By winning the Golden Globe for Best serious motion picture, "Atonement" is on track to do well at the Academy Awards this season. The film has all the earmarks of Oscar winning movies that the Academy loves, unrequited love, war backdrop, breathtaking cinematography, the use of symbology and British Actors.
James McAvoy and Keira Knightley portray young lovers, Robbie and Cecilia. Their relationship is torn asunder by a rumor spread by Cecilia's goofy little sister, Briony. War World II expands and Robbie is called into service while Cecilia and Briony undertake nursing duties. The war continues and fear clouds the judgment and decision making of Robbie, Cecilia and Briony.
"Atonement" is a bit long for it's own entertainment good. Yet Director Joe Wright's attention to detail creates memorable movie images. One long tracking shot on the English Channel represents pure craftsmanship. Robbie and his buddies walk along the sand and witness the waste of war in an abandoned amusement part. As Robbie goes in search of liquid, he witnesses the horror of shooting healthy horses while his comrades in arms sing gospel songs at a seaside gazebo. This five minute sequence alone is what makes "Atonement" a special movie.