Atonement (15)

Film

War films

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Time Out says

Tue Sep 4 2007

The first hour of ‘Atonement’ is an electric experience, during which one feels that Joe Wright (‘Pride and Prejudice’), the film’s young director, and Christopher Hampton, its screenwriter, have a clever grip on the potential of Ian McEwan’s novel to inspire more than just a well-crafted adaptation and a lyrical, intelligent film in its own right. McEwan’s book is about the telling of stories, about the perception of others’ tales and about delivering a lie to a rapt, conditioned audience for reasons of self-preservation: a key character even pleads to be believed with the defence that she saw something happening, ‘With my own eyes’. What greater appeal is there to the potential ability of cinema to twist, mould and convince us?

Wright tightly harnesses these ideas in the first, and longest, of the film’s three chapters. We’re in a smart country house in the late 1930s, just a few years before the war. Cecilia (Keira Knightley) has recently come down from Cambridge; Robbie (James McAvoy), her university contemporary and son of her parents’ housekeeper is dabbling with landscape gardening; and her brother Leon (Patrick Kennedy) is coming to dinner with a friend, the arrogant industrialist Paul Marshall (Benedict Cumberbatch). The performances are enjoyable and spot-on: Cecilia’s brittle beauty; Robbie’s educated but tempered confidence; the wily camaraderie between Leon and Marshall.

There’s clearly an attraction between Robbie and Cecilia, yet his connection with the servile classes and her inherited snobbery is holding Cecilia at bay. The class divide persists when Cecilia’s sensible 13-year-old sister, Briony (a terrific turn from Saoirse Ronan) – already dabbling in writing and staging plays at home – constructs her own, deluded fiction around the goings-on between Robbie and Cecilia that see Robbie falsely branded a ‘sex maniac’ and rapist. As with the coming of war to Brideshead, the spell is broken, the Second World War begins and Briony, later as a young adult (Romola Garai) and, much later, as a dying novelist (Vanessa Redgrave) recalls the errors of her youth.

Far from ‘unfilmable’, as some have described it, McEwan’s book offers real opportunities for a filmmaker to thread the perils of storytelling into an epic narrative that bursts out of the attractive claustrophobia of a rarefied world and onto the ravaged, classless beaches of Dunkirk and the fortified streets of London as Cecilia and Briony both, separately, work as nurses during the war and try to deal with their recent past. For the country-house scenes, Wright wisely makes us complicit with Briony’s perception of events, yet such is the strength of the director’s tactics in this chapter – repeated scenes, messing with time, the sound of a typewriter doing its damage on the soundtrack – that when he loosens his approach for a more traditional telling of the narrative for the rest of the film, one can’t help but be disappointed.

Compared to these earlier episodes, the film’s later scenes are more pedestrian and Wright becomes more prone to visual swaggery: a technically impressive but artistically questionable five-minute tracking shot of the carnage at Dunkirk; the nurses marching in formation around a hospital as lights go off above them one-by-one; the rush of water through a tube station as a character drowns – all these grate as one feels that Wright, rather than tackling the pitfalls of storytelling instead succumbs to its audience-pleasing thrills.

A noble, well-made, superbly performed and photographed (by Seamus McGarvey) semi-failure then, but still one that shows Wright to be one of the more imaginative filmmakers of his generation, capable of winning over large audiences with daring endeavours.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Sep 7, 2007

Duration:

123 mins

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PAUL

Interesting to conjecture what some of the great directors of the 40s (Lean and others) could have made of this flawed film. Some very good scenes but i always felt that truth was sacrificed for dramatic impact. whatever the flaws the film was superbly saved by that final act: the shabby flat; the - quite clearly - one-night-stand with a transient soldier; the acceptance that the sisters could never be reconciled - beautiful

emily young

watching this film i was caught by te second of watching it. It gives you a real insite on different peples view with flash backs.! my pesonal best clip is the dunkirk beaches which always brings a tear to me eyes but nly because of my boyfriend being out in a war i think. I am writing a english report on this and not sure how to worite my article but now i have got some idears due to some peoples comments thankyou! it has given me a real insite and how to look at the film.

