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Monday, January 28, 2008

Atonement

So I went to see Atonement this weekend. I was skeptical since the novel by Ian McEwan is one of my all-time favorite books. I love the complexity of the story, the unreliable narrator, and the book-within a book-within a book structure. Not to mention the entire discussion it begins about the nature of fiction and the life of a writer.

Anyway, the point is, I saw it only because it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. I normally avoid all movies about beloved books. The verdict, in my opinion, it was good. The movie obviously had to pare down on some of the background details, but it also used its visual capacities to its advantage. For example, McEwan must write many pages on Robbie's retreat to Dunkirk in order for us to understand the desperation, hopelessness, and brutality of this event, not just for him, but for the entire British Army and the occupied French people. In the film, a few scenes and an amazing 4 minute continuous shot of the soldiers waiting for evacuation on the beach does it all.

For those like me who enjoyed the novel and are afraid the movie would ruin it, rest assured the ending has not been changed.

My husband, who had not read this novel, but had read other by McEwan, also enjoyed the movie, but definitely liked having me there to answer a few questions and make comparisons with between text and screen.

I am going to try to see No Country for Old Men this week, but I have not read Cormac McCarthy's novel as of yet. I am going to try to get my hands on it first though.

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