Sunday, April 19, 2015

Film Score of the Week: Atonement, by Dario Marianelli (2007)

Despite the quality of even the best film scores, they're largely all part of the same musical phylum. Great film scores always function for their films, but I've only ever seen a few that really interacted with their films, and Atonement was the first time I noticed such a thing. 

For a film which is largely about the power of typed words, the artistic decision for the opening scene score to use the sounds of a typewriter as its percussion was a stroke of pure brilliance.

I also particularly love the way it's used in this scene:

As the pivotal moments of the plot are being set in stone, the sounds of typing drive home the idea that the characters are essentially writing their own futures in the moment, and Briony in particular is editing events in her head into the version that makes the most sense. (Side note: how weird is it to see Theon Greyjoy in there?)

Composer Dario Marianelli won a well-deserved Oscar for this score, and he's been nominated two other times, both for other collaborations with director Joe Wright, Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Anna Karenina (2012). Surprisingly he doesn't have many other especially notable credits to his name. Beyond his Joe Wright collaborations (the aforementioned ones and The Soloist), his only films to get wide releases are V for Vendetta (which I remember being quite good), and four films I haven't seen: The Brave One, Eat Pray Love, The Boxtrolls, and 2011's Jane Eyre adaptation. Hopefully soon he'll find more directors that bring out his best. 

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