i’m just going to throw it out there that i’m not the hugest fan of kiera knightley. as an actress. as a person, i actually think she’s kind of a badass, because i’ve seen her interviewed and i think we could be good friends. she says things like “bollocks,” and that makes me happy. but her acting hasn’t really been anything to write home about. she always plays the majestic hot chick in period pieces (it’s the british thing…somehow people find their accent archaic), with the exception of love actually (I LOVE THIS MOVIE). so going into the viewing of atonement, i wasn’t too pumped about it. i actually forced myself to see it because i had seen all the other nominated films, and i wanted to actually complete the little string i had going. first time i’ve seen all five (*pats self on the back*).
i’ve got to stop judging films by their trailers and by the opinions of other people/douchebags.
this movie was absolutely beautiful, in every way. sure, it leans into the chick-flick category, but so what? it’s a masterpiece about unrequited love, and although it will always bug me that kiera knightley’s mouth’s natural position is that weird pursed-pout thing, i can’t hide that this film gave me chills. knightley was as understatedly realistic as she can be (because her glam mug is recognizable no matter what) and the array of emotions required of her in this role were so realistically portrayed that i couldn’t help but really sympathize for the characters on screen. and it was refreshing to see an up-and-comer, james mcavoy, hold his own in a flick with such an obvious superstar. they had an interesting chemistry, the likes of which weren’t exactly consummated (SPOLIER ALERT: KIND OF THE POINT OF THE MOVIE), but the tension between them was delicate, yet passionate enough to be realistic.
i think the show-stealer, though, was saoirse ronan. (aside to the Parents Ronan: wicked name choice. nicely done.) i mean, i love kids and everything, don’t get me wrong, i want a whole bevy of ’em (okay, maybe not a bevy, but i’m an only child, so forgive the nostalgic exaggeration). but ronan’s performance in this movie was so good that it made me really really dislike kids. they can be little buggers, and they can inadvertently (or advertently) ruin lives.
another high point to mention, the details of which i must credit to a fellow filmgoer friend, was the music. the classical soundtrack was not only completely appropriate, given the setting of the story, but was also beautifully edited to parallel the plot.
i still think that DD-L was The Man this year (as was P.T.A.), but i think it’s only fair to give some well-deserved props to this movie.