Joe Wright's Atonement is a great film, not least because of the wonderful work of cinematographer Seamus McGarvey. The scope of the scene on the beach awaiting evacuation is astonishing - and I'm referring here to the conceptual scope as well as the visual: it conveys brilliantly the gargantuesque confusion of a war scene, the pity and the pathos of it. But the earlier lyricism of the pre-war English countryside is equally deserving of praise. I can usually safely ignore the music written for films, but Dario Marianelli's score deservedly won the Oscar in that year. It must have surprising to some people to see Saiorse Ronan being nominated for the Best Supporting Actress award at such a young age, and when she is only in the first half of the film, but the fact that she certainly deserved it is supported by her later nomination, this time for the Leading Role, in Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015). Atonement was the best British film in its year, an amazing achievement for its young director. I could go on ... the underwater photography, Christopher Hampton's excellent screenplay ...

Atonement (Joe Wright, 2008)

reviews | Garry Gillard | New: 28 February, 2017 | Now: 28 February, 2017