C. Gibson

Loved the film, for it's typical authenticity of a British historical event. My only quibble of the whole film ( not the book ) is that I found it hard to believe that a black American soldier would have been at Dunkirk, a year before the yanks entered the war. Other than that, a brillaint addaptation of the book.

C. Gibson

Loved the film, for it's typical authenticity of a British historical event. My only quibble of the whole film ( not the book ) is that I found it hard to believe that a black American soldier would have been at Dunkirk, a year before the yanks entered the war. Other than that, a brillaint addaptation of the book.

Beau

I was unsure about this film when I read the synopsis and then a few of the comments but I must say this is one of the best films I have seen for a long time. Not going to go in to details or analysis, Usman has already done that earlier in this list. Suffice to say that I was extremely glad I watched it.

Beau

I was unsure about this film when I read the synopsis and then a few of the comments but I must say this is one of the best films I have seen for a long time. Not going to go in to details or analysis, Usman has already done that earlier in this list. Suffice to say that I was extremely glad I watched it.

Lisa

I found the film to be interesting from a Psychological point of view as to what motivated the characters to behave in the way they did...such as Briony's childish crush on the Gardner that lead to her dissapointment when he did not return the favor of her "love"; the seduction scene by the very precocious Rose (I do not believe that she was raped nor were the marks on her arm caused by the twins--but by her "lover" Paul, etc.... The movie had some lovely cinema photography but was over played. The beach military scene was disturbing and made no sense to the rest of the story. Some great acting (Vanessa Redgrave) but lots of over acting by Ian. I also felt there should have been in the move more scenes that showed Cecilia & Robbie before the Library scene so that we would have more closely believed in their undying "love" for each other.... I still repeat the "you must bite it" line.....great line!

John McNally

I hired the DVD expecting a good story, well told. All critical acclaim I had read was for naught. This was rather like the English Patient, a lot of back tracking led to confusion. The acting was excellent, pity about the director. you type in this box will appear on the site

Jon Long

Hugely disappointing, ahallow chick flick. Truly a case of the Emperor's New Clothes - has everyone been cowed by McEwan and Hampton's literary reputations? The plot is a soft focus story of thwarted romance whiich badly neglects the real dramatic material in the class tension between Robbie and the aristo family that adopts and betrays him. As for the Dunkiirk scene - quiite cringemakig theatirality from the narrow field of vision packed with expensive props to the awful cor bliimey cockney stereotype squaddie. Rarely can such a long and elaborate tracking shot have failed to create anything more than an impression of a flat packed stage set. Liked the literary tricksiness of Vanessa Redgrave's revelation at the end, but apart from that this film has very little going on up top. Gosford Park it ain't.

Carrie

I loved this film. I wanted to watch it right from the moment i saw it advertised. I must say it did not let me down. As a 15 year old i didn't expect to understand the concept of the film but the whole story was amamzing. I was very moved by the ending and i loved the way Joe Wright very cleverly put the film together. The film was amazing i would recomend it to anyone.

Carrie

I loved this film. I wanted to watch it right from the moment i saw it advertised. I must say it did not let me down. As a 15 year old i didn't expect to understand the concept of the film but the whole story was amamzing. I was very moved by the ending and i loved the way Joe Wright very cleverly put the film together. The film was amazing i would recomend it to anyone.

usman khawaja

It is posthumously difficult,if not impossible to adapt an accomplished book into a cinematic masterpiece but the makers of Pride and Prejudice might just have accomplished the miracle in an amazingly assured manner. Ian McEwan's complex narrative is translated fluidly and poetically in a very measured tone by Christopher Hampton into a ravishingly gorgeous adaptation of the 2001 bestseller, but the final plaudits belong to Keira Knightley, who is stunningly elegant yet brittle like a porcelain doll in a portrayal which is likely to be compared to Vivien Leigh , yet James McAvoy reasserts his potential as the best of the recent British leading men as Robbie Turner in his best performance yet. One magical day in 1935,while the english countryside dazzles with an eerie light and the bees hum melodiously -an englsh squires daughter and the son of his deceased gardener are playing love games in the estates garden , the fountain is their toy and cecilia takes a dip ,her younger sister observes the incidence as the most indecent thing ever and thus Brionny commits a crime, which changes her life forever and that of her sister Cecilia and Robbie, the gamekeeper's son in their father's country house in rural England. The movie moves from the idyllic English summer to the horrors of war at Dunkirk executed on a scale of epic proportions, to the near present in an authentic manner, which makes recent epics look like squeamish efforts. The evacuation sequence from Dunkirk is going to go down in cinema history as a truly magical moment. Keira brings a dignity and sexuality to her character which is worthy of all the praises she can possibly garner and her portrayal will rank as one of the best ever in world cinema, she is mesmerisingly beautiful and performs with an elan that is worthy of Katherine Hepburn and ingrid bergman , McAvoy is equally stunning as his character springs vividly to life in an accomplished way worthy of British greats like finney and fiennes . The rest of the cast excel as well and a special mention must be made of Brenda Blethyn as robbys mum -she defines her servant woman role with a cold dignity that reminded me of hopkins in reains of the day, Ronan and Goral who are impeccably immaculate and totally define the troubled yet wickedly clever brioony . Vanessa Redgrave in a one-sequence shot is able to show her artistic talents as never before. this is the best movie i have seen in a long time ,it is viewing a multiple perspective from the subjective conciousness of three characters and yet it is all the imagination of one person -which makes you wonder if it all is an illusion ,still it defines and provokes human conscience into a serious debate on the virtues of guilt ,justice and perceived truth. the fact what you have seen or assumed to be the truth by your senses can assume a totally different reality when viewed from another aspect has never been narrated so powerfully in cinema before ,and it is totally if not more suceesful then the book in transforming a very delicate yet enormous realty of life to screen-that your mind can deceive you but your heart never does -the repitive echoing of the chant -come back to me -will haunt me forever ,the simple words whispered by a desperate lover into the ears of an innocent love when they know they will never meet again in this life -ring immortally in the movie and sink into your subconious -as they takes love in the context of war to a further dimension then english patient or dr.zhivago ,almost in to the realm of tolstoys war and peace -and is there any better compliment the that or any better dimension to pervade then the great russian war epic -yet this accomplishes the impossible task of achieving that miracle on screen . but the finale is both gut -wrenching and mind boggling ,it is too cerebral to move you to tears -but it works on your subconcious and that is great cinema if there ever was such a thing .

usman khawaja

It is posthumously difficult,if not impossible to adapt an accomplished book into a cinematic masterpiece but the makers of Pride and Prejudice might just have accomplished the miracle in an amazingly assured manner. Ian McEwan's complex narrative is translated fluidly and poetically in a very measured tone by Christopher Hampton into a ravishingly gorgeous adaptation of the 2001 bestseller, but the final plaudits belong to Keira Knightley, who is stunningly elegant yet brittle like a porcelain doll in a portrayal which is likely to be compared to Vivien Leigh , yet James McAvoy reasserts his potential as the best of the recent British leading men as Robbie Turner in his best performance yet. One magical day in 1935,while the english countryside dazzles with an eerie light and the bees hum melodiously -an englsh squires daughter and the son of his deceased gardener are playing love games in the estates garden , the fountain is their toy and cecilia takes a dip ,her younger sister observes the incidence as the most indecent thing ever and thus Brionny commits a crime, which changes her life forever and that of her sister Cecilia and Robbie, the gamekeeper's son in their father's country house in rural England. The movie moves from the idyllic English summer to the horrors of war at Dunkirk executed on a scale of epic proportions, to the near present in an authentic manner, which makes recent epics look like squeamish efforts. The evacuation sequence from Dunkirk is going to go down in cinema history as a truly magical moment. Keira brings a dignity and sexuality to her character which is worthy of all the praises she can possibly garner and her portrayal will rank as one of the best ever in world cinema, she is mesmerisingly beautiful and performs with an elan that is worthy of Katherine Hepburn and ingrid bergman , McAvoy is equally stunning as his character springs vividly to life in an accomplished way worthy of British greats like finney and fiennes . The rest of the cast excel as well and a special mention must be made of Brenda Blethyn as robbys mum -she defines her servant woman role with a cold dignity that reminded me of hopkins in reains of the day, Ronan and Goral who are impeccably immaculate and totally define the troubled yet wickedly clever brioony . Vanessa Redgrave in a one-sequence shot is able to show her artistic talents as never before. this is the best movie i have seen in a long time ,it is viewing a multiple perspective from the subjective conciousness of three characters and yet it is all the imagination of one person -which makes you wonder if it all is an illusion ,still it defines and provokes human conscience into a serious debate on the virtues of guilt ,justice and perceived truth. the fact what you have seen or assumed to be the truth by your senses can assume a totally different reality when viewed from another aspect has never been narrated so powerfully in cinema before ,and it is totally if not more suceesful then the book in transforming a very delicate yet enormous realty of life to screen-that your mind can deceive you but your heart never does -the repitive echoing of the chant -come back to me -will haunt me forever ,the simple words whispered by a desperate lover into the ears of an innocent love when they know they will never meet again in this life -ring immortally in the movie and sink into your subconious -as they takes love in the context of war to a further dimension then english patient or dr.zhivago ,almost in to the realm of tolstoys war and peace -and is there any better compliment the that or any better dimension to pervade then the great russian war epic -yet this accomplishes the impossible task of achieving that miracle on screen . but the finale is both gut -wrenching and mind boggling ,it is too cerebral to move you to tears -but it works on your subconcious and that is great cinema if there ever was such a thing .

jim

I think it captured the tone of McEwan's novel perfectly. Although I had previously read the text and therefore knew of the ending, McAvoy and Knightley's performances had me willing a happier conclusion. For me the film was visual poetry rooted in McEwan's talent for creating a fictional realist narrative.

jim

I think it captured the tone of McEwan's novel perfectly. Although I had previously read the text and therefore knew of the ending, McAvoy and Knightley's performances had me willing a happier conclusion. For me the film was visual poetry rooted in McEwan's talent for creating a fictional realist narrative.

Natalie Scott

I was hoping this would be a lovely film and it was anything but. Dreary writing .... boring story .... really and truly unlikable characters. I mean, did anyone really have any fond feelings for either of these two losers? Nice to look at though. My suggestion: TURN OFF THE SOUND AND JUST WATCH. Ohhhh, so much better! How this one garnered any awards beyond cinematography is a mystery. I will never look at a typewirter the same way again .... or LISTEN to one! Very disappointing!

Charley Scofield

Totally awful piece of rubbish. Some of the most unlikable characters I've ever seen in a movie .... Putrid writing that often didn't make any sense. How many times does she say "come back to me?" Yuck. I kept hoping for a bomb to end it all but alas .... No such luck.

Amanda

Although I have not read the book, I have just finished watching the movie, to be exact it just ended about 3 minutes ago. Atonement is.. well, is so well written it will lead you to cry because of its creativity. I believe this is most deffinately one of the best written movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching. It's a tragic love story that yet is based on love, gives so much more. It's creative how the different views of the characters give such life to the plot. The characters are wonderful and the actors that stepped into these rolls outdid themselves. Keira Knightly has grown on me so much since her "Bend It Like Beckham" days and won me over in Pride and Prejudice, I love that she's doing movie's like this, and James.. wow.. I had always thought he would be a one hit wonder but also has won me over. This movie is great for people who really get into movies, and watch every aspect. Not typically for the people who are into Vin Dysel, and Fast and Furious movies.. if you catch my drift. All in all, I loved it and will think many more will also. - Amanda Age 16, Florida

Amanda

Although I have not read the book, I have just finished watching the movie, to be exact it just ended about 3 minutes ago. Atonement is.. well, is so well written it will lead you to cry because of its creativity. I believe this is most deffinately one of the best written movies I have ever had the pleasure of watching. It's a tragic love story that yet is based on love, gives so much more. It's creative how the different views of the characters give such life to the plot. The characters are wonderful and the actors that stepped into these rolls outdid themselves. Keira Knightly has grown on me so much since her "Bend It Like Beckham" days and won me over in Pride and Prejudice, I love that she's doing movie's like this, and James.. wow.. I had always thought he would be a one hit wonder but also has won me over. This movie is great for people who really get into movies, and watch every aspect. Not typically for the people who are into Vin Dysel, and Fast and Furious movies.. if you catch my drift. All in all, I loved it and will think many more will also. - Amanda Age 16, Florida

