Thursday, December 13, 2007


2008 Best Original Score

Romantic drama

Saoirse Ronan: 13-year old Briony Tallis, an aspiring writer
Kiera Knightley: her older sister Cecilia
James McAvoy: the housekeeper's son Robbie
Patrick Kennedy: Leon Tallis, the older brother
Benedict Cumberbatch: Leon’s wealthy friend Paul
Romola Garai: 18-year old Briony, a nurse in training
Vanessa Redgrave: the much older Briony

Right from the opening scene this period piece is beautifully photographed and nicely edited and so the two-hours do not seem that long. As with all beautifully made films the lighting is bang-on, the costumes are just right, the performances are uniformly excellent. What sets this one apart is the effective use of sound: time and again whether it is the music or the clattering of the typewriter or whatever, what is heard adds an element to the viewing experience that is solely lacking in so many movies.

The technique of replaying scenes first seen from Briony's perspective and then from someone else’s point of view allows us to appreciate how her imagination sometimes distorts things. It is left for us to judge which is real.

for disturbing war images, language and some sexuality.

 During the summer of 1935 Robbie is laying on his back and sees a bomber fly over. Throughout the 1930s, the Royal Air Force was interested primarily in twin-engine bombers. The first four-engine British bomber made its maiden flight in 1938.
 When Robbie leaves in the black car standing behind Briony quietly watching him go are Leon and Paul. When seen again from Robbie’s point of view Paul is missing.
 The British Expedionary Force fighting in France was manned by volunteers not by conscripted prisioners.
 During her interview on television the Older Briony refers to “the evacuation to Dunkirk”. The evacuation FROM Dunkirk (not TO Dunkirk) by a hastily assembled fleet of seven hundred boats took nine days and saved the lives of some 300,000 soldiers.

If they ever give an Academy Award for “the longest takes in filmmaking” the one of the beach at Dunkirk would be a real contender. It must be 3 minutes long.

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