ARCHIVE REVIEW: Atonement

Atonement
Directed by: Joe Wright
Written by: Christopher Hampton (screenplay), Ian McEwan (novel)
Starring: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan, and Vanessa Redgrave

Atonement isn’t a time capsule for your grandparents.  If you’re looking for the lavish period drama with the costumes as the stars, it’s gone with the wind.  This movie, yet another adaptation of a well-received if faded from memory book, is a love story for the modern age; that is to say, a pretty damn depressing one.

The movie starts off on a perfect 45-minute grace note, setting up the passionate exchange between Robbie (James McAvoy) and Cecilia (Keira Knightley).  Cecilia is a wealthy daughter of an affluent family, Robbie is not.  The thing that separates this fairly common class clash is bitter jealousy, brought along in the form of the innocent young Briony (Saoirse Ronan).

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