Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Review: Atonement

Stranded in Des Moines before Christmas, I decided to head down to the Fleur Cinemas to pass time that evening. Atonement, which had received great reviews, was one of the only films showing that I hadn't already seen at the film festival in September, making it an easy choice. Joe Wright directed this film, and chose Keira Knightley once again as his leading lady, having previously cast her in Pride & Prejudice.

The movie is based on the highly reviewed book by Ian Mcewan. Set in pre-World War II England, it follows the romance of Cecilia Tallis (Knightly) and Robbie Turner, portrayed by James McAvoy. They are observed at key moments by Celcelia's younger sister Briony, a budding playwright, who is missing key pieces of information. Her youth leads her to get carried away with her conclusions and she acts on them fervently.

Bad things happen. Then worse things happen. Then Briony makes an attempt at achieving the title of the film. It may not be enough, but she does what she can, considering the circumstances.

I liked the film for its use of perspective and how one can make the wrong conclusions without having all the information. Some friends of mine found the ending on the schmaltzy side, and perhaps it was, but it didn't stop my enjoyment of the film. Perhaps my senses are still dulled 10 years after seeing Titanic. My imdb rating: 8/10.

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