Spoiler Points for Atonement (2007)

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Spoiler Points for Atonement (2007) [R] 130 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $13.50
DVD Release Date: 18 March 2008 (click date to purchase or pre-order)
Film's Official WebsiteFilm's Trailer
Click to read the non-spoiler review

Click to see photos from the Premiere of AtonementSpoiler for the Ending:
• Vanessa Redgrave appears at the end as the elder Briony Tallis, now an exceedingly prolific and acclaimed author of 21 novels. Her latest and self-described last novel is that of her true life accounting of the events that shaped her life when as a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) she lied or, at least, misled investigators into accepting her claim that Robbie (James McAvoy) had been the one who attempted to rape her minor cousin. Her accusations then backed up by a vulgar letter of apology she opens without permission written carelessly by Robbie and never intended to be delivered to Cecilia (Keira Knightley). Robbie is sent to prison and released to fight in the war. Cecilia becomes a nurse to serve the war torn nation. Then there are scenes of reconciliation where, after refusing to respond to her letters, on the same day that Briony Tallis attends the wedding of her cousin to the man who actually was the perpetrator on her younger person, she visits her sister to make amends. There, she finds Robbie in residence, and he demands, after threatening to break her neck or throw her down the stairs, of her a formal written apology, a recanting of her statement with the judge, and a conversation with her parents to whatever extent necessary to exonerate him in their eyes.
• The sad truth, as we learn from the elder novelist Briony is that these scenes, taken from her final novel—she's dying and needed to get this novel out before her mind is completely lost to minor and pervasive dementia—never happened. She wrote them, so she says, to give Robbie and Cecilia the life they never got, the life she took from them, albeit accidentally when she was but still a little kid. They never got these scenes in real life because, tragically, both were killed in the war. Robbie died of sepsis abroad and Cecilia in the flooding of the subway tunnels when bombs fractured the water mains and flooded them while they hid in them for safety. So, she says, she wanted to write the book to give them a chance to live when they really hadn't, a sort of gift, if you will.
• One cannot help but feel, however, that she wrote this more for herself, for her own atonement as a way of absolving herself from the guilt as they were never able to do so on their own.

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