You are viewing cris_a

Previous 10 | Next 10

Aug. 9th, 2008

library

Atonement: um comentário

Um breve comentário sobre o filme que capturou meu coração e mente...

 

É muito bom perceber que o cinema ainda é capaz de produzir arte, de ser o que o cinema vem se propondo ser há anos - sensorial, emocional, intelectual. Encontrar o equilíbrio entre as imagens belas, a música bela, as belas atuações e as pessoas belas que atuam e ainda assim ser um produto que não pode apenas ser sentido, tem que também ser compreendido, analisado, dissecado.

 
Quando assisti pela primeira vez acho que a beleza do filme me tomou, a incrível tristeza de tudo aquilo. Meu lado angsty falou mais alto. Existe uma crueldade explícita, aquela que te pega de jeito, mas talvez o mais importante seja a crueldade não explícita. E isso já mexe com o intelecto. E existem tantas coisinhas mais no filme, maneiras em que o visual esconde símbolos, referências. Tudo muito bem pensado, mas nunca cerebral demais. Mesmo porque alguns momentos precisam da cumplicidade da emoção, e funcionam. E essa é talvez a maior crueldade de todas, e o triunfo final da Briony, a contadora de histórias.

 
Eu amo cinema, foi a primeira arte com a qual tive contato, quando tinha cinco anos e nem sabia ler e nem sabia da existência da arte. Acho que o primeiro filme que assisti foi o francês "Pele de Asno" e até hoje tenho na memória a beleza das imagens e o impacto da história. Odeio o xiitismo de alguns literatos em relação ao cinema, de que nunca um filme vai ser melhor que um livro do qual ele foi adaptado. Ao mesmo tempo que algumas coisas são únicas no ato de ler uma história, elas são únicas quando se vê a mesma história na tela. Aliás, ironicamente, Briony fala sobre isso logo no início do filme. E sim, algumas cenas do livro são mais evocativas na telona que no próprio texto de Ian McEwan, como o reencontro dos amantes no salão de chá.
 
Relembrar o filme me faz pensar na beleza e no poder das imagens que o Joe Wright escolheu tão meticulosamente. Que belo diretor, e ele é ainda tão novo, 35 anos eu acho. Espero que não vá para os States tão cedo; por mais que eu admire muitas coisas na cultura americana, adoro mais ainda a distinção de culturas, e amei a sensibilidade européia (e não só inglesa, de jeito nenhum, e isso é um dos trunfos do filme) que está em todas as cenas de Atonement.
 
E as imagens se relacionando, a todo momento...se formos analisar cada fotograma, vamos perceber como tudo foi pensado, estudado, e ainda assim o filme retem sua sensibilidade e emoção. Por exemplo, estava lembrando outro dia da cena do Robbie no banho, olhando o avião passando pela clarabóia. Naquele momento pra ele a idéia da guerra é tão irreal, e embora ele realmente possa ver o avião este mais parece um brinquedo distante, ele até imita baixinho o som do ronco do motor. Quando a guerra se torna real, o que ele vê não é o verdadeiro avião, ironicamente, e sim apenas seu reflexo na água, quando está a caminho de Dunkirk. Real e irreal, o filme brinca com isso o tempo todo, alterando nossas expectativas assim como as dos personagens.
 
Acho que, no filme, a parte mais difícil de ser desenvolvida foi a do Robbie na guerra. Primeiro, por um problema de orçamento mesmo. Afinal, para um filme que tinha o orçamento do tamanho do salário do Tom Cruise (outra coisa que deve ter deixado muitos diretores revoltados - ver como a qualidade de um filme não depende necessariamente de grana) montar uma operação de guerra, literalmente, seria suicídio. Em relação a filmes assim, com suas explosões, bombas caindo, esquadrilhas de aviões, multidões de soldados, ou se faz bem feito ou vira um lance meia-boca horroroso. E o diabo do Ian McEwan é MUITO minucioso em suas descrições do que foram os horrores daquela caminhada interminável em direção a Dunkirk. Dá pra ouvir o barulho das bombas caindo, sentir o peso do pé que não consegue mais correr na lama, sentir o cheiro das centenas de cadáveres espalhados pelo caminho. Enfim, se houvesse grana, a odisséia de Robbie na rota de fuga em direção à Mancha daria um filme de guerra dos melhores, talvez um dos mais contundentes já feitos. Mas como isso se encaixaria com o que já tínhamos visto no primeiro ato? Será que, depois da ópera da parte um, seria interessante ver um "Saving Private Ryan"?

