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Tom’s Recommended Film of the Week


After the Academy Awards, I usually try to watch all the films, which I have not yet seen, that were nominated for best picture. I figure if they took the honor of an Academy nomination, it’s probably a good idea for me to watch them. So this week I viewed Atonement.

Normally I don’t go in much for romances, but I do like some of the Jane Austin based films and war pictures are ok by me, so Atonement looked like a good opportunity. The film is directed by Joe Wright, who also directed Pride and Prejudice. It has a war segment and offers some odd emotional crossings, so I came to it expecting to be at least lightly entertained.

however, turned out to be an excellent picture. Clearly much thought was put into its development from the novel by Ian McEwan. I really enjoyed the scene transitions, which help to blend the crossing story lines. Judging by the disc extras these moments came straight from the novel and proved perfect for use in the film editing. Atonements blending of sounds and scored music also provided a great treat for me. The typewriter clacks really helped to hold the film together and brought added emotional effect when needed. Powerful acting from James McAvoy and Keira Knightley brought an elevation, which kept Atonement from becoming overly melodramatic in it’s themes of class distinction and snobbery.

In a way, Atonement might be compared to Titanic in its method of story telling and I think that is a good thing for the potential viewer to hear. If you enjoy this type of film, jump right in, but even if British romantic drama is not your cup of tea, I think most viewers will be able to appreciate the fine craftsmanship which went into making Atonement.

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