One of the great perks of children growing up is the opportunity to snicker out together to movies — last night Catherine and I saw Atonement. She'd read the novel on her Europe trip last month.
This is one massive beautiful movie — not a moment too long — beautifully written, closely observed, sad and subtle. It's a huge novel to turn into a movie, a gallon into a pint pot, but they've managed, without making things trite. The cinematography is stunning, music is spot on, CGI is impressive, but the characterisation is even more overwhelming. People who need kleenex in a cinema had better take a large pack.
In short, it's the ultimate serious British movie (in a good way) — good gumbo of, say, The Go-between, The English Patient, A Passage to India, Brief Encounter, Pride & Prejudice, Rebecca. The cinematography creates the close-up intense feel of great German Movies like Perfume, Heimat and Das Boot. Oh, just a detail, the fleeting English patient character is French but hey, we're all Europeans now.
If there's any justice this one is worth a major fistful of Oscars. Only one bishoppy comment. It's a rather Old Testament movie — The hard-edged sadness of it is the (Classically English) Pelagian tragedy — Atonement cries out for Redemption.