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Recommend Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Atonement (2007) (Email)

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Briony's eyes.Every shot is telling,this one directly,confrontationally to the camera.

Stupendous.It's stupendous,darling."

That's Mother Tallis's review of her precocious daughter Briony's (Saoirse Ronan)very seriousnew play at the beginning ofAtonement(2007).It's also any sensible person's reaction to this amazing motion picture.Seeing it again (I hadn't seen it since 2007) was close to overwhelming.Praise be to Director Joe Wright and Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey because this thing hasn't aged a single day.If anything it's become more beautiful with the passage of time,a neat trick since memory is one of its great subjects.It's superbly acted (particularly by James McAvoy in what is certainly his most moving performance),and features a veritable parade of emblematic,gorgeous,and thrillingly visceral images for this exercize of ours.What to even choose: Cecilia wet and haughty at the fountain;The lovers,already "characters"in future novelists Briony's mind erotically pressed against books in the library (my runner up for Best Shot);that amazing tracking shot at Dunkirk which pulls us out of the story (sort of) just long enough to stingingly remind us that War doesn't care about Individual Characters and Their Arcs -- it's ready to soil everything;any closeup of Briony whether she's imaginatively confused (Saoirse Ronan),guilt-ridden shellshocked (Romola Garai),or,wide-eyed with the fraternal twins of truth and fiction (Vanessa Redgrave);and of course anything and everything involving Keira Knightley in the green dress,the dress that should've won Jacqueline Durran the Oscar in a landslide.

Here are the choices from our Best Shot Club,open to anyone who wants to joinafter the jump...


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