Posts Tagged ‘Dario Marianelli’

THE SECRET GARDEN – Dario Marianelli

September 15, 2020 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There have been numerous film and television adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved 1911 novel The Secret Garden over the years, including one starring Margaret O’Brien released in 1949, and one executive-produced by Francis Ford Coppola in 1993, which was the most recent version released in cinemas prior to this one. The story is one of innocence, magic, and friendship, and is regarded as a classic of English children’s literature. It tells the story of Mary, a young girl who grows up spoiled as member of the aristocracy in British India; when her parents die in a cholera epidemic she is sent to live with distant relatives in an isolated mansion on the Yorkshire Moors. Despite initially hating her new surroundings, Mary begins to warm to her new life after she discovers a secret walled garden hidden in a remote part of the estate. As Mary spends more and more time in the garden she starts to learn the history of the place, her family, and the house itself – which eventually leads her to make a startling discovery that changes her life forever. The film is directed by Marc Munden from a screenplay by Jack Thorne, stars Dixie Egerickx as Mary, and features Colin Firth and Julie Walters in supporting roles. Read more…

DARKEST HOUR – Dario Marianelli

December 22, 2017 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There are few twentieth century political and military leaders as respected and admired as Sir Winston Churchill. An army officer, Nobel prize winning writer, and artist, he served two terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. He, along with his comrades Josef Stalin and Franklin Roosevelt, led the Allies to victory in World War II, and in so doing became one of the most well-known and recognizable figures in the world, with his iconic hat, jowls, and cigar. As an orator, he was patriotic and inspirational, and several of his most famous speeches – “we shall fight them on the beaches,” “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” – are legendary. But he was also a complex, conflicted man, who failed to be as effective a governor in peacetime as he was in war. He has been portrayed on film many times over the years, but the performance given by actor Gary Oldman in director Joe Wright’s film Darkest Hour, may be the most acclaimed to date. Read more…


September 14, 2016 5 comments

kuboandthetwostringsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Kubo and the Two Strings is the latest animated film from the outstanding Laika studio, whose previous efforts include such films as Coraline, Paranorman, and The Boxtrolls. The film is directed by Travis Knight and is set in a village in feudal Japan, where a young boy named Kubo practices the ancient art of origami, which he is able to magically manipulate by playing his shamisen, a three-stringed musical instrument similar to a guitar or banjo. Kubo’s father is dead, and his mother, who is ill, warns him about the dangers posed by his grandfather, the Moon King, and his aunts, the Sisters; they stole one of his eyes when he was a baby, and they covet the other one. Circumstances force Kubo to embark on a dangerous quest to search for his father’s armor, which he believes will protect him; he is accompanied on his journey by a magical monkey, and a half-man half-beetle samurai warrior who has no memory of his previous life. As they journey across the land, facing various dangers as they search for the armor, they are pursued by the Sisters, who will stop and nothing to thwart Kubo’s plans. The film – which has been the recipient of a great deal of critical acclaim – features the voices of Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei, and Game of Thrones’s Art Parkinson as Kubo, and has an original score by the Oscar-winning Italian composer Dario Marianelli. Read more…

EVEREST – Dario Marianelli

October 1, 2015 Leave a comment

everestOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Although more than 4,000 people have scaled the summit of Mount Everest since Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay first conquered the mountain in 1953, hundreds have also perished on its treacherous slopes. Director Baltasar Kormákur’s film Everest tells the story of one of the mountain’s most deadly incidents, when eight people died trying to reach the summit in May 1996, including experienced guides Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, both of whom ran ‘adventure vacation’ companies that specialized in taking tourists to the top of the world. It’s an exciting, dramatic, harrowing, visually beautiful film, made all the more tragic through the knowledge that (by and large) it depicts true events. The film stars Australian actor Jason Clarke as Hall – getting to use his native accent for once! – and Jake Gyllenhaal as his American counterpart Fischer, and features Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Michael Kelly, and Sam Worthington in supporting roles. Read more…

