Atonement reunites Keira Knightley with her Pride & Prejudice director, Joe Wright, for the movie based on Ian McEwan’s book of the same name. The result? Once of the most widely acclaimed pictures of 2007.
Atonement tells the story of Cecilia Tallis (Knightley), and the housekeeper’s son, Robbie Turner (played by the increasingly prevalent James McAvoy). Set during the heat of 1935, their coming together and the ensuing drama brings in Cecilia’s thirteen-year old sister, Briony, whose actions prove to have far-reaching repercussions.
With a terrific cast and superb direction from the aforementioned Wright, it’s utterly understandable as to how Atonement has earned itself such praise. Diligently told, with some superb photography, Wright is blessed by terrific central performances by Knightley and McAvoy, both of whom have never been better. His trick also is to get the pacing of the film bang-on, taking his time to build up and layer events before he looks for any kind of pay off.
As a result, as Atonement heads into its latter stages, it proves itself as a top quality drama, with a real emotional punch. Furthermore, it’s one of the increasingly rare breed of films that sticks in your head for days after.
As a result, for once, it really is worth seeing what critics the world over have been raving about: Atonement really is something very special indeed.