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Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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779 ( 89)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 48 wins & 145 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ailidh Mackay ...
Singing Housemaid
...
Julia West ...
Betty
...
...
Emily Tallis
...
...
Felix von Simson ...
Pierrot Quincey (as Felix Von Simson)
Charlie von Simson ...
Jackson Quincey (as Charlie Von Simson)
...
Danny Hardman
...
Leon Tallis
...
...
Leander Deeny ...
Police Constable
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Storyline

SPOILER: When Briony Tallis, 13 years old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner at the fountain in front of the family estate she misinterprets what is happening thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them. Robbie is the son of a family servant toward whom the family has always been kind. They paid for his time at Cambridge and now he plans on going to medical school. After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a deviant. When her cousin Lola is raped, she tells the police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can only imagine the truth. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

11 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Expiación, deseo y pecado  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,634,065 (UK) (7 September 2007)

Gross:

$50,921,738 (USA) (4 April 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The small English town of Redcar stood in for the French city of Dunkirk, and the Dunkirk set built there was the most expensive one in the film, costing an estimated 1 million pounds. See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Robbie types the letter, he starts it with "In my dreams" and then presses return and starts a NEW line with "I kiss your c**t..." But later when Briony opens the letter after the rape has occurred, the first line in the letter is "In my dreams I". The second line then starts "kiss your c**t, your sweet wet c**t." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Briony Tallis, aged 13: I finished my play.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title types itself out like on a typewriter. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Fat Quiz of the Year (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Written by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (as Charles Parry), John Greenleaf Whittier (as John Whittier)
Performed by Bede College Choir
Courtesy of Universal Studios
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great interpretation of a wonderful novel
20 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw a preview of this film yesterday and felt privileged to be one of the first people to see the film. It was also a pleasure to see a film before reading any other critical review or opinion. I am a great fan of Ian Mcewan and was concerned that it would not be possible to capture the subtleties and nuances of Mcewan's writing but I needn't have had any worries. The director, Joe Wright and screenplay writer Christopher Hampton have done a superb job and the complexities of the novel are superbly captured with real imagination. The story is set in three main areas, an English country house in 1935, war torn France 1940 and London 1940. The atmosphere in of all three are wonderfully captured by the director, cinematographer, costume design and score and I am sure that there are going to be some Oscar nominations for these. James McAvoy as lead man gives a tremendous performance of a restrained but passionate man. I was not as convinced by Keira Knightley's performance and am not sure that her acting has the mature edge to capture the social nuances of the times that McAvoy did so successfully. Do not see this film if you like fast paced films and rapid plot development! This is not a film for the pop video generation. If however you like character development and a plot that unravels at a pace that allows you to be immersed in the atmosphere of the film then I can highly recommend Atonement as one of the best films that I have seen this year.


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