Thursday, June 23, 2016

1001. Atonement

Directed by Joe Wright

Well, this is it!  I should really give Atonement the attention it deserves and leave my thoughts about ending this journey on my Oscar post.  But it's hard, as I have been working on this for five years (which, being a young thing, is about a quarter of my life).  Anyway, I did enjoy Atonement, so I will do my best.

In 1935, Briony Tallis, a thirteen year old who dreams of being a famous writer, sees Cecilia, her older sister, and Robbie, a servant's son, have a moment of serious sexten (sexual tension to the uninformed). Not truly understanding what she saw, Briony is further confused when Robbie gives her a sexually explicit letter to deliver to Cecilia.  After Briony witnesses Robbie and Cecilia having sex in the library, she believes Robbie is a sexual deviant.  When Briony's cousin, Lola, is raped in the woods, Briony accuses Robbie of the crime, ruining many lives (including her own).

I hate to be this guy, but the book was better.  Briony was much more sympathetic in the book.  This is a rather frustrating story and my annoyance with Briony threatened to ruin my enjoyment more than once.  Still, Kiera Knightley is one of my favorite actresses and James McAvoy was fantastic as eye candy.

Well, I suppose that's a wrap.  God this feels weird.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Saoirse Ronan received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for this film at the age of 13.


  1. I HATED THIS MOVIE! I'm sorry I had to yell, but i also read the book and don't know why I watched the movie. I was very frustrated with the turn of events. BTW congrats on finishing the book and writing so many reviews! I am in awe of you! Well done, well done!👏👏👏👍😍

  2. I have finally read all the reviews. Thank you for doing this project, it was fun (and a better way to pass the time on the bus/subway than just staring out the window). Now if you excuse me, I have to return the book "1001 movie blog reviews to read before you die" to the library.

    1. I am so glad you have enjoyed this blog. This comment brightened my day:).

  3. If I consider the component parts, I feel I should have liked this movie, but I didn't. Maybe it was the ending, maybe that I had misunderstood a half-spoiler in a magazine months earlier and expected a different ending.

  4. Yo, Amanda! I can't believe we make it! With the oddballs, all the weird films and long hours writing... it's done!

    Anyway, the film it feels... odd. You can see the big bright numbers with this has been painted: presentation, romance, treason, suffering and, well, atonement. However, you've got the feeling that they could have extracted more from each of those parts. There is almost no transition in the characters' development. Briony moves too quickly from charming to bitch and then from bitch to repentant. I guess these things are easier in a book and that's probably why the book is better. It's like they just took the relevant scenes for the film leaving all the character developement out.

    That said, it's very well acted and some of the scenes are really poignant. I cried at the end - but that's probably for being done with the List than anything else.

    1. Congrats Alex! Agreed. In the book the whole narrative is colored by Briony's regret...that's harder to translate into film.