film

reviews










 

Atonement (2007)

Director:
Joe Wright
COUNTRY
UK/France
GENRE
Drama/Mystery
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Om forlatelse
RUNNING TIME
123 minutes
Producer:
Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Paul Webster
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Ian McEwan):
Christopher Hampton


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Robbie Turner James McAvoy
Cecilia Tallis Keira Knightley ˝
Briony Tallis - Age 13 Saoirse Ronan
Lola Quincey Juno Temple
Briony Tallis - Age 18 Romola Garai
Paul Marshall Benedict Cumberbatch
Grace Turner Brenda Blethyn
Emily Tallis Harriet Walter
Leon Tallis Patrick Kennedy
Nettle Daniel Mays
Frank Mace Nonso Anozie
Luc Cornet Jérémie Renier
Older Briony Vanessa Redgrave
Interviewer Anthony Minghella

 

Review

The technically dazzling Atonement is heightened by delicate photography, stunning make-up and an innovative musical score by Academy Award winner Dario Marianelli. The direction, by Joe Wright, has got merit, but despite some good moments (e.g. the four plus minute sequence on the beach of Dunkirk), the uncustomary narrative structure distances us from the emotional impact of the story. The purpose, of course, is to enhance the mystery - or rather, to create a mystery of what is essentially a classic tragedy. It is a well-written one at that, full of interesting aspects of oppressed sexuality and painful soul-searching - which ultimately aren't explored well enough. When Wright gives his segments time to breathe and mature, such as the depiction a couple of crucial events early on from two contrasting points of view, Atonement is encompassing. And the performances of James McAvoy and Saoirse Ronan deserve a more thorough examination of relations and emotions. Keira Knightley, on the other hand, looks like an anorectic 21st century model. It makes her Cecilia Tallis hard to believe as a 1930s miss, but Knightley still delivers in the challenging dramatic scenes - of which, alas, there are too few.

Copyright © 14.7.2008 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

[BACK TO INDEX]

[HAVE YOUR SAY]