Atonement (2007, GBR/FRA) C-124m. *** D: Joe Wright. Starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan, Julia West, Harriet Walter, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Minghella. Outstanding drama based on the Ian McEwan novel about 13-year-old girl in 1930s England, who is inspired by the events around her and misinterprets the affair between her sister Knightley and McAvoy. After she catches them making love she uses an incident thereafter to accuse him of rape, thus forcing him to leave and take part in WW2. Wright, director of PRIDE & PREJUDICE (2005) has fashioned an artistic triumph. Irresistibly told period drama hypnotizes you with its stunning direction, interesting use of different time levels and good performances (though child actress Ronan owes her Oscar nomination to Wright's brilliant directorial touches). One of the most artistic films in recent memory, recalling the work of some stalwart directors of the 1970s. Screenplay by Christopher Hampton. Oscar winner for Best Score (by Dario Marianelli).

© Ron Altman