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From the award-winning director of Pride & Prejudice comes a stunning, critically acclaimed epic story of love. When a young girl catches her sister in a passionate embrace with a childhood friend, her jealousy drives her to tell a lie that will irrrevocably change the course of all their lives forever. Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley and James McAvoy lead an all-star cast in the film critics are calling "the year's best picture" (Thelma Adams, US Weekly).
British Academy Awards, Tim Bevan, et. al., Best Film,British Academy Awards, Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Best Production Design,Golden Globe, Atonement, Best Motion Picture - Drama,Golden Globe, Dario Marianelli, Best Original Score - Motion Picture,Oscar, Dario Marianelli, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Oscar, Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Best Achievement in Art Direction,Oscar, Seamus McGarvey, Best Achievement in Cinematography,Oscar, Jacqueline Durran, Best Achievement in Costume Design,Oscar, Tim Bevan, et. al., Best Motion Picture of the Year,Oscar, Saoirse Ronan, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role,Oscar, Christopher Hampton, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Venice Film Festival, Joe Wright, Prize of the Forum for Cinema and Literature
Joe Wright's interpretation of Ian McEwan's Atonement proves that, when it comes to literary adaptations, he understands what he's doing. Wright's previous feature was Pride and Prejudice, a significantly happier production than this one (although both are love stories)...Briony is played by three actresses: Saorise Ronan as a 13-year old, Romola Garai as an 18-year old, and Vanessa Redgrave as an old woman. Great care is taken to make Ronan and Garai look alike and have similar mannerisms. Redgrave doesn't appear much like either, but she's like Meryl Streep or Glenn Close - if you can get her in a movie, you don't sweat the details...Atonement is a tragic story regardless of whether it's presented in book form or movie form. The film is more quickly and urgently paced than the book and the dissonant music, which uses a typewriter as a percussive instrument, keeps the audience on edge. Atonement is effective at getting under the skin, and some audience members won't like that. Overall, it's a finely crafted motion picture - perhaps not the equal of Wright's Austen adaptation, but strong enough to make it worth seeing for fans of the book and the genre.
"Atonement" begins on joyous gossamer wings, and descends into an abyss of tragedy and loss...Each period and scene in the movie is compelling on its own terms, and then compelling on a deeper level as a playing out of the destiny that was sealed beside the fountain on that perfect summer's day. It is only at the end of the film, when Briony, now an aged novelist played by Vanessa Redgrave, reveals facts about the story that we realize how thoroughly, how stupidly, she has continued for a lifetime to betray Cecilia, Robbie and herself...The structure of the McEwan novel and this film directed by Joe Wright is relentless. How many films have we seen that fascinate in every moment and then, in the last moments, pose a question about all that has gone before, one that forces us to think deeply about what betrayal and atonement might really entail?...Wright, who also directed Knightley in his first film, "Pride and Prejudice," shows a mastery of nuance and epic, sometimes in adjacent scenes. In the McEwan novel, he has a story that can hardly fail him and an ending that blindsides us with its implications. This is one of the year's best films, a certain best picture nominee.
DVD, English, Spanish, Dolby, Digital Audio, Dolby Digital (5.1), No Longer Produced
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
The interpretation is so painstaking and moving that almost every moment delivers a shuddering jolt to the head and the heart.
Derek Elley, Variety
Rarely has a book sprung so vividly to life, but also worked so enthrallingly in pure movie terms, as with Atonement...
Helen O'Hara, Empire
Gorgeous cinematography, a lilting score and near-faultless performances, under Wright's assured direction...
J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Atonement is that rare combo: a good movie based on a good book.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
A singular achievement -- romantic, sensuous, intelligent and finally shattering in its sweep and thematic complexity.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
An unforgettable examination of a host of dark impulses.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Written, directed and acted to perfection, Atonement sweeps you up on waves of humor, heartbreak and ravishing romance.