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Atonement (Rental)


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Product details

  • Manufacturer reference: 5050582532524
  • ASIN: B0068VKZRI
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 17 Nov 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Andy Millward VINE VOICE on 12 July 2008
Format: DVD
I personally found this a spellbinding movie, though I understand why critics would object. The literary origins are retained through the artifice of a structure essential to conceal the twist in the plot. The downside is that the film is somewhat stagey and stylised, though the author conceals shocks brilliantly. You are somehow aware of the artifice throughout, the reasons for which become apparent at the end.

The country house scenes look very chocolate box, and could easily have been the start of a familiar romantic drama of the Camomile Lawn ilk, but all is thrown into disarray in rapid succession by the use of a taboo word, an act of witnessed passion, the violent rape of a young girl and a false accusation.

What follows is the unfolding drama and the story of the atonement, told in several chapters and centred around the character Briony at three ages - 13, 18 and 77. To give each credit, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave each give a sparkling turn and look precisely like an older version of their younger selves. Ronan in particular makes a magical job of competing for screen time with the likes of McAvoy, Knightley, Cumberbatch, Kennedy and Walter - and frankly, wins hands down most of the time!

The finest set piece is however Dunkirk. There is a single, intricate shot weaving in and out of the huge and complex array of activity on the beach as McAvoy's Robbie and his two companions try to find their way around. This is masterly film-making and worth the price of the DVD on its own.

The denouement is left in the hands of Vanessa Redgrave, and what a smashing job she makes of it too. Fragile yet playful, wistful yet leaving no doubt of the sincerity of her regrets, this is a fine performance.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Ashby on 29 Jan 2011
Format: DVD
Whew! I've just ordered yet another copy of this film for a friend who hasn't yet seen it, and thought I'd glance at the reviews while I was at it...half an hour later, I'm left with such a sense of how very different each one of us truly is, and how differently we view & experience movies! I suppose that we're all looking for different things from them.
I hadn't read the book before seeing this film way back in September '07. I've read it since, and despite the immaculate crafting and writing it leaves me cold like so many of Ian McEwan's novels (I keep trying but...sorry)
That I've seen the film 12 times now probably speaks volumes. I remember when I left the cinema after the first time, I felt raw...I couldn't bear anyone to talk to me for about an hour afterwards as I needed time to 'come down' from the emotion. I saw it 4 times on the big screen in total (this isn't unusual for me...if I love a film, I'll watch it several times to squeeze every drop from it - ergo, I've seen The King's Speech 4 times already!) and I have to be careful about watching it now as it can affect me quite strongly still - I just find the emotions, characters, acting so powerful & moving. I wasn't a fan of Keira Knightley before particularly, but after this, The Edge of Love and The Duchess I cannot wait to see her again. James McAvoy is & will continue to be one of our greatest new acting talents...I see only great things ahead for him. Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch - their body of work before & since 'Atonement' speaks volumes for them too.
Much has been said and debated in these reviews on the story, the cinematography, the accents, the period details...I'm not going to add to that.
Reviews are so, so personal.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Audrey on 28 Jun 2010
Format: DVD
It is a delightful film, well paced, with a beautiful background, strong emotions and remarquable actors. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. I found it just as enjoyable as the book it was adapted from.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By archangelgabriela on 22 Jun 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brilliant performances from Kiera Knightley, James McAvoy and Romola Garai as Knightley's jealous younger sister.

This is a great film, tragic yet entertaining, and offers a moral lesson on the destructive power of jealousy.

A must see for lovers of drama.
.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JONESY on 26 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Absolutely beautiful and finely crafted film. IMO Knightley has never been better.
James Mcavoy's performance was similarly excellent.
I watch a lot of horror films, but they are nothing. THIS is the film that actually distresses me for some reason. A great watch, and a film that plays on your mind for days afterwards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helena on 22 Mar 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a lovely film but so sad. couldn't stop crying at the end but lovely. Well worth watching again and again.
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By OEJ TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 April 2008
Format: DVD
There's no doubt, surely, that this was a beautifully crafted, styled and produced film with a musical score to match. All the actors played their parts very well, and generally speaking the finished product is a breath of fresh air compared to the tedium of most big-budget movies these days. A return to how they used to make them, if you like.

But I couldn't help thinking that the whole story pivots on the spontaneous actions (accusations, in fact) of a 13 year old girl. She deliberately points the finger of blame upon the wrong man - and if she had not, well, maybe this film would not have been made. And since the very title of the film is supposed to represent her efforts to atone for her sins, then it must be said that we see rather little of them, and I was only mildly moved by her confessions both as an 18 year old and as a much more elderly lady. There was something missing, I felt that the atonement lacked substance and I found myself caring little as to how she might make efforts to redeem herself because she was clearly not a character that many viewers will care for anyway. But there is a touching love story, built, it might be said, upon the foundations of lust rather than romance, and the efforts made by the director and cast to pull on our heartstrings during the lovers' separation (during WW2) were slightly at odds, I felt, with what I thought was a somewhat light and shallow relationship that had been painstakingly filmed earlier on. I haven't read the novel but I'll bet that in this crucial area it is a lot more convincing. The books always beat the films!

Dario Marianelli won the Oscar for original score for "Atonement" at the 80th Academy Awards in Los Angeles (Feb. 24 2008).
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