Amelia

I am a year 11 student who's task is to write a review on this film for my drama studies class and I thank all of you for giving me some different ways to look at the film. Personally, I loved this movie from the very start. So cleverly constructed with the flash backs from different point of veiws and all stoping and starting. The tension was so great it just gave such a fantastic atmosphere. Whoever was the sound designer of this film deserves a gold star as this was what I believed to tie the movie altogether, giving that fantastic feeling at the end of the film. Touching, heartbreaking, tourchering and somewhat humerous in certain places, Atonement gets full marks from me!

Amelia

I am a year 11 student who's task is to write a review on this film for my drama studies class and I thank all of you for giving me some different ways to look at the film. Personally, I loved this movie from the very start. So cleverly constructed with the flash backs from different point of veiws and all stoping and starting. The tension was so great it just gave such a fantastic atmosphere. Whoever was the sound designer of this film deserves a gold star as this was what I believed to tie the movie altogether, giving that fantastic feeling at the end of the film. Touching, heartbreaking, tourchering and somewhat humerous in certain places, Atonement gets full marks from me!

anon

I thought this fil was amazing and however said it was rubbish has no sense of what a good movie is

anon

I thought this fil was amazing and however said it was rubbish has no sense of what a good movie is

Martin

I am a straight, 43yr. old, Hispanic male who prefers historical movies. This movie fit my schedule for the day so I saw it despite the fact that friends could not recommend it. I loved it. It was shot beautifully from beginning to end. Kudos to the director of photography. The story made me squirm with discomfort not during the carnage of war scenes but rather the calamity of events in the lives of the likeable characters and made me remember passionate affairs of years gone by. I empathized with the lead and support cast and believed the story as it was being told. During the final scenes, I wept with the sniffling women who sat behind me. Congratulations to all of the brilliant artists who participated in this exquisite production.

Martin

I am a straight, 43yr. old, Hispanic male who prefers historical movies. This movie fit my schedule for the day so I saw it despite the fact that friends could not recommend it. I loved it. It was shot beautifully from beginning to end. Kudos to the director of photography. The story made me squirm with discomfort not during the carnage of war scenes but rather the calamity of events in the lives of the likeable characters and made me remember passionate affairs of years gone by. I empathized with the lead and support cast and believed the story as it was being told. During the final scenes, I wept with the sniffling women who sat behind me. Congratulations to all of the brilliant artists who participated in this exquisite production.

Xavier Roca

I found the film totally rubbish. The story, the characters, everything is unbelievable. Old fashioned melodrama at its worst (I beg your pardon, Ian!) "sumptuosly" but badly done with ridiculous dialogues (the one with Briony and the french soldier is simply idiotic)! The photography is pure saccarined "spot", as if Kneigtly (who "poses" but doesnt ever act) was always "announcing" some fragrance or other! Compare it with another "oldfashioned" melodrama, recently redone, "The painted veil", from the novel by S.Maughm, with the fantastic duo Norton-Watts as the leads! What a difference! (By the way, I laughed a lot, though not as much as in the deadly funny "Death at a Funeral"! That's why I give it a star.)

