Book vs. Movie: ATONEMENT

AtonementI saw "Atonement" tonight, which is the movie version of Ian McEwan’s wonderful book of the same name. I was kind of dreading seeing it, for two reasons: 1) it’s a sad story; and 2) I feared that the book couldn’t do the movie justice.

Well, the movie is as sad as the book, but the good news is that the movie is excellent and quite faithful to the book.  While a two hour movie could never adequately capture McEwan’s tremendous prose, nor his painstaking descriptions of wartime Britain, it makes a valiant effort to capture the various worlds that the book creates.  The movie of course hits on the book’s predominant themes of artistic license, the true meaning of atonement, and the definition of "truth," and, I predict, will be as memorable as the book was.

I won’t give away too much, for those who haven’t read the book and plan to see the movie. I will just say that Atonement fans shouldn’t be disappointed.

I’d love to hear from others who’ve read and seen Atonement – what do you think?


  • Wil Sanchez
    December 27, 2007 - 11:42 pm | Permalink

    I just finished seeing the movie and thought it was very good. I would give it an “A.” It made me wonder if it is a true story. Does anyone know?
    Wil Sanchez

  • Karen H.
    December 30, 2007 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t love the book just as I didn’t love the film. I felt that the movie was trying too hard to be an “Oscar film”. The lighting, music, and scenery are almost too beautiful that it’s somewhat stilted. I guess that movie didn’t live up to all its hype. The book was very interesting — the war section was a bit long for me, but that’s my own bias. I remember wanting to reread it once I found out the surprise at the end.

  • Jack
    November 27, 2008 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    hello.. i was just wondering the difference b/w the book and the novel. i only read up 2 part 2

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