Good Will Hunting is probably most famous for introducing the film's young screenwriters & stars. However, there's more to the film's Cinderella stories than just the tale of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's rise to fame. The real sleeper hit of the whole endeavor is the soundtrack. Director Gus Van Sant, who himself benefited from the success of the film, gave room to two brilliant musicians - the then little known folk pop singer Elliott Smith and film scorer Danny Elfman. Elfman, who had already become an accomplished film composer by 1997, used the opportunity to break free from his Batman score that had come to define his sound. In the process he was able to win over his peers in the film music world and snag an Academy Award nomination. Elliott Smith's story may be even more impressive than those of everyone else involved in the film. The Portland native had three independent albums to his name before Van Sant chose his music for the movie. The one new song he wrote for the soundtrack, "Miss Misery," went on to get an Oscar nomination for Best Song. This was particularly surprising for an honor that is usually reserved for Broadway-style musical numbers and adult contemporary superstars. There's a handful of pop songs as well, but the Good Will Hunting soundtrack is all about Danny Elfman's and Elliott Smith's contributions.
- music label: Capitol Records 1997 / 2015