Atonement is about the good old days of British Class separation and London during the Blitz. It is a standard issue costume drama about star crossed lovers tore apart by a lie and than a war. With the exception of a couple of racy scenes involving a rail thin girl in love with a rail thin boy-this is mainly a story of sorrow and regret. Everyone has a sad/determined look on their face, even when soaking wet or making love.
There is a lot of blood and a bit of gore-war and all that. Lots of time spend wandering around the French country side. Lots of time spend wandering around London. Lots of time spend thinking about London and the French Country Side. Maybe this was just too much of a chick flick for me.
This film won an Oscar for music- and I did like that whole bit of business with the typewriter. This was a serious movie. The look and feel and pacing all designed to win Oscars and other critical awards. And there is nothing wrong with that. A car chase through London with a smashed up flower cart would have been out of place. But for me the pacing was so slow as to induce a gentle slumber.
Many of the reviews I have glanced at say things like this is the best movie they have seen in years and how amazing and awesome it was. I tend to watch any movie with London and Brit Accents playing a major role, but Atonement was ultimately disappointing as the villains in the piece is never punished while the heroes suffer and fall by the wayside.
It is not just that Atonement doesn't have a happy ending, but that it goes out of its way to insure that there can be no happy ending. The movie ends with one of the villains as an old, and very successful woman, telling us she is dying and wants to get what she did off her chest.
Yes it was a pretty film and yes it sounded pretty as well. I am in a clear minority in not liking it-in not loving it. But I didn't like it. The whole pointlessness of it all was too much for me.