yesterday i saw atonement at the dome with ellie. sadly, it was not IN the dome because they tricked us with double showtimes and alternating times in the dome and our time was not a dome time. so i had to go all the way around the corner past the collapsed Monkey Ward (which is the montgomery ward shopping alley for those of you not privy to my brain).
atonement was this gorgeous visual piece which i really liked. the cinematography and direction were perfect. kiera knightley and james macavoy were excellent at passion. especially when she pops out of the fountain in the slip all dripping water and sexual tension and anger. and in the library in the green dress. oh god, that green dress is incredible.
brief plot outline: the story is about a well-off british family starting just prior to WWII. there are 3 children. the oldest brother is maybe late 20’s, the middle daughter (cecilia) is early 20’s, and the youngest daughter (briony) is 13. cecilia and robbie (the house-keeper’s son) declare their passion for one another. briony gets pissed and claims he raped her cousin and he gets sent to jail and then the war. the story is mostly told from briony’s POV, but she is relating the story of cecilia and robbie (she’s a writer who within the book actually wrote the book).
i read part of the book before giving up to read some vampire YA and it was lovely writing. what i got out of the part i read was that the book was trying to describe a young girl’s moment of understanding that what she perceives as the truth is not always the truth. that there are multiple sides to every story and that a person’s role as the removed voyeur is very different from the person who is a participant in the central action. the film version highlighted this moment of realization by repeatedly showing same scenes from different viewpoints. which generally i would consider boring because i am impatient, but in this case i thought it was really well done.
there’s this scene on the beach in france when all the british soldiers are waiting for the navy to come collect them in their retreat. they did a continuous shot that was absolutely amazing to watch as it started on macavoy and went all over thru the soldiers, around in arcs, and back to macavoy. i mean, it went up stairs, around corners, up a sand-dune, and it was all smooth and graceful. so pretty (and horrific as they were shooting the horses they had to leave behind so the germans couldn’t use them, also destroying cars, ammunition, etc.). and there was a group harmonizing a patriotic song in a gazebo that the camera went around in a full 360. a-fucking-mazing, i tell you.
so, gorgeous lovely film, well done and worth seeing. though seeing it IN the dome would have been so much more delightful. that long shot on the enormous screen? man, that would have been good.