Atonement (2007)

Love has never been so passionate, damn evil little sisters.

When 13-year-old Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) discovers a lustful letter and witnesses a sexual encounter between her older sister (Keira Knightley) and a servant’s son (James McAvoy), her confusion prompts her to finger the young man for a violent crime.

This film is based on the Ian McEwan novel, that some have said is unfilmable, and might as well be after this, because no other film we be able to top this. This film drips with so much prestige you soon forget it ever had it in the first place.

This film is one of the more beautiful ones that I have seen of all time. Many of the colors change in order to show how different their relationship is turning out to be, and just right through these colors you can just feel the emotion pouring right out of the screen. There are some scenes in this film that are just mesmerizing of how their filmed. The set-pieces were really good looking and actually did look like it was in the 30’s, and last but not least there is just one amazing scene at Dunkirk in WWII, and basically that whole one scene just completes the whole film.

If there were any problems with this film was that its pace changes countless times and seems a little too all over the place. I also felt that this film was one of those very cliched romantic films based on just the simple words “I love you” to convey a new feeling of love and passionate emotion. Some lines in this film are very predictable, and it just seemed like another love story.

At the Oscars, Atonement won for Best Score, out of their other 6 nominations and to be truly honest I have no clue of how and why. I mean the score is unique but I just found it to be annoying at times mixing in the clicks on the keyboard and heavy breathing to mix in with the score.

The film is brilliantly-told through many different points of views. At some scenes I didn’t quite understand what was happening and then when I found out it actually explained a lot.

Between James McAvoy and Keira Knightley I couldn’t tell if they were going out or not. They really did feel like an actual true couple in this film. McAvoy plays the young servant’s son with such authenticity and anger that he just comes off as a really strong and true character and Keira Knightley gives one of her best performances yet, and shows she can’t be out acted. The really young Saorise Ronan actually does a good job and you can just feel sympathy for her as she doesn’t actually know what’s going on and she does do the best to her ability.

The film really does work with it’s central message. I felt that the ending was very effective and true and shows just how great a story can be, with enough emotional strife to add along. It shows how one little white lie, can change lives forever.

Consensus: Atonement features strong performances, a powerfully emotional story, and some really lovely shots, but ultimately falls too short of greatness, due to little misfires.



  1. Atonement is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s such a powerful story and so splendidly acted. I never saw the ending coming, that alone was worth the whole movie time.

  2. One problem I have with this movie is that Briony doesn’t change her hair cut through her whole 90 years of life. I know Hollywood needs to make people know (yes, it’s her but older now), but come on.

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