When Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), thirteen-years-old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) at the fountain in front of the family estate, she misinterprets what is happening, thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them. Robbie is the son of a family servant toward whom the family has always been kind. They paid for his time at Cambridge and now he plans on going to medical school. After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a deviant. When her cousin Lola (Juno Temple) is raped, she tells the Police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed.Written by
The small English town of Redcar stood in for the French city of Dunkirk, and the Dunkirk set built there was the most expensive one in this movie, costing an estimated one million pounds sterling. See more »
In the scene where Robbie types his "In my dreams" letter, he finishes the letter placing the period only a little ways from the edge of the paper. But when he removes the letter from the typewriter and goes to fold it, the words and period are closer to the center of the paper. See more »
The superb Ian McEwan book translated into cold beautiful images by the startling Joe Wright and scriptwriter Christopher Hampton. The result is a series of powerful rushes and abrupt stops. A pacing that, perhaps, is a bit too self conscious for its own good doesn't help us to connect the emotional dots. I had the feeling I had lost something in the love story of the protagonists - something that didn't happen to me reading the book. By the time the "injustice" takes place I was taken by the pain of the injustice but not by Knightley and McAvoy's liaison. Their love story is left to its own devices. The beauty of the images is overwhelming and the assuredness of Joe Wright at his second feature after the, much better, "Pride and Prejudice" keeps you going. The score tends to be monotonous and irritating but in spite of all that I intend to see "Atonement" again and I would recommend it with just the above mentioned reservations.
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