« Hope for me - and Moby-Dick -yet | Main | Are our fourth graders smarter than a Russian fourth grader? »

Book movie of the year?

It is with a heart leaping with joy that I report that Atonement - due in theaters Dec. 21 - is a faithful, Atone_3 gorgeous, heart-breaking, wonderful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel set just before and during World War II. It's so rare that filmmakers get an adaptation exactly right, that every element meshes perfectly - casting, sets, screenplay, sound, cinematography, costumes - but here, Joe Wright has accomplished such a feat. He may well have made the movie of the year.

McEwan helped to adapt the screenplay, along with Christopher Hampton, who's adapted a few others, notably a fine version of Graham Greene's The Quiet American in 2002.

Some will feel they should read the book before seeing the movie, but in this case it's not necessary and may in fact pack more of an emotional punch if you haven't read the book. It's that easy to be swept away by this story of love and guilt and war. I'm usually anal retentive about such things but here, don't worry about the novel. Read it later. Just don't miss this film.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Book movie of the year?:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jill Cassidy

Thank you for saying I will not be an intellectual midget if I don't slog through this book before I see the movie. I'm trying, but after 90 pages I'm still waiting for something to happen. Plus, I'm completely distracted by reading No Country for Old Men, which is SO good.


I'm hoping to see No Country for Old Men soon. But here's the thing about Atonement: it is faithful to the book, so it's not like the story has been altered...but it's so beautifully filmed and the acting is so good. If you're a James McAvoy fan it's a must. Plus, he does not get hung from the ceiling on giant meat hooks like he did in The Last King of Scotland, which is a plus.


My book group was evenly divided on Atonement. It was either love or hate, with no lukewarm feelings. I was in the love camp. I must admit that the middle of the book dragged for me, mostly because of the war scenes. Yes, war is bad, I got that. But nothing really happens, so couldn't McEwan make that point and get on with it?

But once I got over the hump I raced through the rest. It's worth sticking with it.


I would have to say Atonement is my second favorite book by McEwan; Black Dogs has always been No. 1. They're both ambitious novels, but Black Dogs is more compact but equally meaty.

Also, the first chapter of Enduring Love is one of my favorites...unfortunately the rest of the book didn't quite live up to that promise.


i cried reading the book. how can i possibly get through the movie, missy?


Well, EudoraW, you will not get through the movie without weeping. That goes without saying. My advice: Bring tissues and put your sunglasses on before you leave the theater, after waiting to gain some composure through the final credits.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise