Director Joe Wright teamed up with Academy Award nominated actress Keira Knightley to make yet another wonderful film. The last time these two worked together, “Pride and Prejudice” was created. This time, adding James McAvoy to the picture, brings 7 Golden Globe nominations and a masterpiece that should-and will-be in the running for the best picture Academy Award.
“Atonement” is a British romance that continues on through all the hardship of several decades. On a hot summer day in England, 1935, a novice writer, 13-year-old Briony Tallis (played by Saoirse Ronan) who lives with the rest of her family in an enormous mansion, is asked by the housekeeper’s son if she could deliver a letter to her older sister. Briony, who has a crush on the educated housekeeper’s son, Robbie Turner (the underrated James McAvoy, The Last King Of Scotland, Swimming Pool, The Chronicles Of Narnia, Becoming Jane) agrees to take the letter from Robbie and deliver it to her older sister Cecilia –Academy Award nominated actress Keira Knightley (Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean I,II,and III, Domino, The Jacket, Love Actually). Before handing the passionate letter off to her older sister, Briony’s imagination gets the best of her, causing her to open the letter and read what Robbie had written to Cecilia. After a few other misinterpretations follow, young Briony, no way near old enough to understand the contents of the letter, misconstrues the letters meaning, ultimately leading to devastation. Briony accuses Robbie of a crime that he did not commit. As Robbie and Cecilia confess their love for the first time, Robbie is arrested and sent to World War II. As the years progress, Cecilia leaves her family and waits patiently for Robbie’s return, Robbie does all he can to escape the war and once again run into the arms of his waiting love. All while Briony, the sole culprit seeks forgiveness for her childhood misunderstandings.
Christopher Hampton, who is an Oscar winning screenwriter for the 1988 Dangerous Liaisons, did a wonderful job with the Atonement script. He is notable in his profession, and should be recognized with the script for Atonement. James McAvoy and Keira Knightley were brilliant. They were amazing in each others presence and even more prodigious with their sorrow when they were forcefully separated. They both also deserve Oscar nods. Even though, the forbidden romance that is separated by consequences but lasts through all the world has to offer has been done over and over again in Hollywood, Atonement stands head and shoulders over most.
Pat the Movie Critic gives Atonement --- 4 Scoops