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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Atonement - Actually, the Oscar Nods WERE Warranted - Movie Review

Atonement
written by Christopher Hampton, based on the book by Ian McEwan
directed by Joe Wright

I was mistaken.

I called Atonement the big bloated Hollywood movie that fits all the Oscar criteria and thus got nominated despite getting good but not great reviews from critics and bloggers alike.

I was wrong.

Atonement is a big bloated BRITISH movie that fits all the Oscar criteria but damnit if those British accents didn't get me because I loved every bloated moment set to a sweeping score by Oscar nominee Dario Marianelli over Seamus McGarvey's Oscar nominated beautiful cinematography that basically glows while the camera makes love to James McAvoy and Keira Knightly, probably another reason why I loved the movie.

And boy are James McAvoy and Keira Knightly so pretty... ... ... where was I? Oh yeah, and they were standardly terrific in their parts and if it weren't such a crowded year for great performances, they would have been shoo-ins for the Best Actor and Actress categories at the Oscars but in they end they were shut out and I could understand both scenarios, but in the end, these two are such talents that they will have plenty of chances in the future to win.

Meanwhile, newcomer Saoirse Ronan steals the show (and an Oscar nomination) as the younger sister Briony Tallis to Knightley's Cecilia Tallis who becomes the catalyst for splitting up the lovely couple but I'll leave the rest of the plot at that for those of you haven't read Ian McEwan's book yet.

The movie is another Working Title film that is expertly producing consistently enjoyable Hollywood style British fare (and I mean that in the good Hollywood connotation)(About A Boy, Bridget Jones' Diary, Love Actually, United 93, Pride and Prejudice, O Brother Where Art Thou etc), and while Atonement might have been slightly too glossy at times, with a few scenes that normally would be cliched and now laughable, goshdarn those British accents help cover up the schmaltz to make the whole thing sound smarter. The movie was imperfect and I should have felt a bigger emotional wallop at the end but I still loved Joe Wright's direction and the sweeping cinematography and structurally, it kept me involved and riveted the entire time, even though the tale is pretty simple in the end.

Plus, James McAvoy is so pretty.

And Keira Knightley is so pretty.

Atonement = A- or 9/10



For My Reviews of the other Best Picture Oscar nominees:

Juno
No Country For Old Men

1 comment:

patrick said...

agreed... i'm glad No Country got the awards

Atonement looked and felt a lot like Pride and Prejudice, Come to think of it, both movies have the same director, leading lady and both are based on books…

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