Sunday 9 September 2007

Atonement - stylish but slight

We saw Atonement, the stylish adaptation of Ian McEwan's tale of lost love, wrongful accusation and the travails of War, last night. The cast are universally good, though Saoirse Ronan as the young and spiteful Briony steals the show from the much-hyped Keira Knightley and increasingly impressive James McAvoy. The film is beautifully shot and familiar figures like Gina McKee and Vanessa Redgrave offer splendid supporting performances. In particular, the chaos of Dunkirk as soldiers await evacuation is extraordinarily captured in a five-minute scene worthy of Hieronymus Bosch. But after it is all over - and the ending twist is moving - there is a niggling feeling that it may not quite add up to the sum of its parts. It is, though, well worth seeing.

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