Atonement: WARNING THIS THREAD HAS SPOILERS

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rosscoe(au)
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What a stunningly beautiful film.

That four minute steadicam shot in the middle was jaw dropping, this film was brillant.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
Updated On: 12/24/07 at 07:27 AM
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re: Atonement#2
Posted: 12/12/07 at 7:58am
I'm going to see it this morning. The previews make it look a little melodramatic but I try to see as many oscar contenders each year as possible.
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re: Atonement#2
Posted: 12/12/07 at 12:55pm
yeah that was really great.
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re: Atonement#3
Posted: 12/14/07 at 1:11am
Any one else had a chance to see this yet? It lead the pack at this morning's Globe noms.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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re: Atonement#4
Posted: 12/14/07 at 8:07am
Yes, I agree, I thought it was sensational.

But there is already a thread on this film, I believe - if you're looking for more reactions.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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re: Atonement#5
Posted: 12/21/07 at 11:16pm
I saw ATONEMENT this afternoon. Liked it.

It's a good film, but now having seen it, I don't think the SAG snub was some oversight due to screeners coming out late. The movie is this year's PAINTED VEIL. Everything about it is well done, but there is just nothing there to feel really passionate about or excited about. As a result, I have a hard time imagining that many AMPAS voters are going to pick this film as their top choice for 2007.

Knightly is good. McAvoy very good, but it's the three fabulous performances as Briony, who are really the award worthy aspect of the movie, with Ramola Garai, being the one who probably most deserves a nomination.

I imagine the three will largely cancel each other out (though it must be said Vanessa Redgrave only affirms with every film role that she is one of, if not the greatest actress currently working on stage or film.)

I'd give the film three stars/four.
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re: Atonement#6
Posted: 12/21/07 at 11:23pm
I really want to see this film. I have heard so many great things about it. And the cast is fabulous.
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re: Atonement#7
Posted: 12/21/07 at 11:54pm
I felt that Garai was the one least deserving of praise. Ronan (the youngest) deserves an Oscar nomination.


I disagree that it's this year's PAINTED VEIL. There is a craft and a heart-stopping beauty to this film that VEIL didn't have.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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re: Atonement#8
Posted: 12/22/07 at 12:02am
I loved The Painted Veil, but I don't really see any similarities between them at all.

I was worried that the film wouldn't work, just because of the way the book is written with the changes in narration and the ending and whatnot, but the movie was everything I had hoped it would be. And I agree, Romola Garai gave a great performance, she didn't have much screentime, but she was subtle and devestating in the few scenes she was in and she's a great actress and she's always been a scenestealer and I hope she finally gets some recognition.

And McAvoy carried the movie IMO.
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re: Atonement#9
Posted: 12/22/07 at 12:04am
Despite NO COUNTRY being a technically better film with impeccable filmmaking, ATONEMENT would be my pick (though I haven't seen THERE WILL BE BLOOD or CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR yet) to win Best Picture.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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re: Atonement#10
Posted: 12/22/07 at 12:12am
There is definitely craft. I in particular liked the score, but from a story standpoint, the payoff arguably doesn't quantify a two hour movie. The stories don't come together in the surprising, and succinct way they do in say, THE HOURS.

I don't want to say its style over substance but the conceit of the movie creates scenes (like the scene where Briony "visits" her sister) that as you are watching them feel awkward and non-realistic, and even if the explanation for the truth behind them comes out at the end - they aren't revelatory, particularly satisfying resoultion. I know that the point is how we are haunted by small choices we make, often for life - and I'm sure this book is deeply moving and satisfying.

As a movie though, I just felt it wasn't a terribly emotionally resounding journey. I never really felt for Knightly's cold character - and until the final scene of the movie Briony is largely shellshocked.

The basic reaction from the audience at the end was a kind of shrug. At least the ending of NO COUNTRY FOR GOOD MEN left audiences passionately divided!

I think Redgrave deserves the nomination because I'm not sure who else could have pulled off that monologue at the end as well. It was the only part of the film I felt emotionally moved by.



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re: Atonement#11
Posted: 12/22/07 at 12:16am
I think my enthusiasm for this film is largely due to my love for the novel. It's one of my favorite books of all time. The "twist" at the end may have been more defined for me because I remember the shock in the novel, and it's something that stuck with me. I do see where you're coming from (and I don't even think ATONEMENT is a definite best picture nominee) but I just thought it was breathtaking.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
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re: Atonement#12
Posted: 12/22/07 at 12:20am
Im assuming Munk, you've read the book? I'm wondering if the movie comes across better as a superb adaptation of a book rather than necessisarily a superb film as its own entity (other than the high cross the board levels of craft we've already spoken of.)

EDIT -- See your response now. I'm curious what made the ending shocking in the book? It seemed inevitable in the film that she was going to write about the story (she says earlier she won't ever finish it - which you know is a big set up for the end) and because the film was structured in such a way as to show a scene repeated from a different point of view, I was expecting some twist on the "visitation" scene with the sister.

I actually do think, for example, the arrival of Laura Brown as an old woman was a shock in the film of THE HOURS.
Updated On: 12/22/07 at 12:20 AM
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re: Atonement#13
Posted: 12/22/07 at 12:28am
I loved the ending in the book.

