'Atonement', lies, and 'our' Saoirse
There is a lot of fuss, I suspect justified, about Saoirse Ronan. I have more interest than usual because she is a young woman who lived up the road in Carlow. I watched her on Graham Norton, where the couch is pretty much reserved for A-listers, and she gave yet another A-list performance.
I was doing my regular charity shop browse last week where I find CDs that I had missed out on, and DVDs that I never bought because at the time I had recently seen the film. For €2 Atonement was well worth the money. Saoirse was just about a teenager when it was shot and was not even named on the front cover. I settled into it with a roaring fire during the cold spell. I looked forward to the five-minute single shot of masterpiece filming that director Joe Wright orchestrated of the soldiers at Dunkirk. It is well worth watching again, and again. And I was left aghast at just how good Saoirse Ronan's performance was. Not surprisingly, she received a bucketful of supporting role nominations and a bright future was predicted.
The other thing that struck me was how many films and novels depend on a lie to drive the story. Without spoiling anything for those who go back to watch this film again, Saoirse's character tells a lie which has profound implications for the relationship between her elder sister, played by Keira Knightley, and her lover (co-star James McAvoy). Saoirse's lie was motivated by immature jealousy and childish ideas about sex.