Atonement, directed by Joe Wright, starring James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai, Saoirse Ronan and Vanessa Redgrave, opened the 64th Venice Film Festival in August last year.
The decision to open the 64th edition with Atonement, the second film directed by Joe Wright (his first being Pride & Prejudice), confirms the pioneering vocation of the Venice Film Festival and its ability to work as a true 'talent scout' festival. Intercepting the most innovative developments in the film world as and when they happen, and revealing the new trends and currents in contemporary cinema, the Festival discovers and presents the protagonists of cinema of the future.
The director of the 64th Venice Film Festival, Marco Muller, declared: "In the year of its 75th anniversary, the Festival must look to the future. For the first time in its history, the opening film is the work of a young director. A film that the selecting committee has unanimously considered - in terms of emotive and visual power - to be even greater than some of the major films of many confirmed directors."
The book Atonement by Ian McEwan, has won numerous literary awards: the Commonwealth Prize in 2002, the Smith Literary prize in 2002, the National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award in 2003, the Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction in 2003 and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel in 2004.
The film has also garnered seven nominations at the upcoming 80th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. Composer Dario Marianelli gets his second Oscar nomination nod for his lush composition on Atonement, with the previous one for his score in Wright’s first film Pride & Prejudice. The sweeping score also features performances by renowned French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. The results for the 80th Academy Awards will be announced on 24 February.