In what seems to be a bit of a theme of war-related entertainment lately, I was encouraged to go see Atonement in spite of my concern about it starring Keira Knightley. Let me state for the record then that the previews do not do the film justice.

Atonement is the story of a misunderstanding perpetrated by a series of unfortune events. A younger sister, Briony, sees Celia (Keira) in an encounter with the son of their housekeeper, Robbie. This immediately leads to a tragic turn of events.

The film is based on a novel by Ian McEwen, and manages to capture the suspense and mystery of a written work with the excellent use of interleaved timelines, fantastic cinematography (I’d see it again for the use of light in an of itself), and great performances (bar Keira, who is annoying at worst, tolerable at best).

One thing you have to look for is the protracted, single-shot scene on the beach at Dunkirk. Amazing. Seems to be a bit of a theme in English cinema, or at least you’d think so after that car-chase scene in The Children of Men.

Definitely worth the trip to Readings.

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