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Atonement (2007)

atonement_snip.jpgAm I too much of a hipster douchebag and/or inveterate lowbrow to really appreciate Atonement? Maybe. Probably. But I didn’t.

Atonement is not a bad movie, but it’s a prestige movie. It wants you to be impressed with its impeccable credentials (adapted from acclaimed novel = “deep”). It wants to show you the wealth and breeding of the British aristocracy, and also fabulous photography. It wants to show you with how smoothed down the rough edges are. The grittiest sequence, the English army on the beaches of Dunkirk, didn’t impress me with its originality or emotional impact. It impressed me with its expense and logistics. I’m not saying the movie is insincere — I don’t think it is. But Atonement doesn’t want to enlighten or educate you as much as it wants to congratulate you on on your good taste in taking the time to see such a high-minded film.

Having said that, though, I do think it’s a well-made film, and I did enjoy a lot of it. Particularly the parts that had Keira Knightly in a soaked, see-through slip. But I doubt I’ll ever go out of my way to watch it again. The, uh, rest of the film, that is.