6 of the Best Movie Soundtracks to Work From Home To
The choice of what to listen to while working is a difficult one.
Podcasts are too chatty and often too distracting for when you’re trying to get everything on your to-do list ticked off. But then, equally, a sombre piece of classical music isn’t upbeat enough and doesn’t give you the energy that you need. Pop music, whether listened to from the radio or from a curated playlist, is OK, although sometimes it can prove too earworm-y, when what you really want is background noise, pure and simple.
The solution is listening to a movie soundtrack. The tunes will be familiar enough to keep you happy while you’re working, but without lyrics or the twang of a pop singer’s voice, it won’t distract you. Plus, there’s the added bonus of being a reminder of a beautiful movie that you love. (Although be warned: if you listen to the soundtrack too much you definitely will want to stream the movie that night on Netflix or Stan.)
So, without further ado, here are our favourite movie soundtracks for when you’re working from home.
Little Women by Alexandre Desplat
Greta Gerwig’s Little Women was a brilliant and canny adaptation of the original novel, one that raised all sorts of questions about romance, independence and sisterhood. The soundtrack, by composer Alexandre Desplat, was similarly gorgeous: vibrant violin melodies and sweet piano tunes. Our favourite is ‘The Beach’, the piece of music that played over the March sisters outing to the coast with their boy next door Laurie, played by everyone’s internet boyfriend Timothée Chalamet.
Sense and Sensibility by Patrick Doyle
Jane Austen fans will know this soundtrack instantly. All those warm violins and trilling flutes captured the mood of the 1995 film adaptation of Austen’s novel, starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as Elinor and Marianne, two sisters each dealing with their own romantic hopes and disappointment. Soft and slow, this is a soundtrack that could not have been better designed for playing while you are tackling your daily to-do list. When it comes to the tracklist, we can’t go past ‘My Father’s Favourite’, which contains a riff on the piano melody that Marianne plays over and over again in the opening scenes of the film.
Pride and Prejudice by Dario Marianelli
What’s this? Another Jane Austen soundtrack? Well, yes. It’s our list and we make the rules. Truly, though, this score by composer Dario Marianelli could not be more stunning. The entire soundtrack is based around a single piano melody, which is itself built out of repeated notes and arpeggios, as set forth in the score’s first track ‘Dawn’. (If you’re a fan of the Keira Knightley and Matthew Mcfadyen film, you’ll recognise it immediately.) Can’t you just imagine an Austen heroine spending the day writing letters and reading books to this music, or traipsing about the countryside to visit her neighbours while this plays as she walks? Heaven.
Chocolat by Rachel Portman
There’s a magical quality to this soundtrack, which is apt given the film that it’s based on. Remember Chocolat, the story of Vianne (Juliette Binoche) who moves into a small town in rural France with the dream of opening up a chocolaterie on the eve of the Lenten fast? Though she makes quick enemies of the mayor, she befriends her neighbour (played by Judi Dench) who fast becomes her confidante and an ally in the village. This soundtrack is a collection of whimsical and playful tunes that will transport you to the French countryside while you work.
Phantom Thread by Johnny Greenwood
How do we love this film? Let us count the ways. Phantom Thread—which is available to stream on Netflix, if you haven’t seen it yet—is about a brilliant but inscrutable fashion designer, so naturally the costumes are gorgeous, who falls in love with his equally brilliant, equally inscrutable, fit model. The script is hilarious, the performances by Daniel Day Lewis, Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps pitch perfect, and then there’s that glorious score. ‘The Hem’, ‘House Of Woodcock’ and ‘For The Hungry Boy’ are all stunning piano melodies that build and build and build, and we keep them playing on repeat whenever we want to be inspired.
If Beale Street Could Talk by Nicholas Britell
Nicholas Britell is an insanely talented composer. He created the soundtrack for Moonlight, which is so beautiful it could have earned him a second spot on this list, as well as the iconic theme tune for the hit television series Succession. This might be his best work though, a super romantic, super nostalgic soundtrack for the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk. Each rich and gorgeous track is slow and full of yearning, but we think ‘The Children Of Our Age’ is our favourite.