Saturday, March 15, 2008

Atonement (Joe Wright, 2007)

***
UK/France



In the sections where director Joe Wright keeps his showboating tendencies in check his adaptation of Ian McEwan's absorbing if overtly mannered WWII meta-morality-tale flows elegantly. But beyond the first third Wright rarely remembers to restrain himself or his unfortunate tendency to squeeze out poignancy and advertise subtext. That, and the central romance comes off lop-sided. McAvoy is adequate but Knightley, looking morbidly skeletal, is too strained by her practiced if admittedly polished elocution to give off much warmth.

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