
Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, a down-on-his-luck country singer/songwriter, who tries to settle down with a younger, divorced woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Bridges’ brilliant performance and excellent original songs written by T-Bone Burnett make Crazy Heart a must-see.
– This is Spinal Tap
This is Spinal Tap is not only one of the greatest music-based films of all time, it is also one of the best comedies ever made. Nearly every scene has at least one quotable line, and the matter-of-fact delivery makes things even funnier, as it is clear that the band that brought such hits as “Big Bottom” and “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You (Tonight)” has no clue just how ridiculous they are. This film truly goes to eleven (sorry, couldn’t resist that one).
– A Mighty Wind
From most of the people that brought us This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind shifts the mockumentary focus from metal to 60s folk. The concept of a bunch of old folk acts getting together for a live, televised tribute show is brilliant in that it gives the writers and actors (the film is mostly ad-libbed) plenty of material to work with. Eugene Levy’s performance as a tortured folk singer who faded into obscurity is one for the ages.
– High Fidelity
John Cusack uses music as a means for re-examining his past relationships in this not-quite romantic comedy. High Fidelity is a good film (but not a truly great one), bolstered by its musical references, Jack Black’s random “Top 5” lists, and a rare cameo appearance by Bruce Springsteen.
– Almost Famous
In Almost Famous, a teenager tricks Rolling Stone Magazine into letting him follow middling-but-rising band Stillwater on the road in order to write a feature article on them. As a result, lessons are learned about life, love, and music, both on tour and off. This is a film about aspirations clashing with harsh realities, and the delusions those conflicts can cause, all set against the backdrop of rock and roll and an epic soundtrack.