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Atonement
     

Atonement

4.4 59
Director: Joe Wright, James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai

Cast: Joe Wright, James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai

 

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A mischievous girl accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit, only to find that her words have irrevocably and permanently changed the lives of all involved in a film that re-teams the filmmakers behind Pride & Prejudice to adapt the best-selling 2002 novel by author Ian McEwan.

Overview

A mischievous girl accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit, only to find that her words have irrevocably and permanently changed the lives of all involved in a film that re-teams the filmmakers behind Pride & Prejudice to adapt the best-selling 2002 novel by author Ian McEwan. The year is 1935, and as the summer heat takes hold, 13-year-old fledgling writer Briony Tallis watches her older sister, Cecilia (Keira Knightley), get undressed and go frolicking in the garden fountain on her family's country estate. The housekeeper's son, Robbie (James McAvoy), a childhood friend and recent Cambridge graduate, also witnesses the innocent act. When Robbie and Cecilia subsequently cross a particularly sensitive boundary and the scheming Briony accuses Robbie of an unspeakable transgression for which the boy is wholly innocent, the repercussions of her unfounded claim threaten to affect all three for decades to come.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Joe Wright's Atonement is impressive for what it isn't as much as for what it is. For starters, it's not a straightforward period piece, though the presence of James McAvoy and Keira Knightley (alongside her Pride & Prejudice director) might suggest otherwise. Neither is it the least bit slow, with Wright's cinematic choices invigorating the narrative at every turn. It should be no surprise, then, that Atonement's marriage of lofty war-time subject matter and eye-opening technique earned it seven Oscar nominations. Viewers will find their eyes opened plenty wide -- even before noticing any technique -- by Atonement's raw sexuality, which immediately removes it from the tea-and-crumpet politeness of your average costume drama. McAvoy's Robbie has several smoldering encounters with Knightley's Cecelia, one involving a letter so lurid, it's downright smut. Crucially, these episodes are misinterpreted -- perhaps willfully -- by Cecilia's sister Briony (the Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan). Wright orchestrates these passages so they appear to be merely the whimsical misunderstandings of any good farce. But as the levity peels away toward sinister motivations and irrevocable repercussions, Atonement slouches into the scourges of war, leaving those parlors behind forever. Wright accomplishes all this through a memorable bag of tricks, including a repeating narrative structure that shows events interpreted from several perspectives; an indelible Oscar-winning score by Dario Marianelli, which utilizes typewriter keystrokes as percussion instruments; and one of the most ambitious uninterrupted shots ever recorded on film (by DP Seamus Mcgarvey). Perhaps second only to Children of Men's famous tracking shot in terms of modern achievement, this five-and-a-half-minute continuous take is a truly jaw-dropping sequence along the beach at Dunkirk, starting with the execution of several horses, then looping through all manner of minutely choreographed chaos without missing a beat. If there's any complaint here, it's that some viewers may feel shaken by the film's abrupt compartmentalization of its chronology, most notably during the final ten minutes, which have a somewhat spell-breaking effect. But most viewers should find themselves utterly enveloped by a movie far different than they may have prejudged.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/26/2010
UPC:
0025192046162
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
Focus Features
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:00:00
Sales rank:
31,194

Special Features

Deleted Scenes; Bringing The Past To Life: The Making Of Atonement; ; From Novel To Screen: Adapting A Classic; Feature Commentary With Director Joe Wright

