O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

And the Oscar goes to... Keira Knightley

Atonement is this summer's most highly anticipated British movie. One of our London correspondents has seen it already. Wait a minute, it's a 15 certificate should she have even been allowed in there...

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Ruby Lake, for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2007
James McAvoy sticks out his chin and Keira just pouts
by Ruby Lake, for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2007
James McAvoy sticks out his chin and Keira just pouts

I must be one of the only teenage girls in London that doesn't fancy Daniel Radcliffe and had no interest in a new Harry Potter - book or film. But there was one film that I had been looking forward to all summer.

Atonement is the new film by Joe Wright and reunites him with Keira Knightley after their award-winning adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

I had watched the trailer more times than I would care to admit to. Keira in her Lee Miller inspired green dress, the swimming hat. Watching that filled me with anticipation that maybe is slightly similar to those who were waiting on the new Potter.

Luckily I managed to get a ticket for a preview screening in London. The film was as good as I had hoped for and I'm sure will feature in awards ceremonies next year.

If you are going to tell me Keira can't act then you'd have to get to the back of a very long queue. Lindsay Lohan (or Lindsay Lowlife as she's known around here) had the nerve to call her a "cardboard cut-out of an actress". But in Atonement she is wonderful.

Director Joe Wright was in attendance at the screening and he answered a few questions about the performances in the film revealing how he worked for 3 weeks on rehearsals until he had identified the performers "tics" - things that they did when they weren't sure of themselves. Apparently James McAvoy sticks out his chin and Keira just pouts. That might explain her performances in the Pirates film. It was the director's fault for not telling her what to do and just letting her stand around as decoration.

The effort that Wright put in building rapport with the actors has resulted in some stunning performances. And though it was a relatively low budget film the team have paid attention to the little details like sound and costume and this mean each frame, especially in the early country house scenes, are filled with beautiful colours.

There is a now famous shot of the beaches of Dunkirk that Wright explains was filmed in one continuous shot. It is a clever piece of filming but the lack of incoming fire or plane attacks that the budget couldn't stretch to mean that there is no sense of danger or urgency in the scene and for me, it's a weak link in an otherwise excellent film.

Wright is now heading to Hollywood to make a film with Jamie Fox. Somebody asked if it was another period film and he joked that it was set in 2005 so yes it was another period drama.

see more stories from outsideleft's Screen archive »»
Outsideleft Night In
OL's Daily Playlist to Stay In For
mon.29.june, OUTSIDELEFT 100
[ MORE INFO / NIGHT IN PAGE »» ]

MORE STORIES TO READ...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Dr. John Cooper Clarke Gets Us Back On Drugs
Dr John Cooper Clarke's poetry is our new drug of choice
It's Kirk Lake Week at Outsideleft
It's Kirk Lake Week at Outsideleft. Why not?
Celebrating Brion Gysin and William Burroughs
Destroy All Rational Thought is a documentary film based around the Here To Go Show that took place in Ireland in the early 1990s. We talk to one of its co-creators about the newly remastered DVD
Execution by Machine Gun: Peter Brotzmann and Han Bennink
Peter Brotzmann and Han Bennink, are two of the mercenaries that liberated jazz from its captors on the landmark 1968 album Machine Gun, reunite in a current tour.
Pogus Caesar: Muzik Kinda Sweet
Part two of our interview with UK artist Pogus Caesar
Hail the Intrepid Explorers
Some of our favorite things...