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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


For the person who thinks they don't want to see this movie, please reconsider. I wasn't sure what I'd really think of it even as it started, by the end I was blown away (and wiping away the tears). This is one of the best, most complete, movies I've seen in a long, long time. I was blown away with how it builds slowly, unfolds to become about so much more than the small tale with which it began, and then just stuns you as it unfolds to its climax. The music works so well with the movie, and adds so much to the images and the story. As over-used as the phrase may be, this is a must-see movie, with an incredible score to accompany it.

Another instant Classic

With each new score, Dario Marianelli continues to impress and enchantment me and it is no different with his newest score from the film Atonement. I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this soundtrack (and film), as Dario is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists! Any fan of his past works will not be dissappointed!


This is such a great film! I was so amazed by it that I went to see it again. A second viewing is recommended so that you can focus on the details that director Joe Wright captures. The music adds such a rich layer to this film. It is hauntingly beautiful music that adds suspense and heightens emotions. I highly recommend!


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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