Atonement (Music from the Motion Picture)
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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).
Born: 21 June 1963 in Pisa, Italy
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s