As a sort ofÂ Wes Anderson protege, Noah Baumbach has quickly risen in the ranks of filmmakers who focus on dysfunctional and quirky families. And though he hasn’t garnered the widespread popularity that Anderson has enjoyed, Baumbach has recently directed two high-profile art pieces -Â The Squid and the Whale being the first and Margot at the Wedding being the second. Along with his reputation for quirky film characters, he’s also got an Anderson-like knack for picking appropriately offbeat-yet-hip soundtracks as well.
The 17-track selection for Margot at the Wedding falls right in line with the film’s image. It doesn’t do too much to further Baumbach’sÂ range as an album producer, but it also doesn’t detract from it. The mixture is hip enough, with a few songs from Blondie (“Union City Blue” and “Sunday Girl”), as well as the Alice Cooper ballad “You and Me” and the slow, folksy “Everything Changes” from Lesley Duncan.
Though the entire soundtrack boasts a distinctive thread of slightly melancholy hope, (personified by theÂ X’s duetÂ ”See How We Are”), the music ranges from the late ’60s to the present day. Donovan’s 1968Â ”Teen Angel” is the earliest song, while the peppyÂ ”Northern Blue” from Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips is the most recent, recorded in 2007. The timelessness of the music is the most surprising aspect, considering this range of almost four decades.
Dinosaur Jr.’s “The Wagon” is perhaps the only miss on the album, sounding a little out of place amidst the rest of the softer, more emotional songs. Though Baumbach doesn’t raise the bar in soundtrack selections, he does a noble job of maintaining the film’s core feeling throughout. The tagline for Margot at the Wedding is “One family. Infinite degrees of separation.” And this soundtrack captures that sense of love and detachment admirably.
Zach’s Rating: B+
Perfect For: An overcast Sunday afternoon
Stay Away if: You’re already feeling a little depressed.