THE BOXTROLLS – Dario Marianelli

September 30, 2014 1 comment

boxtrollsOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Boxtrolls is a stop-motion animated film from the people who brought us Coraline and Paranorman. Based on the novel “Here Be Monsters!” by Alan Snow, it follows the adventures of a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in an amazing cavernous home beneath the streets of the fictional English town of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher, comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls – who are mistakenly believed to kidnap children – Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with a feisty young girl named Winifred to save the Boxtrolls from an untimely fate. The film features the voices of Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Simon Pegg, and Game of Thrones’s Isaac Hempstead-Wright, and features an original score by Dario Marianelli, in what is his first significant work since Anna Karenina in 2012. Read more…

ANNA KARENINA – Dario Marianelli

November 23, 2012 5 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Anna Karenina is a classic of Russian literature, written by the celebrated author Leo Tolstoy in 1873. It tells the story of the titular character, Anna, a Moscow socialite married to the taciturn Alexei Karenin, a stoic Government official 20 years her senior. Anna’s life is thrown into turmoil when she meets and falls for the dashing Count Vronsky, a handsome and wealthy cavalry officer who sweeps Anna off her feet, and shows her the true meaning of love. However, repressive societal norms, pressure from friends and family, and Anna’s own insecurities about what she wants from life means that her difficult choice between a safe, but dull life with Karenin and a wild, but potentially ostracizing life with Vronsky becomes agonizing. The story has been told on film many times over the years; this lavish new version is directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, stars Keira Knightley as Anna, Jude Law as Alexei, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky, and has a stellar supporting cast that includes Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson and Matthew Macfadyen. Read more…

JANE EYRE – Dario Marianelli

March 17, 2011 3 comments

janeeyreOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë’s timeless tale of love, madness and female empowerment, has been brought to life several times on the big screen, and inspired some excellent scores, most notably by Bernard Herrmann and John Williams. This new film, directed by Cary Fukunaga, stars Mia Wasikowska as the eponymous heroine, who was mistreated and downtrodden as a young girl in 17th century England, but eventually grows up to be the governess of a young girl at the rambling, imposing Thornfield Hall. Jane falls in love with the dashing master of the house, Rochester (Michael Fassbender), but as her relationship with the raffish gentleman develops, increasingly strange things begin to happen during the night in the dark and dusty corridors of Thornfield, testing Jane’s nerve, and her sanity. The film also stars Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins and Judi Dench, and features a sumptuous, utterly beautiful score by Dario Marianelli. Read more…

EVERYBODY’S FINE – Dario Marianelli

December 4, 2009 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Everybody’s Fine is a rather belated English-language remake of director Giuseppe Tornatore’s classic 1990 Italian film Stanno Tutti Bene, which was scored by Ennio Morricone; this new version is directed by Kirk Jones and stars Robert De Niro who, having been recently widowed, decides to make up for lost time and sets off on a road trip intending to re-connect with his estranged children Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell.

Dario Marianelli’s score for Everybody’s Fine adopts a similarly whimsical tone to its illustrious predecessor, with light woodwind, piano, string and guitar writing to accompany Frank on his journey of self-discovery and reconciliation. Read more…

AGORA – Dario Marianelli

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Agora is a historical epic set in Roman Egypt at the very end of the classical antiquity period. It’s a story about religion, philosophy, the clash between modern civilization and ancient belief, and the life of Hypatia, a pagan mathematician and astronomer who is considered to be one of the first women in history to be held in such esteem, and who embarks on an illicit romance with her slave Davus, who is himself in a quandary: if he converts to Christianity he may gain his freedom, but in doing so will lose the woman he loves. The Agora of the title refers to the central square in the city of Alexandria where the film is set, and where Hypatia was murdered in the year 415 by a mob of newly-converted Christians, who felt she was responsible for the political and religious unrest plaguing their city. The film is directed by Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, Max Minghella (son of director Anthony) as Davus, and features a new original score by Italian composer Dario Marianelli. Read more…

