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Top Movies of the Decade #47

47. Atonement

Atonement It took me a while to come around to the charms of “Atonement.”  In my original review, I mostly saw its faults, concluding that it was “good material that needed a better, more experienced, more surehanded director.”   Upon rewatching it, I’m amazed that I questioned director Joe Wright, who seems to make the exact right decision time after time, from the way he captures the fermented curiosity of Briony to the masterful, unforgettable Dunkirk scene.   The premise is complex, almost too complex to bring to the screen– one must understand, from the very beginning, that the story is being told from one person’s perspective, that that perspective is anything but trustworthy.   This makes it an unusually challenging film; it is also an elegant, masterful, beautiful, tragic film.   I’m glad I watched it more than once.

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