[Movie Review] Atonement


Stranger Than Fiction
Political Access
30 Jan 2004
Atonement has been nominated for tons of awards, it's also already won a lot of them. It has a metascore of 85 on metacritic and film critics everywhere struggle to one-up each other when the talk about how great it is.

I wonder if I saw a bad cut.

The story, if you want to call it that, is about how a young girl misunderstands some events and how it eventually destroys the lives of the people involved. To tell the tale, the movie sparingly uses a bit of nonlinear progression. It cuts back and forth occasionally, attempting to show what went on from another point of view, tough to describe, but think of Pulp Fiction and you get the idea. Anyway, the cut backs and the big reveals of a Pulp Fiction simply aren't there, they are completely unnecessary as anyone with half a brain can tell what REALLY happened. Who really attacked the young girl? Oh gosh we better hide it and hint at who it could have been. Or maybe we can assume that the audience is smart enough to know it was the dirty old guy leering at the girl. The film reminds me of Gosford Park, in that it attempts to keep a secret, but much like that film, it can't even do that right. The acting is wooden, everyone talks about the powerful attraction between the two main characters (James McAvoy and Keira Knightley) I felt none of it. They talk to each other like they are bored, their first back room affair I suppose was supposed to show passion but it felt uninspiring to me. I've actually seen more passion in porn, and we know those people can't act. The only thing the movie has going for it is cinematography, and even that pales in comparison to the masterful work done in No Country for Old Men.

2/5 OSNN Stars.

I'm now 4 out of 5 films into the Best Picture contenders, I'll see There Will Be Blood tomorrow and post a review when I get back. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it will be way better then Atonement. Which makes this easily the worst of the nominees, unfortunately that also means it will probably win.


Electronica Addict
Political Access
3 Feb 2002
I am thinking about checking out There Will Be Blood. The dude has the meanest glint in his eyes.

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