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Atonement (Music from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

The 2007 film Atonement represents a reunion of director (Joe Wright), star (Keira Knightley), composer (Dario Marianelli), and pianist (Jean-Yves Thibaudet) from the 2005 film Pride & Prejudice. Once again, the team concentrates on romance among the privileged in the English countryside, although Ian McEwan's 2002 novel is set in 1935 and the years thereafter, not in the 19th century. As far as the music is concerned, however, the time period might as well be the same. The typewriter that figures heavily on the opening track, "Briony," may not have been invented yet then, but Marianelli's main theme is so similar to one of Beethoven's that a lawsuit would have merit if copyright had not lapsed long since. That sets the tone for the score, which is heavily Romantic in style, and which often plays out as a series of sonatas for piano and orchestra, as Thibaudet is featured heavily. The plot concerns a man's love for a woman, thwarted by the false accusations of a jealous younger sister, and continues on into the war years and beyond. So, musically, there is the chance to accompany not only romance, but also intrigue and armed conflict, and Marianelli makes the most of his opportunities, ranging from full orchestral pieces to "Love Letters," a duet for Thibaudet and cellist Caroline Dale. Pride & Prejudice earned Marianelli an Oscar nomination. Atonement brought him a second (and on February 24, 2008, it won him his first Academy Award for original score).

Customer Reviews


Elegy for Dunkirk is one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard in my life. This soundtrack captures the movie and the time period so perfectly that you can almost taste the air that people were breathing.

Atonement review- pretty good

This soundtrack reminded me alot of Joe Wright's "Pride & Prejudice". The music is beautiful, and I'm a big fan of Jean-Yves Thibaudet. I wish more of his wok was contributed to this soundtrack. But overall, if you enjoyed "Pride & Prejudice", you'll like this one. Can't wait for the movie!

Beautiful, like the movie

This is a case where the music and the movie flow together in perfect harmony. It is a simply breathtaking musical score, which illustrates the emotions of what the characters are experiencing. Both the movie and this soundtrack deserve 5/5. Bravo!


Born: June 21, 1963 in Pisa, Italy

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dario Marianelli is an Italian composer of film and concert music. Born in Pisa, he started piano studies and began singing as a chorister at age 6. When his voice broke, he devoted himself to playing piano and composing. He studied privately and took exams as an external student in nearby Florence, Lucca, and Livorno, and also studied counterpoint before moving to England. There, he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and spent three additional years studying at the National Film...
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