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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


I must congratulate Dario Marianelli for utilizing the typewriter as a musical instrument on tracks from this album, it really creates atmosphere and tension which is so palpable in this film. Tracks such as 'Briony' really stand out as atmospheric and the theme in this track reccurs throughout the album. A stand out track is 'Elegy for Dunkirk'. This is a beautiful and moving piece of music which coincides with my favourite part of the film; the long tracking shot of Dunkirk. This is a very well put together soundtrack and I found it integral to the mood and atmosphere of the film which is excellent. If you are a fan of soundtracks and like Marianelli's previous scores, then you will definately enjoy and appreciate this album.


Amazing....having read the book, and loved it i was pleasently surprised with the success of the film! i think that one of the key factors is the heightens senses, mirrors exactly what you are supposed to feel at the moment in which it is happening! Great score, great book, great film!!!


You just have to listen to it! For me the best song is 'Elegy For Dunkirk'


Born: 21 June 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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