 
Parece que o Wright se debatia com essas idéias. Ele mesmo disse que gostaria de ter mais grana pra mostrar pelo menos um dos bombardeios descritos no livro. Mas a questão estilística estava pesando também. Qual seria o propósito de ser minucioso com os horrores, em relação ao personagem? Porque ao mesmo tempo que o McEwan faz questão de descrever a via crúcis física de Robbie, ele está igualmente preocupado com sua via-crúcis mental. Com o delicado equilíbrio entre a sanidade e a loucura, entre o "vou esperar você" e o "de que adianta chegar", entre as coisas que deixaram de ser feitas e o que poderia ser recomeçado. Certamente a decisão de focar todo o caos da retirada naquele pequeno grupo de 3 soldados foi controversa - alguns críticos reclamaram que faltaram os tais horrores, como se tudo tivesse que ser literal pra fazer a gente sentir. Quando Wright teve a brilhante idéia de mostrar as cenas que se viam na praia (como descritas por Ian) em um take só ("Só pra se exibir", disseram alguns. Não, por problemas de logística, de grana, de tempo - e sim, pra se exibir um pouco, porque não? Que pode pode!) ele atingiu o ápice dessa mistura da realidade e a irrealidade, que é a situação do personagem. Dali em diante o que é delírio e o que é real? Ao mesmo tempo, foi genial manter a ordinariedade dos soldados (que só queriam se mandar dali e que não tinham tantas questões existencialistas na cabeça como o Robbie), personificados por Mace e principalmente Nettle, o que fica com Robbie até o fim. No livro, através de suas brincadeiras e reclamações, os dois acabam sendo o elo de Robbie com a realidade. O filme também nos dá esses momentos de alívio; dá par rir de algumas coisas, assim com dá pra rir com algumas cenas do livro.
 
Mas assim como no filme inteiro, o que também acho especial nesse segmento é a opção pelo silêncio, pela sutileza, em cenas que talvez, num filme mais tradicional, fossem feitas com música bombástica e barulho de explosões e gritos. São notáveis os momentos finais de Robbie, a morte pequena e silenciosa, uma vida que se extingüe como a chama de um fósforo. Brilhante e breve, a vida de Robbie Turner.
 
Classe, muita classe - é o que 'Atonement' tem de sobra.
















Jul. 7th, 2008

library

Robbie, Cecilia...and Briony.

Now we have some thoughts about Robbie and Cecilia, Briony and her terrible crime...did she atone or didn't she? What made a 13 year-old girl accuse a man of a crime he didn't commit? Or did she really believe "she saw him with her own eyes"? So many questions! The posters at IMDb helped with some answers, or maybe confused us even more...


I know a lot of folks really like movies that conceal their character as stories; I’m just the opposite. I love movies like this that in effect say “Once upon a time …” and you know you’re in a story from beginning to end.

That especially fits a drama like this, though, because tension between Story and Reality is a key theme.

So we have all those shots of Briony’s eyes … over the years … emphasizing that we are dealing with what Briony sees, with Briony’s perceptions … and Briony’s misperceptions.
Really everything in this movie excudes a delicious sense from beginning to end that we’re grappling with tensions between Reality and Story in Briony … but not only in Briony, in everything.

Take Robbie at Dunkirk. He descends into that ad hoc movie theatre. Then he hallucinates about his mother...and as Robbie lies dying, we have his final hallucinations. From the time that Robbie and Cecilia have reconciled in London, we know that Robbie is seeking above all, to Get Back: to Get Back home to Cecilia. We see this in Robbie’s Reality … he says this several times … and in his imagined, hallucinated Story sequences. His deadly septicemia puts a stop to all this … or does it? Of course that all depends on how we view the dying Briony’s view of her own fiction … and so we have Robbie’s struggles with Reality & Story intersecting with Briony’s.

What really struck me most in this viewing, in looking at that pattern over time, was the contrast among visual patterns: (1) 1935 England, with exquisite, intricate, finely textured and colorful scenes … full of “frames” … we see so much through windows and in mirrors and through obscuring objects in the foreground … then (2) in 1939/40 the framing is still there, but has begun breaking down; colors are less vivid; wallpapers more washed out: everything is less orderly, less intricate,; and finally (3) we get the dying Briony in two scenes: a dressing room with sterile., colorless, stark white walls; and an interview room full of fake strangely lurid pastel lighting. Yet we are left with a bit of hope: that very final scene shows a Robbie and Cecilia “back together”: almost all the framing is gone, and we have our hero and heroine together in wide open vistas of sea and beach and lovely white cliffs of Dover in a home, their home, that the camera does not dare to enter. 

 

I really do think people pay too much attention to the "save me" scene.
It is, after all, shown much later in the movie, and also from Robbie's perspective -- he was trying to figure out what went wrong with Briony and him for her to do such a thing... he was trying to rationalize it. But Briony told Fiona that it happened years ago (when she was 10) and the minute she said "I love you" to Robbie the feeling disappeared. So I am not convinced that it is jealousy.

