Based on the book by Ian McEwan. Directed by Joe Wright. Written by Christopher Hampton. Stars James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan. Scored by Dario Marianelli.
Atonement is the tragic, romantic tale of two lovers’ struggle to be together before and during World War II. It’s an incredible story, and though I have not read Ian McEwan’s novel, this seems to be a wonderful adaption. There are many moody and psychological undertones throughout, and they do a great job of conveying them through the great acting and the haunting, Eyes Wide Shut-esque score. Saoirse Ronan, who plays Briony Tallis at age 13, is especially amazing and is easily one of the best child actors I’ve ever seen.
Though it will be lumped into the war/romance genre, I think Atonement is far better than Cold Mountain and even, dare I say it, The English Patient. It’s worth a try regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the subject matter. But beware, it’ll move even the most emotionally hollow. Prepare to have your heart wrenched!