ARTYFACTS: Atonement

Monday, September 17, 2007


One pout too many from Kiera. Brit films reviewed by Brit reviewers are bad news. Forget the 5 star reviews, Oscar contender status and general puff. This is a scrappy, ill-executed film with a laughable, self-indulgent plot.

Basically Cinderella complete with ugly sister, it's full of unlikely and sometime stupid plot turns. These include; misreading the fountain encounter, wrong letter in envelope, the false accusation, sexually assaulted woman marries her attacker, and the final 'it was all a dream' trick. It's as clunky as a square-wheeled bycycle. And were child rapists really free to join the army?

Some of the scenes are simply ad hoc - the dead schoolgirls in orchard to name but one. Others just don't work - nurse with dying frenchman, beach scenes, choir on bandstand, lovers meet in restaurant etc. Much of the acting verges on the amateurish.

This has all the ingredients of a middle-England film - British, stately home, set in wartime, poor boy falls in love with rich girl, crass literary allusons, and, of course, one of the Redgraves thrown in as a last resort.

I reserve my real rage for the sheer arrogance of the idea that a novel gives life to the dead couple. Using the memories of people who died in a real war, within living memory, as an instrument for some novelist's fantasy about them and their writing is appalling.

If this is nominated for any sort of Oscar I'll give up going to British films altogether.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how refreshing to read your review. my pal and are just back from the cinema after being robbed of 2 hours of our lives and £6 worse off. how did he have time to find the ginger twins and molest the other one?? utter tosh!

6:09 pm  

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