Brian De Palma, whether you love him or hate him, always has a knack for choosing composers. Whether it’s the twinkly, sexy romanticism of Pino Donaggio in “Blow Out,” “Body Double,” and “Dressed to Kill;” the brooding eroticism of Bernard Herrmann in “Sisters” and “Obsession;” or the more off-kilter experimentalism of Ryuichi Sakamoto in “Snake Eyes” and “Femme Fatale;” De Palma knows how to match the musician with the material, almost seamlessly. Even his big budget Hollywood job, “Mission: Impossible,” which had a last minute replacement score cooked up by Danny Elfman, remains one of that composer’s greatest, least heralded efforts. And that knack seems to have continued, with Film Music Reporter noting that the filmmaker has brought on Dario Marianelli, of “Atonement” and “Jane Eyre” fame, for his latest project, an erotic thriller called “Passion.”
De Palma’s new movie is based on the French film “Love Crime” (released domestically this past year). That film starred Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier, while De Palma’s variation, with a slightly altered storyline, stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, both survivors of the horrible “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” This new version will be produced by Ben Said Ben and, as we noted previously, the $20 million budgeted film will begin shooting in March.
Marianelli rose to fame with his score for “Atonement,” with its unforgettably rhythmic use of a typewriter sound in the film’s first half. That score won Marianelli the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Score, and the composer has worked steadily ever since, scoring for directors as varied as Neil Jordan (on his revenge thriller “The Brave One“), Alejandro Amenabar (on 2009’s historical epic “Agora“) and Ryan Murphy (on 2010’s fluffy travelogue “Eat Pray Love“).
While we haven’t seen “Love Crime” yet, we imagine that Marianelli will be a good fit for the material, with its emphasis on “eroticism, suspense, mystery, and murder” (according to De Palma) and European setting (it’s being filmed in Berlin). We have been slightly concerned about the movie’s miniscule budget, and Marianelli’s contribution should give the movie a little extra oomph. We can’t wait to hear what Marianelli and De Palma cook up together.