There is no Briony, only Zuul

I went to see Atonement last weekend. I think it turned me into Anne of Green Gables. It was so very beautiful and so very tragic and so very beautifully tragic. The people were beautiful, the costumes were beautiful, the settings were beautiful, the cinematography was beautiful... and when the movie wasn't being visually beautiful, it was full of tragic, Romantic warfare and suffering and angst and longing and undying love. Anne probably would have very nearly swooned. Not actually swooned, but very nearly. It would be such a romantic experience to nearly drown swoon!

James McAvoy as Robbie was probably not wicked enough to suit Anne Shirley's tastes, but I like to think that he made up for it by being dashing and handsome and speaking really good French for a Scot playing an Englishman. It was certainly enough for me. Whew.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that Atonement tapped into that Anneish part of me that is Romantic with a capital R. I cried on and off through the whole movie, and when it was over I left the theater right away so that no one would see me and I went to the bathroom and cried some more. You can't judge me, though, because YOU would cry, too, if you were an orphan and had come to a place you thought was going to be home and found that they didn't want you because you weren't a boy. Um. I mean, if you watched this movie. And if Anne Shirley lived in a corner of your brain.

After I fled the movie theater in order to weep despondently, I was in the depths of despair. I went shopping a little, but I couldn't stop being Anne of Green Gables long enough to act like a normal human being. Borders has never before seen such a morose, tragic figure buying the Season 3 DVD of The Office! Alas! So to cleanse my cinematic palate, I went to see a horrible movie and got overwhelmed by annoyance instead of tragic Romantic despair. It was probably only marginally better for my mental health.

I have been telling everyone I know to see this movie, and now my fear is that no one else will appreciate the movie in the same way that I did, and I will look like a big Romantic idiot. So everyone get ready to despair!

srah - Thursday, 7 February 2008 - 8:41 PM
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Comments (15)

gravatar Noor - February 7, 2008 - 10:49 PM -

I think your description of Atonement is totally right. It is tragic yet so wonderful. I cried too at the end. I actually wouldn't mind seeing it again.

gravatar tiff - February 8, 2008 - 5:56 AM -

This is the first review that actually makes me want to see Atonement.

gravatar srah - February 8, 2008 - 7:06 AM -

Thanks! I wasn't that sure about it going in, either. I mostly went to see it because I have such a pathetic knowledge of the Best Picture nominees and this one sounded girlier than There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men.

gravatar Cheryl - February 8, 2008 - 8:35 AM -

I also saw it and thought the same as you. But I did not cry. Because I'm dead inside.

(I really feel like I have mentioned that before on your site. Now I REALLY feel like a horrible person!) :)

gravatar srah - February 8, 2008 - 9:36 AM -

I always think of you as dead inside. Those are probably the words I would use! Especially when I'm crying at a movie and I think, "Cheryl wouldn't have cried at this. Cheryl only cries at Benji." I think if someone stopped me on the street and said, "Quick! You've known her for, like, 28 years. Tell us something about Cheryl!" my immediate first thought would be, "Who, Rain Man? She cried at Benji. Also, she wants a pink princess-cut diamond engagement ring."

Because my mental image of you is seriously flawed. Sorry!

gravatar Cheryl - February 8, 2008 - 9:53 AM -

NO PINK PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND! That's what I'm going to end up with, isn't it?

gravatar srah - February 8, 2008 - 10:05 AM -

You'd better not introduce any potential fiancés to me, just to be safe. And I won't introduce ANYONE to mine, because of the panther ring.

gravatar Jess - February 8, 2008 - 11:22 AM -

I loved it too. You should totally read the book. Also, the Anne Shirley thing is exactly right. Maybe Briony is wicked enough to satisfy Anne's tastes? Except that it's a bit more complicated than that.

gravatar katelin - February 8, 2008 - 5:31 PM -

I've heard such good things about Atonement, I really want to see it! Glad you liked it.

gravatar Cherri - February 8, 2008 - 11:50 PM -

This blog entry made me think of Averil's Atonement. Now I will think of this movie as Briony's Atonement.

More seriously, this movie made me cry, too. I even felt a little ill at the end, when what really happened is revealed.

gravatar PrincessPolly - February 10, 2008 - 7:21 PM -

James McAvoy makes me proud to be scottish- he is so good at pretending NOT to be a scot! :) I wish I was that good at it! :)

gravatar EV - February 11, 2008 - 1:46 PM -

But does it rip through your heart like the tragic spawn of despair that is "Remains of the Day"? That movie very nearly put me in therapy.

gravatar srah - February 11, 2008 - 1:54 PM -

It's been a while since I saw ROTD, but mostly that one just frustrated me.

gravatar Beau - February 12, 2008 - 3:49 AM -

Anne Shirley--now that takes me back it does. A long time ago when films were movies and in black and white and I could get in a kid of 14 for 35 cents. And Anne was in Murder my Sweet with Dick Powell (It was a rerun). Gads that woman was beautiful--thank you for that name and the memories it brings up. BTW read Atonement--it's truly an astonishing novel--I'm sold on Ian McEwan for th rest of my life. :-)

Cheers from Seattle
Beau

gravatar srah - February 12, 2008 - 6:32 AM -

Uh... not that Anne Shirley. The one she named herself after.

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