Monday, January 28, 2008
I read the book Atonement last year. It was marvelous (if incredibly sad and depressing) so when the movie came out I didn't really want to see it. I'd just been disappointed by The Kite Runner, another incredible book that didn't quite translate to the screen. Kite Runner was excellently handled, don't get me wrong, but there was just too much in the book to cover adequately in a film... they had to leave out a lot that (I thought) mattered to the story line. I was also put off by the opening credits which reminded me of the opening credits of a Harry Potter movie... lots of superfluous animation to announce who was who.
Atonement had some of that. The typewriter effects were an underlying thread of consistency (both sight and sound) but not so overplayed I wanted to gag. I loved it. The plotline was faithful, the actors credible and the cinematography lush. The use of lighting for dramatic emphasis reminded me of Spielberg's genius. But most of all I felt the same awful sense of depression that the book evoked. All those lives ruined by one child's mistake. I hope it wins an oscar. If they have the oscars.