Atonement – Elegy For Dunkirk

I finally watched Atonement over the weekend, and found it a deeply moving, and beautifully tragic story.

Directed by Joe Wright Atonement is a masterpiece: not words I use lightly.

James McAvoy is absolutely fantastic; delivering a powerful and riveting performance, and for the first time Keira Knightley really impressed me giving a glimpse of the great actress I think she will become.

There is one scene in particular that is simply extraordinary; James McAvoy’s character arrives at the Dunkirk beach for evacuation and the camera follows him and his two colleagues around the beach for five minutes. A single, constant steadicam shot that weaves around the beach picking up the three characters at different points as it moves around.

This scene was shot on Redcar beach with over a thousand extras in just one day; they took just four takes of the steadicam shot using the third.

A fantastic piece of film making and cinematography.

If you watched the clip or have seen the film you will  have heard the wonderful, and at times haunting music by Dario Marianelli; a soundtrack so perfect that it is as important as the actors and director.

If you haven’t seen Atonement I can’t recommend it highly enough.