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Atonement [DVD] [2007]

3.7 out of 5 stars 349 customer reviews

Price: £2.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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  • We delve into the past of Keira Knightley and James McAvoy amongst others in our In the Spotlight feature - click on the link to find out more.


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Product details

  • Actors: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Blethyn
  • Directors: Joe Wright
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Italian
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb. 2008
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YGHBWU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,741 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia (Kiera Knightley) strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), a childhood friend who, along with Briony's sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge.

By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl's scheming imagination, and Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will colour her entire life.

From the director of Pride & Prejudice and based on the novel by Ian McEwen comes "the best British film in years" – Sunday Times.

"As close to perfect as a movie can get" – Daily Mirror.

"An Essential" 5 Stars - Empire

From Amazon.co.uk

Atonement reunites Keira Knightley with her Pride & Prejudice director, Joe Wright, for the movie based on Ian McEwan’s book of the same name. The result? Once of the most widely acclaimed pictures of 2007.

Atonement tells the story of Cecilia Tallis (Knightley), and the housekeeper’s son, Robbie Turner (played by the increasingly prevalent James McAvoy). Set during the heat of 1935, their coming together and the ensuing drama brings in Cecilia’s thirteen-year old sister, Briony, whose actions prove to have far-reaching repercussions.

With a terrific cast and superb direction from the aforementioned Wright, it’s utterly understandable as to how Atonement has earned itself such praise. Diligently told, with some superb photography, Wright is blessed by terrific central performances by Knightley and McAvoy, both of whom have never been better. His trick also is to get the pacing of the film bang-on, taking his time to build up and layer events before he looks for any kind of pay off.

As a result, as Atonement heads into its latter stages, it proves itself as a top quality drama, with a real emotional punch. Furthermore, it’s one of the increasingly rare breed of films that sticks in your head for days after.

As a result, for once, it really is worth seeing what critics the world over have been raving about: Atonement really is something very special indeed. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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If you enjoy interpreting your own understanding of literature and film rather than relying on the author or director telling you exactly what is happening this is a film for you. If you enjoy tragedy that is never avenged then this is a film for you. This was not a film for me. The story is told through the eyes of what I would call the 'antagonist' which makes an unsatisfactory tale for me anyway. I did like seeing a black soldier (Mace)accompanying Robbie to Dunkirk. This is something that is not often seen in WWII depictions considering Britain raised a lot of soldiers from the 'Commonwealth' countries and it was good to hear Nettle - the white soldier - acknowledge his knowledge of Britain's colonisation of Africa and Asia. This is something people conveniently forget about these days.
I have not read the book but the director explained in the bonus features of the DVD that he followed the book very closely so I am not interested in reading the book if it is not going to definitively tell me what occurred.
It is not a rubbish film but for me it was unfulfilling.
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Beautifully made, but confusing. Multiple stories told, but not in the same way Pulp Fiction uses them, i.e. brings them together with one theme (destiny).

This is like many stories taken from a book, all over the place. When you see stories, literally, you can easily find their errors. I found this cluttered, and just frustrating to watch, especially as it ended.

Can you comment on great costume and cinematography? Not really. Because all those things only make a difference if the story is treated like a king. It wasn't. As such, everything else ceases to matter.
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