Film: Atonement

Opened: December 7, 2007

Directed by: Joe Wright

Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Blethyn, Juno Temple, Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Kennedy, Harriet Walter, Alfie Allen, Peter Wright, Daniel Mays, Nonso Anozie, Gina McKee, Jérémie Renier, Michelle Duncan & Anthony Minghella

A devastatingly beautiful film based on Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement is a multi-decade story that will leave you gutted.

When young Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) falsely accuses Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) of a crime, his life is forever changed leading him and Briony’s sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) to be separated as World War II occurs.

Everything about this film is perfectly crafted. The casting – especially Ronan in her breakout role as well as Knightley and McAvoy – is stellar with palpable romance and tension. The costumes are exquisite, and the score intensifies the emotional aspect.

The ending is not what you’d expect, and it helps to give the film a second screening. You’ll likely be more emotional after knowing how the story turns out, and it’ll change the way you view an already despicable character.

Final say: A masterpiece. ★★★★★

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