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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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928 ( 49)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 49 wins & 145 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ailidh Mackay ...
Singing Housemaid
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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:

Joined by love. Separated by fear. Redeemed by hope. 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)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was written by Christopher Hampden instead of the books author Ian McEwan as the latter said it would be "a little dull" to go redo the novel. See more »

Goofs

While in London, Cecilia drops a letter in the mailbox addressed to PTE Turner, 'A' Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, B.E.F. France. According to at least one source, 1st Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment was never in France. They were in Egypt and thus, would not have taken part in the Dunkirk Evacuation. 2nd Battalion was at Dunkirk, not 1st Battalion. 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 »


Soundtracks

Miss You
Written by Charles Tobias, Harry Tobias, Henry H. Tobias (as Henry Tobias)
Performed by Bud Flanagan (as Flanagan) and Chesney Allen (as Allen)
Courtesy of The Decca Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Love And Death In a Cold Climate
23 September 2007 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The superb Ian McEwan book translated into cold beautiful images by the startling Joe Wright and scriptwriter Christopher Hampton. The result is a series of powerful rushes and abrupt stops. A pacing that, perhaps, is a bit too self conscious for its own good doesn't help us to connect the emotional dots. I had the feeling I had lost something in the love story of the protagonists - something that didn't happen to me reading the book. By the time the "injustice" takes place I was taken by the pain of the injustice but not by Knightley and McAvoy's liaison. Their love story is left to its own devices. The beauty of the images is overwhelming and the assuredness of Joe Wright at his second feature after the, much better, "Pride and Prejudice" keeps you going. The score tends to be monotonous and irritating but in spite of all that I intend to see "Atonement" again and I would recommend it with just the above mentioned reservations.


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