Joe Wright (2007)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The kind of collaboration that seems designed to produce the perfect British film, this adaptation of Ian McEwan's bestseller from screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) and director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice) actually pulls it off. Beginning in 1935, the drama pivots on the burgeoning love affair between privileged Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) and servant's son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy). An intercepted love letter, sibling jealousy and an assault combine to tear them apart. Their hopes of reunion are further complicated by the outbreak of war, Robbie's conscription and the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk - stunningly staged here by Wright. A handsome, heart-thumping, character-based love story, this is impeccably acted - Keira Knightley truly comes of age, blending cut-glass, Celia Johnson-like refinement and something altogether more passionate - and stylishly scored (by Dario Marianelli). Atonement transcends the expectations of its country-house setting, via the privations of war, to deliver a knockout twist that works better on the screen than it did on the page.


In 1935, 13-year-old Briony Tallis discovers the burgeoning relationship between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, a servant's son whom she has a crush on herself. The teenager becomes increasingly jealous of the pair and spitefully accuses him of a crime he did not commit, unaware her actions will have tragic repercussions. Joe Wright's romantic period drama, based on Ian McEwan's novel, starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, Saoirse Ronan and Romola Garai.

Cast & Crew

Cecilia Tallis Keira Knightley
Robbie Turner James McAvoy
Briony, aged 18 Romola Garai
Grace Turner Brenda Blethyn
Leon Tallis Patrick Kennedy
Briony, aged 13 Saoirse Ronan
Paul Marshall Benedict Cumberbatch
Lola Quincey Juno Temple
Older Briony Vanessa Redgrave
Emily Tallis Harriet Walter
Sister Drummond Gina McKee
Director Joe Wright
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Other Information

Language: English, French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Sep 2007