Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 14, 2009

Atonement (2007)
#59 on my Top 100 List
There are so many memorable things about this movie. Cecelia's green evening dress is now instantly recognizable, the musical score accented by the click of typewriter keys is unique, the camerawork is fluid and organic, and the 5-minute continuous shot that weaves through the British army's assembly at Dunkirk is haunting and unforgettable, especially when it finally comes to rest on a panoramic shot of the entire beach with a skeletal ferris wheel turning ghost-like in the distance. It's a story about a romance built on one moment of passion and torn apart by the naive lies of a little girl and how the three people involved are doomed by it. The continuity between the three women playing Briony (at age 13, 18, and 70-something) is uncanny, with a single bobby pin and a mole on her cheek being the only devices that the filmmakers used. The scene with old Briony is especially moving. It can get a little confusing, as the movie jumps back and forth somewhat through time and shows the same scenes over again but from different points of view, but if you're paying attention, it's not hard to sort out. It's been said that this past year's Bright Star had the best fully-clothed sex scene ever in cinema, but I dare those reviewers to watch the library scene in this movie between Keira Knightley and James McAvoy and not change their minds.
My Netflix rating: 5 stars

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