It was easy to miss, that one little run on sentence, and it was written so nonchalantly... 'what purpose would it serve, if say, I tried to pursuade the reader that...' dot dot dot.

God! So brilliant.

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re: Atonement#14
Posted: 12/22/07 at 2:34am
Don't forget the fantastic score in this film by Dario Marianelli. He also did the music for Pride and Prejudice.
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re: Atonement#15
Posted: 12/22/07 at 3:57am
I've read the book and watched the film, and I feel the same way about both.

I didn't feel that the reader, or viewer, was taken into consideration, which lead me to feel disconnected. The events were nice, but I should've felt more. I didn't care for anything. It was sad that the lovers didn't meet, but at the end, Briony was still a little brat. An old brat, but still a brat.

I like the novel's ending much better. That interview thing was just weird.
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re: Atonement#16
Posted: 12/24/07 at 7:42pm
I just saw the movie this afternoon, will start the book tonight.

The film was incredibly well-made, well-acted. Kiera Knightly (who I've never really enjoyed in anything) was quite good (too skinny!), but it was Vanessa Redgrave who stole the film. I wouldn't be surprised if she manages to pull a Judi Dench in "Shakespeare..." when it comes to the Oscar. The committee loves their older Brits.

And yes, I must agree with Bennett - the shock of Laura arriving at the end of The Hours was much more of an "Oh my God!" moment than the end of Atonement. Still very good, nonetheless.
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re: Atonement#17
Posted: 12/24/07 at 8:01pm
I agree with Michael Bennett's thoughts on the film. Stunningly crafted, with a heart-stopping 40 minute opener. I also agree that the payoff in the film just doesn't work as well as in the novel.

Although she may have had more screentime in Pirates 2, Knightley is luminous and gives her best, most accomplished performance here (and I LOVED her in P&P). McAvoy is one of the most talented young actors we have right now. Garai is underrated, but Ronan and Redgrave are both nomination-worthy.
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re: Atonement#18
Posted: 12/28/07 at 8:45pm
Saw the movie today and was really, really moved by it.I have to saythough... feeling rather foolish after reading what you've all written, but I WAS surprised by the ending. Yes, the confrontation scene felt a little forced, but I had no reason to believe it was fake until she said it.
I do agree about Redgrave (I literally gasped when she appeared onscreen!) - what an amazing performance. Just...wow.
Oh and the final images of them dead...haunting. Been thinking about it all day!
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re: Atonement#19
Posted: 12/28/07 at 10:52pm
The movie was visually stunning. I loved the distinct color motifs that accompanied each segment of the story, and the panoramic shots of Dunkirk were incredible.

I agree with Michael Bennett that the stylistic elements of the film provided the basis for the adaptation, rather than the emotional journeys or the characters. I was riveted by the imagery, but I didn't have the connection to the characters that I was able to form while reading the novel. The essence of Briony's character wasn't truly manifested until Redgrave's monologue (brilliantly done!) at the end, and Cecelia seemed to remain a cold character throughout. McAvoy was splendid; I was able to connect with Robbie despite the fact that the movie didn't dwell on the profundity of the people and their interactions.

Overall, I consider it to be a very fine film. Atonement is one of my favorite books, and I'm glad they've (more or less) done it justice. I would have preferred that the characters and their journeys be explicated, but I'm satisfied.
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re: Atonement#20
Posted: 12/28/07 at 11:11pm
I finally saw this movie tonight and liked it very much. The one thing that I found confusing was that the story was not told in chronological order. I don't mind a story told in flashbacks but I just thought this jumped around way too much and at times was difficult to follow.

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re: Atonement#21
Posted: 12/28/07 at 11:39pm
The movie followed the format of the book in that respect. The book exemplifies post-modernism in every sense, and the non-linear style and multiple perspectives are all a part of that.
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re: Atonement#22
Posted: 12/29/07 at 2:27am
Push - I sure hope you never see David Hare's PLENTY - you're gonna be real lost in that one girl.
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re: Atonement#23
Posted: 12/29/07 at 2:47am
I saw the movie this afternoon. It was definitely a beautiful film, but I agree that something was missing with the characters - especially Briony (love that name). She is static throughout the story. She basically knows she is wrong at the beginning, and finally has clarity to admit she is at the end. But she does nothing about it...

I wasn't particularly surprised that it was a flashback. When I saw him lying in the ditch "looking bad," I knew he probably wouldn't make it to the morning. I don't know. I thought it was good, but something was definitely missing for me. I think maybe it had to do with the fact that one day of passion made them faithful to one another. I know it was a time of war, but somehow I found that unbelievable. Especially since Kiera's character is such a snob at the beginning.

I've never read the book, so I can't compare. I'm sure there is more to it, but I can certainly say that the film was beautiful as was Kiera.
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re: Atonement#24
Posted: 12/29/07 at 3:06am
I saw the film a few days ago, I thought it was visually beautiful. I just had an emotional disconnect with all of the characters, I didn't really feel for any of them. BUt, the best in that movie was the young Briony.

I didn't feel like it was anything to write home about, I think that NO COUNTRY and JUNO were both far superior films.