ATONEMENT – Dario Marianelli

December 7, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A romantic drama based on the acclaimed 2001 novel by Ian McEwan, Joe Wright’s film Atonement is a period drama about lies, regret, and redemption. Keira Knightly and James McAvoy star as Cecilia and Robbie, two young lovers in 1930s England whose blossoming relationship is halted by the intervention of Cecilia’s 13-year-old sister Briony (Saoirse Ronan), who accuses Robbie of a heinous crime – but is he guilty, or simply the victim of a young girl’s fantasy? As a result their two lives diverge: Robbie becomes a soldier, fighting on the beaches of Dunkirk in World War 2, while Cecilia becomes a nurse caring for the sick and injured returning from the trenches. Briony, meanwhile, grows up to become a successful novelist – but is continually haunted by the consequences of her childhood actions. Read more…

THE BRAVE ONE – Dario Marianelli

September 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Original Review by Clark Douglas

While I was quite bothered by the way audiences responded to Neil Jordan’s thoughtful thriller “The Brave One”, it didn’t keep me from admiring the film for a number of reasons. It’s a well-crafted film with several three-dimensional characters and a story that doesn’t allow reality to slip away during the difficult moments. Jodie Foster turns in one of her best “victimized woman” performances, and Terence Howard adds some very solid support as the police officer who befriends/investigates her. The film is essentially a much more thoughtful take on “Death Wish”, a revenge thriller in which the heroine actually has to deal with the moral murkiness of her actions. Read more…

THE RETURN – Dario Marianelli

November 10, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following his Oscar nomination for Pride & Prejudice last year, and his subsequent arrival in the ‘Hollywood Studio System’ with V for Vendetta, it was sort of inevitable that, before long, Dario Marianelli would turn up scoring a studio horror flick. Every composer does at least one (although some spend their entire careers doing nothing else!) It’s almost a rite of passage, something you have to do to earn your spurs, and be accepted as a reputable and reliable figure in the cogs that make up the system, which establishes you as one of the great fraternity from whose ranks most Hollywood movie scores are written. Dario Marianelli’s flick, it turns out, is The Return. Read more…

V FOR VENDETTA – Dario Marianelli

March 17, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Remember, remember, the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot; I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

In the UK, every November the 5th is celebrated as “bonfire night”, a rather odd but very popular tradition which commemorates the events of 5 November 1605, when a group of Catholic conspirators led by a fellow named Guy Fawkes tried to assassinate the Protestant King James I by blowing up the Houses of Parliament with barrels of gunpowder (their ultimate aim was to return a Catholic monarch to the throne). Fawkes was chosen as the one who would physically light the barrels and set off the explosions, but the plot was apparently foiled when he fell asleep in one of the chambers under Parliament and was discovered by guards. He was arrested, confessed under torture, and identified his co-conspirators. Fawkes was subsequently convicted of treason and executed by being hung, drawn and quartered, and as a final ignominy, had his remains burnt in public, a sort of “taste of his own medicine”, to do to him what he would have done to the King. Read more…

PRIDE & PREJUDICE – Dario Marianelli

November 11, 2005 Leave a comment

pride&prejudiceOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Jane Austen wrote her timeless classic of love and longing Pride & Prejudice in 1813, and in doing so introduced to the world what would in time become a classic of English literature. Austen’s story has been adapted for both the big and small screen on several occasions, arguably the most popular and acclaimed being the 1995 BBC mini-series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, with music by Carl Davis. This new version directed by Joe Wright stars Keira Knightly as the ‘quick minded, sharp witted’ Elizabeth Bennet, who in order to keep her family home secure and provide a future for her mother and sisters, is betrothed to the wealthy but passionless Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods). However, just as her family’s fortunes look as they are finally going to take a turn for the better, Elizabeth unexpected finds herself falling for the dour, taciturn Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), with whom she clashes both on a number of occasions… The film features an exceptional supporting cast, boasting the likes of Judi Dench, Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn, makes wonderful use of English locations (such as Chatsworth House in Derbyshire), and looks set to become one of the year’s most critically acclaimed motion pictures. Read more…