Atonement is a story about a young girl named Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) who sees something that she thinks she understands but she doesn’t, and because of this she causes the ruin of Robbie Turner’s (James McAvoy) life. This ultimately leads to the separation of his epic love with Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley). The film follows Briony as she grows older, and we see that she tries everything to restore her wrong doing, but ends up not being able to, which causes her to grow up with an everlasting guilty conscience. This is the story of a girl who could never make atonement.
This film, directed by the wonderful Joe Wright, was well-recieved, receiving an Oscar for the Best Original Score at the 80TH Academy Awards, and was nominated for six others, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Saoirse Ronan). At the 61st British Academy Awards it won Best Film and Production Design awards.
The acting was impeccable. Saoirse Ronan was a brilliant actress at such a young age, able to portray a certain aura of naivety while also expressing a sense of maturity and independence as a young child character. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were great at invoking emotion, and making the audience believe in their epic romance.
The cinematography was breathless. With great scenery, and delicate attention to detail – the beautiful landscapes, the horizons, the fog, clouds, skies, sun rays, silhouettes of soldiers, and much more – the film was a pleasant vision.
What a clever, ambitious, compassionate picture it is; what a success for Joe Wright and for Ronan, Knightley and McAvoy.