If there were a Mount Rushmore for film directors who know how to put together a perfect soundtrack, whose faces would be chiseled in the rock? Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and Quentin Tarantino spring to mind.
Scorsese has used old school rock ’n’ roll with such deft skill that any modern filmmaker who uses The Rolling Stones in a film should cut Marty a check. It’s impossible to imagine any of Anderson’s immaculately constructed twee masterpieces without the blend of ’60s pop, French ye-ye music, and Brazilian Bowie covers he scores them with. And Tarantino is just as quick to show off his record collection as his movie knowledge — any Q.T. film is bound to come with a few killer soul jams, surf rock, or Nancy Sinatra torch songs to spice things up.
You can’t have a Mount Rushmore with just three faces, though. And if anyone’s earned a spot up there with the big three, it’s Edgar Wright.
The English filmmaker got his big break on the cult TV show Spaced (1999-2001). It’s where he met Simon Pegg, his leading man and co-writer for many of his films. It’s also where Wright first displayed his talent for marrying comedic material with the kind of dramatic filmmaking techniques you’d see in horror or action films.
You don’t have to look further than Wright’s 2017 film, Baby Driver, to see how good he is at using music to further his vision. The film plays like a bangin’ mixtape with a few jaw-dropping car chases thrown in for extra sizzle. From The Commodores and T-Rex to The Damned and Queen, it’s a soundtrack that crosses oceans and eras. It’s also a film that makes music a key part of its plot. Baby is a getaway driver with tinnitus, and he plays music constantly through his headphones to drown out the incessant buzzing in his ears.
Wright’s music choices in Baby Driver feel deliberate and purposeful. Consider the “botched” getaway scene when Flea and Jamie Foxx’s characters hit a bank. Wright scores the scene to The…