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Atonement [DVD] 
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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
Atonement reunites Keira Knightley with her Pride & Prejudice director, Joe Wright, for the movie based on Ian McEwans 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 housekeepers 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 Cecilias thirteen-year old sister, Briony, whose actions prove to have far-reaching repercussions.
With a terrific cast and superb direction from the aforementioned Wright, its 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, its 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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A moving film, with a very good cast, if you have emotions, you will feel them in this movie, i have watched twice already, The film not once for me, found boring at any time, and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by sweeny todd
An average of 3 and a half stars for this from reviewers? Well, I cannot believe that.
Had heard of this of course, but since I am not a fan of 1) period drama, 2) films... Read more
An absolute masterpiece with superb acting and a beautiful score. It's a film that will stay with me forever and has become one of my favourites - the Dunkirk scene has to be one... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elena Ippaso
I absolutely adore this film and the seller was great for delivery time and quality :)Published 3 months ago by Amy Jack
Very strange convoluted plot. How on earth this won all the awards I've no idea.Published 4 months ago by Bikerden
Well done Movie, which captures most of the highlights of the book. A little Heavy going, what With flashbacks etc.Published 5 months ago by Wendy Diane Bell