Nancy

As someone with a Christian upbringing, (now lapsed,) I do think there were quite a few underlying allusions to religious themes in the movie production - allusions, not literal interpretations. It is most unlikely that the book had an overt religious theme, though the title word is certainly loaded in a Christian sense The picture above the typewriter in the opening scene was actually someone praying at a bedside..... and the animals maybe heading to the ark, very tentative allusions. For the rest, to follow the clues, you have (loosley) to think of Robbie as, not JC, but nevertheless : - the "crucified" - injustice to him - backed up by the "bleeding heart" or wound to chest - the "saviour" - the scene rescuing Briony from the water (baptisim - saved by Christ) - the absolver - when he washes the blood from his hands in the water at the fountain, after the jar broke (this is a loose reference to a biblical incident in which he washes blood from his hands in a sort of pre-emptive forgiveness) - the master - scene near the end of his life near the beach, when he hallucinates that his mother is washing his feet. (this is perhaps one of the most deliberate scenes and quite pointless unless it is making a "religious" point) (I didn't pick it the first viewing) Briony, particularly in the latter scenes becomes almost nun-like (bride of Christ) complete with black nursing cape and headgear looking less like a nurse and much like a bride. (Chaste by choice) (I didn't pick this one the first time, but it was very obvious in the second viewing. In the "arrest" scene, she is sent inside, but disappears in an etherial light up the stairs. She then watches the scene looking from a window, beside which there is a stained glass window which looks just like the face on the Turin shroud. That window is seen again from the inside and the stained glass has a woman's face and a latin inscription which I didn't grasp, but suspect would have significance if translated. I think the young Briony playing in the grotto is a sort of garden of eden imagery - the place innocence and then of "the sin" involving her cousin (the red headed fellow was not identifiable at the discovery (by the audience) but only in the remembered scene at the time of the wedding of the two) The end of innocence and expulsion from the garden of eden, or innocence. I don't know how to interpret C except that the shape of the scene of her seduction was cross-like, as was her death floating in the water. The last scene ... the promised land? or heaven - as we know they are both really dead? There was some play on "the light" - Briony drawn to and then initially blinded by the light in the Library before she saw the seduction - All the torches that went out seeking the twins shone as a cross of light (but this might be what torches do when photographed - I was looking for that theme by then

caroline

I watched atonement today and i felt that it was one of the most amazing and beautiful movies i've ever seen until the present day, The emotions expressed by the characters are so well done and it made me wanna see it all over again. The end was so sad but also so perfect for this movie. I want to read the book now.

caroline

I watched atonement today and i felt that it was one of the most amazing and beautiful movies i've ever seen until the present day, The emotions expressed by the characters are so well done and it made me wanna see it all over again. The end was so sad but also so perfect for this movie. I want to read the book now.

Oopie

This movie deserves the Golden Globe. It was an intelligent TITANIC and a 21st Century GONE WITH THE WIND. Now I plan to read the book, then see the movie again.

Oopie

This movie deserves the Golden Globe. It was an intelligent TITANIC and a 21st Century GONE WITH THE WIND. Now I plan to read the book, then see the movie again.

Jack

I just saw it. Very dull and dragged out scenes that were so boring. The Dunkirk scene seemed too staged and drawn out. The scenes and story seemed fragmented. I'm really was disappointed. No comparison to English Patient or Room With a View or Gosford Park or even Wright's P&P was much better than this fodder. I feel sorry for the Wright. What happened in the editing room Mr Wright? Oh I forgot you didn't even edit the film! The 13 year old Briony was the best actress in the film. I saw nothing new from Knightly in this. Better luck next time old chap!

Anonomys

Absolutly amazing! I would really reccomend it definetely worth going to the cinema for.

Anonomys

Absolutly amazing! I would really reccomend it definetely worth going to the cinema for.

tazanita

Only those of you who have depth of soul and know what love can really do in a romantic sense will ever appreciate this film. As in life - the film carelfully exemplifies the myriad of emotional possibilities, the passionate lovers, the naive ignorant child (within many adults), the socially constrained, the confused child,the embarrassing parent and the buoyantly peverse that so often escape the law. So many profound characters in the making and yet the film draws to the main figures esquisitely. To know this story is to love the film, to feel the emotion of this film as painful as it is ; makes you restless for such depth of feeling. Add to this the score and the beautiful ambience of this era so eloquently portrayed - this film has true longevity; it is velvet emotion

