Atonement (2007)

JOE WRIGHT

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

/, 2007, , , .  Screenplay by , based on the novel .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A classic example of a film that does not equal the sum of its parts. With strong direction, a solid cast, excellent dialogue (Christopher Hampton adapted the novel by Ian McEwan), sterling silver-beautiful cinematography, plush period details and a gorgeous musical score, Atonement aims to be its year’s English Patient but is more of a Cold Mountain. and play upstairs-downstairs lovers whose one-night affair after years of distant longing is directed towards tragedy by the precocious imagination of her little sister (, later and ).  A series of unfortunate events and misunderstandings lead the child to believe that McAvoy is the rapist of her teenage cousin, leading towards his incarceration and release into the army during World War II. Where the story goes from here is to spin out of control as the plot focuses sometimes on the couple’s love affair but then decides it’s actually about the young girl’s moral awakening. In the end it’s a shallow experience but a perfectly executed one on the surface; Joe Wright shows much class and style in the telling of the story, but never manages to make the cardboard characters sympathetic or identifiable. Look for cameos by Belgian actor and the late director .

Academy Award:  Best Original Score
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actress (Saoirse Ronan); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design

European Film Award Nominations:  Best European Actor (James McAvoy); Best European Composer

Golden Globe Awards:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Original Score
Nominations: Best Actor-Drama (James McAvoy); Best Acterss-Drama (Keira Knightley); Best Supporting Actress (Saoirse Ronan); Best Director (Joe Wright); Best Screenplay

Toronto International Film Festival:  2007

Venice Film Festival:  In Competition

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