by: Joe Wright
Knightley, James McAvoy, Saoirse
Released by: Focus Features
Short: This beautifully told tale of
a young teen's lie and its terrible
ramifications is set against the backdrop
of World War II England; it is sure to
become a much-awarded Hollywood classic.
An Unforgettable Film
by Jenny Peters
special happens when director Joe Wright and
actress Keira Knightley team up. It happened
for the first time in 2005 with “Pride
and Prejudice”; now, with “Atonement,” the
pair, along with actors James McAvoy, Romola
Garai, and the amazing young teenager Saoirse
Ronan, have fashioned a film that is beautiful,
heartbreaking, and unforgettable.
story begins on a massive English estate in the summer
1935, as wealthy sisters Cecelia and Briony Tallis
(Knightley and Ronan) are whiling away the hot summer
days, both secretly harboring a love for Robbie (McAvoy),
the cook’s son who
has lived on the property since they were all children.
One night an incident happens that irrevocably changes
all their lives, after Briony makes a very bad decision
and tells a terrible lie.
the years pass and Britain enters into World War II,
all three are swept into the fight. And all the while,
Briony (now an 18-year-old nurse, played by Garai)
struggles to atone for the awful lie she told, as her
whole world seems to crumble around her.
will grab hold of your heart and squeeze, with its
impeccable combination of gorgeous and horrific images,
top-notch acting (look for Oscar nominations for both
Knightley and McAvoy), and perfect pacing. Director
Joe Wright deserves a nomination as well, for he has
fashioned a movie that will appeal equally to both
men and women, and is sure to stand the test of time
and take its place as a true classic of the art form.
and make sure you take tissues to the theater.
You will need them.