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Atonement starring James McAvoy, Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan: #SaturdayMatinee #book2movies

I’m currently reading Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth about a young woman recruited for Britain’s MI5 in the early 1970’s. As a woman who turned 20 in 1973, I find aspects of Serena Frome especially relatable—not that anybody ever recruited me for any kind of secret intelligence organization! Thanks to my brother for the book recommendation.

Anyway, since I’m reading McEwan and waiting for the adaptations of McEwan’s On Chesil Beach starring Saoirse Ronan and The Children Act starring Emma Thompson—both of which are expected out sometime this year—I thought the McEwan classic Atonement would make for good Saturday Matinee viewing. In my opinion it’s always a good time for James McAvoy, especially in a lush, sweeping romantic tragedy opposite Keira Knightley. 

McAvoy didn’t win any awards for his performance as Robbie Turner, the lower class boy who falls in love with the girl above his station—talk about a tale as old as time—but he was nominated for both a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. 

While both Saoirse Ronan and Keira Knightley received acclaim, it’s generally acknowledged Atonement was Ronan’s break-out role. As the thirteen year old Briony who misunderstands an incident between Robbie and her sister, it’s Briony that sets the whole tragic story in motion.

Atonement won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Picture while the score by Dario Marianelli earned the film’s only Oscar.

Of special note, the production design team of Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, the creative geniuses behind this year’s Beauty & the Beast, did the art direction and set decoration work on this ten year old period film. The pair have been nominated for four Oscars—including Atonement—and while it’s really early in the year, I fully expect them to receive their fifth nom, and quite possibly first win, for Beauty and the Beast.

Atonement is available to stream any old time you want for just shy of three dollars on iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, Vudu and GooglePlay. And it’s currently free on Netflix.