16 September, 2007


I really mean it. If you are in the UK and "Atonement" is playing ANYWHERE near you, run, do not walk. It is staggering.

Of course I adore James McAvoy, who wouldn't. He was spectacular in Narnia, in Last King of Scotland, in the BBC telly programme "Shameless." He was even wonderful in "Becoming Jane," a sort of Jane Austen Lite. But in this film he is incandescent. You can't take your eyes off the screen. The man can act more with a lift of his eyelids than most actors can with their entire bodies. Quite simply the most compelling love scene ever in a film I've seen, and done so stunningly in a sort of postmodern now-and-earlier fashion, where you see the eventuality from more than one point of view: breathtaking. How anyone could come away from this film never having been deeply in love, and survive... I don't know. I wish he had more chance to smile in any film: his smile is enchanting and wicked. Luckily I had my loyal husband with me, who was similarly (if not equally) enthralled. A fabulous film.

And the sound editing! You can hear cigarettes light, kisses happen, drops of water fall. And the DP! Whoever he is: the fall of garments! And the art director: the bedrooms full of 1930s clobber that puts you RIGHT in the scene. And the MUSIC. One Debussy strain will leave you weeping. Gorgeous. I'm still thinking about it 10 hours later, and plan to see it again.

You must see it. And when it comes to the US (don't know when exactly) you must not say, "Well, it will come out on DVD." No, the World War II scenes especially MUST be seen on the big screen. Do go. You will be captivated for 2 hours and 3 minutes. Take tissues. You will need them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BAFTA = British Academy of Film and Television Arts (not awards) . Lovely Blog