Atonement (2007) Review


At thirteen years old Briony Tallis struggling with jealously is about to have a huge impact on many lives when she accuses her sister Cecilia’s lover Robbie of a crime he did not commit.


This is the second time that I have watched this film, I remember watching it many years ago and not appreciating everything about it. So as part of the Best Picture Project I have going I decided to give it another chance and I have to say I am so pleased that I decided to that because this is a fantastic film! Everything about it is so heartbreaking to see what a lie from a child can do to people, having them pulled apart and not preventing everything else that the one lie brings about.

Therefore it is a truly important story as well to really highlight the damage that can be done if you don’t tell the truth. Something I think we really need to think about more. This all takes place with World War II and Robbie being in France and ending up in Dunkirk. The way the story is told is from Briony, so how much of it will actually be true? That is certainly something that it makes you think and wonder about. We are given three different Briony’s throughout the film from thirteen years old, to eighteen years old and then as a very old woman promoting her last and final novel which is this story.

Performances in the film are pretty outstanding and Saoirse Ronan really is something else as young Briony and I can truly understand how her career has continued to grow and grow over the past ten years. This was probably the start of bigger things for James McAvoy who has just started the transition from TV to film and it really is a very powerful performance for the man who lost it all on the basis of a lie, something he did not do. Keira Knightley puts in a very convincing performance as Cecilia who is pinning for her lover, which I am sure many woman had to do during World War II. It was also one of the first roles for Juno Temple as well, playing the cousin who is very much at the centre of the story.

As the story goes on we know it is not going to be the happy ever after ending that we are so longing for. Everything about the way we are told the story builds small parts of happiness but is it all as it actually seems? That is something we do when watching a film or in real life we always hope for the happy ending and that everything will be ok. This film really hammers home just how much a lie can stop happiness for so many people. Hopefully that is something that will make you really think and look closer at things. Every action we make can impact those around us, that makes this a very important film with how heartbreaking it really is, so pleased I gave this one another shot!


7 thoughts on “Atonement (2007) Review

  1. I hadn’t read the book and so just didn’t see what was coming, i.e. without spoilers, the time differences.

    It blew my mind! I think it’s a stunning film from a clever book and shows how one small decision can change everything. Very clever, great performances and THAT beach scene…


  2. Great review! I think I should maybe give it another watch. I didn’t like it the first time round and although I don’t rate Keira Knightley as an actress, I’m hoping I might think differently with a second viewing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This film had a powerful effect on me, almost mesmerizing. Just the way that it played out, the different angles and times of her life. And that one-shot capture of Dunkirk Beach is some of Hollywood’s finest cinematography, in my opinion. Atonement also holds my heart for one of my favorite movie scores of all time.


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