On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia (Kiera Knightley) strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), a childhood friend who, along with Briony’s sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge.
By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl’s scheming imagination, and Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will colour her entire life.
What Girlie Gossip Thought …
Atonement is quite simply one of the best films of the year. Dramatic, gripping and powerful it has that unique ability to draw you deeper into the plotline with each scene whilst ensuring that you actually care about the characters in the movie and what is happening to their lives as the story evolves. It is both romantic and tragic and has moments where you will find yourself almost wanting to shout at the screen in frustration at a characters mistake or annoyance. Keira Knightly and James McAvoy have a sizzling chemistry between them that provide a solid backbone for this beautiful film, the consequences of which will remain with you long after the final credits run.
Be warned, if you are anything like us then you may want to have a box of tissues (or ten) handy when you watch this movie! Simply brilliant from start to finish.