Cast & Crew

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Atonement 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I loved the book more, i thought this movie was so lovingly taken care of by director Joe Wright. He has a clear vision for beauty that evident clear in the "Elegy for Dunkirk" scene. Over two in a half minutes, and the camera never cuts. It pans around the area, exploring, revealing, and devastating the hearts of film-makers everywhere. James McAvoy delivers a stellar performance, and is sure to be at the top of Hollywood soon. After reading the book, and developing such a adoration and appreciation of Robbie's strength, passion, and commitment I can't imagine anyone doing him the justice as James McAvoy did for him in this film. Visually stunning, gut-wrenchingly romantic, and heart-breakingly tragic. A must-see in my opinion.
Eria More than 1 year ago
I was completely floored when I saw the movie. It pulls at your heart-strings. You fall in love with the characters and grow a hatred towards others. You sense their love, their pain, their frustration-- very compelling, wonderful demonstration of the human condition!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was good. But not great. I normally like these types of movies, but it seems like this one just missed the mark. The cinematography is great, the costumes and sets are wonderful, the actors were well picked, but I felt like this book maybe just can't be translated into a movie. It dragged on which the book really didn't. Its worth seeing, but maybe not buying.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Wow was this sad. But I'll admit the actors, especially the main leads did a good job. And that ending...wow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Izzie_reads_books More than 1 year ago
It made me cryyyyyyyyyyy!!! If only love was like that today! Then there wouldn't be so much divorce...well enough about that. Oh my gosh, and man, I hated Briony for tearing them apart--and then making up the rest of the end, making me hopeful for nothing! She based her accusation off of assuption and imagination!? I bet even on jelousy...ooh is there a novel??? :D Oh, and I can't help but say that I looooov James McAvoy, he looks hot in this movie. He looked hot in the Last King of Scotland too.
Henson_A More than 1 year ago
Atonement is a film of epic proportions. Briony is so protective of her stepsister Cinderella(Cecilia), much so that she claims to have seen McAvoy turn into a monster. She reinvents(twists) things outside of her control, so as not to feel the cold(harsh) effects of McAvoy's impatience. Atonement reminds us that "not all things are what they seem" and to "be careful what [we] wish for". Though paused and slow at times, Atonement will surely astound and entertain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of the director as well as Keira Knightly but I felt that the film adaptation did not live up to the novel. The end of the book is much more moving and surprising and I feel badly for those who saw the movie without reading the book and could not experience that feeling. The costumes and sets were beautiful, the typewriter incorporated into the score was creative, and the Dunkirk scene was stunning-perhaps, though, I would feel more strongly for the movie had I not been spoiled by McEwan's work of genius.
Chelsea_Hannah_Boo More than 1 year ago
I had heard this movie was good, and I finally bought it. And I'm in love. The characters are wonderful. The story is sad and beautiful.
BelindaThaxter More than 1 year ago
Adapted from the novel, ATONEMENT is personal drama set against an epic backdrop, with some beautiful cinematography, and a moving score. Christopher Hampton, the screenwriter, has written a vast and emotionally complex tale about a 13 year-old girl, in the 1930s, who affects several lives when she misreads the relationship between her sister and the housekeeper's son. Later, she attempts to atone for her mistake. Director Joe Wright expands on it with a his cinematic vision. Very nice performances by Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Romola Garai, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan and Benedict Cumberbatch. And an exceptionally powerful performance by Vanessa Redgrave. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robbie Turner(James McAvoy) and Cecilia Tallis(Keira Knightley) are two lovers torn apart by a lie and imagination of Ceilia's thirteen-year-old sister Briony(Saoirse Ronan). A lush tale of romance, betrayal and redemption. This movie shows how easily your life can be ruined, and how important it is to think about consequenses and separate fantasy and reality. The cast is excellent and the performances are priceless. Director Joe Wright is a born moviemaker. This movie is EVERY bit as magnificent as Ian McEwan's novel!!!! Warning: A box of tissues are needed when watching this movie
Aglaia More than 1 year ago
This movie stays with you! The story, the performances, the visuals - all perfect and heartbreakingly painful. I read the original, the novel by Ian McEwan and I thought that was excellent too. But the movie, the movie is magical. The story is very sad, compelling and disturbing. Originally, I don`t like either Keira Knightley or James McAvoy that much (for no particular reason, really), but they were very good in this movie. James McAvoy has such a compelling, forceful presence on screen, and Keira Knightley didn`t stay far behind either. A great discovery to me, besides this, was Saoirse Ronan, who played the young little girl causing all the trouble in a very haunting way. I was also happy to see Romola Garai, whom I absolutely adored in Emma and other movies. I thought the music was great, the visuals perfect, and you can almost touch the heat of the summer weather, and feel the tension in the air around the main characters. Highly recommended movie.
CullenGirl77 More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest movies that I've seen... James is an excellent actor and he really brings ALL his characters to life in anything he does including this movie... Another great movie of our time...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great movie. I really love Keira Knightly, especially in Pride and Prejudice and Pirates of the Carribean. All her movies are great. This movie was so sad and passionate. A little confusing, but I had someone explain it all to me. So, like I said, good movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From start to finish this film is captivating. The characters are not only vivid, but realistic and tragic. Every part of the film from casting to cinematography is a sign of excellence in movie making that is rare in recent days. The film is hauntingly beautiful and it lingers long after the credits roll.
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