tazanita

Only those of you who have depth of soul and know what love can really do in a romantic sense will ever appreciate this film. As in life - the film carelfully exemplifies the myriad of emotional possibilities, the passionate lovers, the naive ignorant child (within many adults), the socially constrained, the confused child,the embarrassing parent and the buoyantly peverse that so often escape the law. So many profound characters in the making and yet the film draws to the main figures esquisitely. To know this story is to love the film, to feel the emotion of this film as painful as it is ; makes you restless for such depth of feeling. Add to this the score and the beautiful ambience of this era so eloquently portrayed - this film has true longevity; it is velvet emotion

renzarov

There are too few stars on your rating scheme for this film! Dave Calhoun doesn't 'get it' if he thinks the first 'chapter' is the best or only success, though. It is precisely the varied natures of the pieces & characters, & how we revise our views of events in the light of the ending, which determine McEwan's central thesis that Reality & historical fact are not amenable to our subjective, fictional retellings for purposes of atonement/expiation/redemption, whatever!

renzarov

There are too few stars on your rating scheme for this film! Dave Calhoun doesn't 'get it' if he thinks the first 'chapter' is the best or only success, though. It is precisely the varied natures of the pieces & characters, & how we revise our views of events in the light of the ending, which determine McEwan's central thesis that Reality & historical fact are not amenable to our subjective, fictional retellings for purposes of atonement/expiation/redemption, whatever!

Katie

words can't actually describe the sheer beauty and heart breaking quality of this film, I was hooked. also a lot easier to understand than the book!

Katie

words can't actually describe the sheer beauty and heart breaking quality of this film, I was hooked. also a lot easier to understand than the book!

Sutton

An enjoyable movie that is worth going to the cinema for, as opposed to dvd, though you should still read the book if you get the chance. McAvoy is good and rather surprisingly Knightley is ok. The special affects are exposed a little on the big screen, worth seeing nevertheless.

Dori

Superb. We have all been to films which tell a period story and especially WWII stories. But to be able to produce such a scene as de Dankirk beach scene or the restaurant scene, you really need something special. Acting is all about the little things; the moves, the looks, the sounds; the cast has mastered these as only British cinema has been able to provide throughout the years. Simply magnificant.

rachiliion

i saw this film a few weeks ago and had been really looking forward to see it. I was really dissapointed I thought it was much too slow and more depressing than teary. I do apreciate however that I am a teenager and may not apreciate this film as much as perhaps an older person, whom which it was clearly made for.

Sarah

I tfound this an incredibly moving film. Felt the passionate pull between the lovers, dreaded Briony's betrayal, felt unbearably sad at the final loss. Had read the book and wondered whether it would transfer but the heat of the passion between the two lovers was much more real in the film than the book (where Briony didn't understand and so the author couldn't really report on it) - making the tragedy that much more moving. I agree the Dunkirk scene was showboating - but the rest was intense, and moving. I didn't see the 'slowness' - compared to the almost unbearable drama of the first half it was slower, but only because it was focused on more complicated, painful and evolving events. (And hey - that James McEvoy is hot!)

Sarah

I tfound this an incredibly moving film. Felt the passionate pull between the lovers, dreaded Briony's betrayal, felt unbearably sad at the final loss. Had read the book and wondered whether it would transfer but the heat of the passion between the two lovers was much more real in the film than the book (where Briony didn't understand and so the author couldn't really report on it) - making the tragedy that much more moving. I agree the Dunkirk scene was showboating - but the rest was intense, and moving. I didn't see the 'slowness' - compared to the almost unbearable drama of the first half it was slower, but only because it was focused on more complicated, painful and evolving events. (And hey - that James McEvoy is hot!)

lauren

i tthink this film is great and really interesting and i would definatly advise poeple to go and see it . I had reservations about seeing it as i thought it might be too muchabout war and im not into that but its a great love story and a great film !

lauren

i tthink this film is great and really interesting and i would definatly advise poeple to go and see it . I had reservations about seeing it as i thought it might be too muchabout war and im not into that but its a great love story and a great film !

Ian Williams

What bothered me about this film is the assumption that viewers will understand the relationship between the major characters and what is actually going on prior to Robbie being arrested. Sure, these scenes are beautifully shot and atmospheric, but as a partly deaf and older cinema goer, I felt confused. It's a form of snobbery to write a high culture script for a low culture medium.

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