OST: Atonement

OST: Atonement / 2007 Decca / 15 Tracks / http://www.focusfeatures.com/atonement /

Atonement is director Joe Wright’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, of the same name. The film itself features James McAvoy (Band of Brothers, Chronicles of Narnia) and Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Actually), and is set in the 1930s, detailing the lives of Briony, Robbie, and Cecilia. The soundtrack for the film was created by Dario Marianelli (V For Vendetta, Pride & Prejudice) and features the work of Jean-Yves Thibaudet (The Portrait of a Lady, Bride of the Wind and Pride & Prejudice). First off, the strongest element to this score is the fact that it genuinely feels as if the recording is coming from the movie’s period, rather than being created by an individual that was not very musically conscious or even alive during the movie’s period).

Secondly, the tracks each elicit completely different emotions – I haven’t seen the movie at this point but the beauty of Marianelli’s arrangements during the score provide individuals with more than enough in the way of a narrative, no matter how familiar they may be with the book or the movie version of Atonement. The tracks are also considerably longer than most present on musical scores; where music is created for one or two minute long scenes for a movie, the compositions here allow Thibaudet and the rest of the musicians featured here more than enough time to create a mood and really delve into the nuances and disparate feelings present in the mood. Similarly, the tracks are not long enough to draw too much attention away from the film or lose sight of what was originally planned. Of particular note during this score has to be the four minutes of heaven that a track like “Farewell” provides listeners.

“Farewell” is a track that is chock full of emotion and will draw at listeners’ heart strings just as much as any scene from the movie or any written word; it is during this track that Thibaudet’s work really shines. Marianelli and Thibaudet make some impressive music together, and I hope to hear more of the combination (writing and playing) in the years to come. I would also like to hear Thibaudet break free of Marianelli just to see exactly which of the two shines brighter when not working with the other. For some great work within the paradigm of the middle of the twentieth century, check out this score; the work of all involved puts this as one of the strongest scores of 2007.

Top Tracks: Rescue Me, Farewell

Rating: 7.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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