hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks of All Time: Garden State
As part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 2003 and we're recommending the soundtrack to Garden State.
Garden State, the film that took Zach Braff from Scrubs to the silver screen.
So what’s the film about?
Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff, who also wrote and directed the film) is a wanna-be actor in LA, waiting tables to make ends meet. When his mother dies suddenly, he’s forced to drop everything and return to home to New Jersey for the funeral.
Back in his hometown, he reacquaints himself with his old friends who never left, including Mark (Peter Sarsgaard) who digs grves for a living and still lives at home with his mother. He also meets Sam (Natalie Portman), a troubled young woman who’s epileptic and a compulsive liar, who he begins a relationship with.
Slowly Andrew begins to re-evaluate his life, confronting some demons from his past he’s never dared face, and trying to figure out what he wants to do next.
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
It’s a collection of indie rock from the film.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
It’s made up of tracks from notable indie and folk artists, from classic songs by the likes of Nick Drake and Simon & Garfunkel to contemporary acts like Iron & White, Coldplay and Remy Zero.
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
There’s a lot indie hits you should recognise, including Coldplay’s ‘Don’t Panic’ and Iron & White’s cover of The Postal Service’s ‘Such Great Heights’. There are also some older classics on there, like Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’, a nod to the influence The Graduate had on the film. Other notable songs on there are Frou Frou’s electro-indiepop ‘Let Go’ and the chilled trip-hop ‘In The Waiting Line’ from Zero 7.
What’s the best moment?
When Andrew and Sam first meet in a doctor’s waiting room, she constantly hounds him to listen The Shins’ ‘New Slang’ on her Walkman, telling him that “they will change [his] life”. When she finally forces the headphones on him, the close up on her face as she tries to gage his reaction is one of the most tender moments in the whole film.
Has it stood the test of time?
This sort of twee, Sundance-approved indie movie has become ten-a-penny, and it has become very easy to groan whenever you start hearing some acoustic folk-rock on film like this. But if you can cast your mind back a decade, Garden State and its soundtrack are still really wonderful and heartfelt.