Sunday, April 13, 2008

All Because Of A Lie

Atonement is film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement. It was directed by Joe Wright, and produced by Working Title Films. It was filmed in the summers of England and France. Atonement won an Oscar for Best Original Score at the 80th Academy Awards, and was nominated for six others, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Writing, and Achievement in Costume. It also won Best Film of the Year, and the Production Design award at the 61st British Academy Film Awards. Atonement also opened the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival and the 64th Venice International Film Festival, making Joe Wright the youngest director ever to open the event at age 35. The film grossed a total of more than $50,224,809. I liked the movie, but there were a lot of flashbacks, and it got rather confusing at times. I was never sure which year it was, or which flashback came first. My mama said she didn't really care for the film, but I guess you just have to be into these kind of movies to really understand and keep up with everything.

The Story
In England in 1935, Briony Tallis thinks she witnesses the gardener, Robbie (James McAvoy), having sexual tensions with her sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley). She is confused and nervous about the scene she had just witnessed. In fact, Robbie and Cecilia are in love they just don't show it openly, and the scene Briony witnessed actually had nothing to do with love. Robbie accidentally broke Cecilia's vase, and the handle fell in the fountain. Cecilia just went in to get it. Robbie later feels terrible about the vase so he writes a letter to Cecilia apologizing for his clumsiness, and a very explicit erotically charged version that he didn't intend on giving to Cecilia. He asks Briony to deliver the letter only to realize it was the wrong letter. Briony reads the letter and finds her theory that Robbie is a "sex maniac" is true, but she gives the letter to Cecilia without telling anyone what she read. During dinner that night, they discover that their twin cousins have run away so everyone goes out searching for them. While Briony searches she comes upon her cousin, Lola, being raped. She insists it was Robbie, and shows her parents and the police the letter he had given Cecilia. Robbie is then taken to prison and later to war. Years later, Briony realizes what a terrible mistake and lie she made. She tries to apologize to her sister, who has disowned her family, but never could find her. Many years have passed and Briony is now in her late seventies and dying. She has written a book titled Atonement, which is a story of the lie she told that ruined the lives of both her sister and Robbie. Briony tells that the end of her book is quite different from the reality story, but she wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia a happy ending, one that they never had.

The Cast

The casting of Atonement was great. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were excellent. Saoirse Ronan (Briony at age 13), Romola Garai (Briony at age 18), and Vanessa Redgrave (Briony at age 77) all played Briony Tallis throughout the years as she aged. Benedict Cumberbatch played Paul Marshall, who was actually the man Briony saw raping her cousin, and Juno Temple played Lola.

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Martha said...

great blog, but i'm afraid vanessa redgrave isn't 77 at all :)

Slimy said...

Martha-When I said (age 77), I meant that is the age Briony was when they portrayed her. Sorry I wasn't very clear on that.