Tuesday, January 1, 2008


(Kiera Knightly & James McAvoy)

This movie sucks; it is a jumbled piece of atrocious storytelling gone awry & anyone who thinks this film or its actor deserve any kind of Oscar attention is bloody nuts!I love Kiera Knightly’s face; it is gorgeous (She’s a little too skinny to my liking, but that countenance of hers is breathtakingly beautiful) & she’s impressed me in the past with her acting abilities – but here – she is, to put it bluntly, awful. The lame lines of dialogue don’t help matters, but she reads lines like “Darling, I love you... I’ll write you... Please come back to me” as if she’s reading from a grocery list – “Darling, we need milk... A loaf of bread... Perhaps some Cheerios.”

The story is fairly simple in the beginning – with just one major problem – they give you no background on these people at all – you’re just supposed to ‘know’ that even though Robby (McAvoy) has just given Cecilia (Kiera) a note calling her a... (the ‘c’ word) – they are madly in love with one another. There is absolutely NO character development, so you don’t care about these people at all.Saoirse (pronounced the same as it’s written) Ronan plays young Briony – Cecilia’s much younger sister. Briony has a crush on Robby so when she sees them screwing in the library she (along with us) suddenly discovers that the two are apparently in love (Or just drunk & horny – who knows?)Heartbroken, Briony then makes up a lie that gets Robby sent to prison, leading to Kiera’s first grocery list reading. Robby ends of fighting in the war & both Cecilia & Briony become nurses. Nurse Briony is played by Romola Garai & just to make sure we, the idiots in the audience, can understand that this IS the same Briony that falsely accused Robby of a crime he did not commit, director Joe Wright aids us by giving Romola the exact same haircut as Saoirse.

Somehow I think we’d figure it out the first time someone called her ‘Briony’, but hey, thanks, Joe!From here the movie just drags on & on, including one elongated scene where Robby & two of his buddies wander across a beach after a battle for a good 15-20 minutes where nothing that happens is explained, nor are we told what battle just took place & why some guys are shooting horses in the head & others are singing in the gazebo...Then for the big finale & surprise ending, Vanessa Redgrave is brought in as ‘senile’ Briony & just to make double certain that we understand that this isn’t just some elderly woman who also happens to be named Briony – it IS the same Briony we have come to not give a damn about – Joe sends Vanessa to the same hairdresser as Romola & Saoirse.Maybe its the ‘chick flick’ factor, but don’t blame me if you go to see this ‘Oscar contender’ & walk out scratching your head & wondering how you’ll get that 2 hours & 15 minutes of your life back!


Anonymous said...

Man, I am so fucking glad that someone else also thinks that this movie completely blows. I can't believe this shit got Oscar nominations. It completely blows. Thanks for keeping it real.

terry r. said...

Thanks for responding, Anonymous 5:14PM (It would help if you left a name-even a phony one) I'm guessing you're a male, as all the women I know that have seen this garbage seem to 'get it'. Yet, none of them can counter my many complaints with logical explanations? I'm challenging any female out there that loved this movie to respond to my negative review by telling me why I'm wrong about it - & not by just saying it was 'so romantic!'... it wasn't.
Again, Anonymous 5:14PM - Thank you for taking the time to read my reviews.

Kratos said...

My username is Kratos. Sorry I left the last comment as anonymous. Your views on movies should be counted in when awards are handed out for the different movies. Seriously, it takes real genius to break the mold and come up with something genuinely new. Unfortunately, Hollywood is losing that edge when they cop out and copy shitty books like Atonement. Why the hell did Keira Knightely give up such a promising career for that shitty film? I mean, come one! Right after fucking Pirates, which she will forever be known for. It would be like Viggo Mortensen starring in a shitty ass chick flick right after the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I guess, after starring in such great films, the actors are compelled to star in shitty films, such as in the case of Knightely.

As for that other dude, James McAvoy, the only role that he did right, IMHO, is that little faun in Chronicles of Narnia. Either that or playing as that Scottish doctor in King of Scotland. What do you think?

terry r. said...

Hey Kratos, thanks for the commentary!
On Keira; With a face as gorgeous as hers, it's easy to forgive her for one crappy performance.
On McAvoy; He held his own while going up against a magnificent performance by Forest Whitaker in on of my favorite films of this decade, "The Last King Of Scotland". So I'm holding out hope that both actors will bounce back from sub-par performances in 'Atonement' (Do we blame the director?)
On Viggo; Has anyone ever given better back to back performances than he has in "A History Of Violence" & "Eastern Promises" ?

eddie said...

overrated. nuff said. tho mcavoy was decent. i like him. he will get better.

Terry R. said...

I'm still hoping James McAvoy follows up on the promise he showed in 'Last King Of Scotland', & although his role in 'Penelope' was nicely done - 'Wanted' was just horrible. If he doesn't pick his screenplays better, Shia LeBeouf is going to start getting those beefier roles... Oh wait, Shia's in that lame looking 'Eagle Eye', isn't he? . . . Never mind.