Sounds of Love: Building the Soundtrack
Nothing is more important in a romantic comedy
about love, time travel and making the most of life than
the music that brings it all together. Curtis wanted to
convey the emotions experienced by Tim as he fell in
love and as his relationship with his parents deepened
as he grew up. The filmmaker managed to encapsulate
those emotions into one incredible soundtrack.
The chart-topping music of Ben Folds, who first
came to fame with the band Ben Folds Five and later
segued into a solo act, was the perfect addition to the
film's music roster. In addition to recording and releasing
16 studio albums, Folds'
work has been featured in
several films and television
series. Folds was an easy
pick for the filmmakers, as
all were fans of his work.
Curtis enthuses: "Ben
Folds is one of my favorite
artists, and 'The Luckiest'
has always been one of my
favorite songs. I knew the
film was always going to
end with that song. The
pure simplicity of 'I am,
I am, I am the luckiest,' is
what I wanted to say during the completely simple final
sequence -- where Tim is waking up, eating breakfast
and taking his kids to school -- to illustrate that, even
in his day-to-day, Tim feels that sentiment."
After choosing "The Luckiest" to close About Time,
the filmmakers tortured themselves trying to select what
piece of music to open the film. Recalls Curtis: "After
searching for the perfect song to go with the opening
monologue, we tried Ben's 'The Luckiest,' without the
lyrics, just the piano. We knew at once that we'd found
the answer: Ben at the beginning, Ben at the end."
Folds shares what drew him to the project: "As a
big fan of Richard's films, I was honored that he asked
me to be a part of About Time's musical storytelling.
I recorded a new version of 'The Luckiest' especially
for the film, and I feel it brings us along Tim's journey
Little did Folds know, but Curtis had drawn double
inspiration from him -- not only bookending the film
with "The Luckiest," but also drawing inspiration from
one of Folds' music videos. Curtis shares: "In searching
for the film's music, I watched one of Ben's music
videos called 'Still Fighting It,' which is a beautiful
home-shot video of Ben playing with his son on the
beach. At the end of About Time, there's a scene on the beach between Tim and his Dad, which is absolutely
the most central moment of the movie and is, in fact,
inspired by Ben's video."
Indeed, nothing ties the sounds of a film together
more than a great theme. Curtis took this task
seriously and brought on The Dream Academy's Nick
Laird-Clowes to score the film. Laird-Clowes shares:
"When Richard asked me to compose the music for
About Time, the challenge was to try to encapsulate
all the emotions that the film evoked into a single
theme. I'm very pleased with how it turned out."
In addition to the musical stylings of Folds and Laird-
Clowes, the film's soundtrack features BRIT winner and
multiplatinum-selling artist Ellie Goulding with her
take on The Waterboys' beautiful love song "How Long
Will I Love You." The About Time soundtrack is rounded
out with classic and con temporary love songs, including
Nick Cave's "Into My Arms," Ron Sexsmith's "Gold
in Them Hills" and The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love,"
bringing key scenes in the film to life.
Curtis sums it up: "Sometimes, I actually start with
a song, and then write the scene. In this film more
than any other, the songs that inspired me have actually
found their way into the finished film."
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