Review: `Atonement’ a Dazzling Romance

January 5, 2008 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Keira Knightley, left, and James McAvoy

Keira Knightley, left, and James McAvoy

Those ruby-red lips puffing away at a delicately hand-rolled cigarette, those shoulder blades jutting like weapons from a knockout of a backless, emerald-green gown Keira Knightley would seem to be starring in an elegant period drama, one that’s predictably and self-consciously reserved.

“Atonement” is anything but. It changes again and again, lulling us in with its glamorous trappings before turning sexy, suspenseful, richly romantic and achingly sad. And if you haven’t read the Ian McEwan best-selling novel that inspired it, you’ll be dazzled by its twist of an ending.

Joe Wright, who directed Knightley to an Academy Award nomination for 2005’s “Pride & Prejudice,” rejoins most of his technical team from that film for this decades-spanning story of jealousy, betrayal, damage and repentance. Where his Jane Austen adaptation reveled in the gritty reality of the time, here he luxuriates in high style everything has a shimmering, dreamlike sheen about it, perhaps as an homage to the sweeping, historical romances of long ago but without lapsing into parody. It’s just exceptionally well-crafted.

Read the entire article at: www.cinema-pedia.com

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