Atonement Joe Wright

Atonement Joe Wright
The tap, tap, tapping of the typewriter is coming faster and harder. The pace is set and the race has officially started. Director Joe Wright’s Atonement bursts out of the gate from the moment it starts, as a pan away from a modelled replica of the Tallis manor reveals a parade of toy animals and ends aptly on the purported queen of this particular kingdom, Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan). This precocious child is captivating, at once frightening and frightened. Chance allows her to witness things she’s not meant to and before long she makes a desperate play to regain control. Who knew that one little girl could cause so much trouble for so many and invite turmoil into her life for the rest of her days by telling one misguided lie? Atonement is achingly romantic and the passion it ignites on the screen is mirrored by the filmmakers throughout the DVD. Aside from a cheap throwaway featurette on the difficulties of adapting a complicated novel into an equally dense film experience, the features on this edition add even more depth to this decade-spanning epic. "The Making of Atonement” discusses all of the elements that make the film so solid in revealing detail, from costumes to characters to design and style. Wright’s commentary on the numerous deleted scenes and the feature itself is both humble and appreciative. His strong grasp of the material gives great insight into how all the grandiose elements came together under his guidance to make this contemporary classic. His absence amongst the directing nominees at this year’s Oscars is pretty puzzling after you’ve experienced the film’s shocking intimacy in the privacy of your living room. Atonement does not judge Briony for what she’s done; instead it allows her the chance to make things right without ever presuming that she inevitably will. For breaking convention and for demonstrating sincere respect for the story and the audience, Wright has absolutely nothing to apologise for. (Alliance)