Also, Joe Wright made sure that we saw the two different points of view as depicted in the novel (one from Briony's and the other what actually happened). I think it is very important to understand that, instead of chalking it up as Briony knew exactly what went on. The two figures at the fountain, for example, showed two different interpretations. From Briony's point of view, it looked like Robbie ordered Cecilia to strip down to her underwear and go into the fountain. From her point of view, it also looked like Robbie was attacking Cee in the library.

If it were all just jealousy, then Joe Wright and Ian McEwan would have no reason to show us the scenes twice, in each POVs. It is very important to understand that, that Briony was too young to know what was actually going on. It took her four years to figure out.

I think people want to believe what they want to believe, and the "jealousy" explanation is the easiest. They latch on to the "save me" scene and decide that is the key reason... but that really is just Robbie's POV -- trying to figure out what went wrong. He thought Briony was in love with him and jealous. But was she? 



Someone said that great literature leaves you with ambiguity, and it's up to each of us to make up our own mind, and what we believe shows us "what we're made of." I think it's true. For those who believe, for example, that Lola wasn't raped but was engaging in consensual sex, or Briony did what she did because she was jealous... I think that has more to do with their own world views and conviction, instead of what McEwan actually intended. In fact, Joe Wright has given us literature on film. Bravo!
I also think the "save me" scene isn't there to show us that she did everything out of jealousy. I think it's the easiest thing for us to assume so we can assign blame. I think the scene is to add more layers to Briony. First, yes, she's one with the hyper imagination, to a point she would jump in the river to test out her theory about love. It also shows us that, yes, indeed Briony was fond of Robbie... that makes her decision to send Robbie away because "he's a sex maniac" more interesting and conflicting. It's not as if she didn't care about Robbie -- she would have done that without blinking if it were Danny Hardman. So I think "betrayal" has a point -- she probably did feel betrayed, but not the way we thought. I really don't think she felt betrayed because Robbie had sex with her sister (I really don't think she was in love with Robbie at age 13), but she was betrayed because Robbie turned up not the knight in shining armor as she had always thought.

Of course, when she found out she was wrong, her world just crumbled.


 
The purest "villian" here is Paul---for whatever happened between him and Lola, he clearly crossed the line and initiated the destruction.What I found most unjust, was how easily Robbie was accused, arrested and convicted.Here, a young man had been trusted throughout his lifetime with everything and everyone occupying the Tallis household---yet, it only took the accusation of a little girl and production of sexually-charged typing to seal his fate.You just know much resentment and bitterness must've been simmering under the surface of that household.

Robbie was, of course, the purest "martyr" in the story. He was a sincerely good man; intellectual yet unassuming, a hard worker, friendly and polite, a playful spirit, compassionate soul and reflective thinker. The Tallis' head of household may have been away on "business" for long periods of time but Robbie's Dad had checked-out for good, establishing for the audience yet another hurdle he had to overcome. Despite it, he still turned out better character than most of the Tallis household.

The only "crime" he committed throughout the film, was the crime of being human. Robbie dared to desire anything for himself--even if it was only Cecilia's love, companionship and sexual intimacy--and once off the pedestal of purity, paid dearly for it. Unselfish, even, in expressing arousal and desire (understandably raw--a product of carnal intoxication that even inspired a laugh from its author),we notice another aspect of Robbie's "good" nature; he's a sexual giver, i.e "I want to kiss your...". It's as if fate punished this nice guy for being human, fantasizing about a wealthy woman and wanting sex. In the most extreme representation of this, even his deserved moment of sexual bliss was interrupted in a disturbingly awkward way, when Cecilia's little sister walked into the library and caught the two in an intense pose. Robbie wasn't allowed to make anything "official" throughout the story, allowed any respite or finished "work"---even a mutual act of passion.

I think Briony's guilt was so permanent because Robbie was that rare person; truly good with minimal flaws. There were no "Well, he was a jerk..." stories to fool herself into feeling better about her great decision. He was a top-shelf person who couldn't catch a break, despite rising above class lines with his natural intellect, sense of dedication and hard work (he was probably the first to graduate college, no less than from Cambridge,in his family). There was no way around it: He was horribly, devastatingly "screwed over"; what's more, he'd likely deserved it less than anyone she had ever met or could imagine. The idealist writer in Briony would recognize this role mismatched to its fate and would struggle to accept what she'd done. Her lauded child-genius-writer's-intuition confused vital signals; she'd painted the "good prince" as a monster.
 
 
Well, there are two things I agree with you on--especially since I previously wrote about both of them in another post; There was no opportunity for wrongs to be righted because The War clipped two lives short and cemented Briony's fate. I mentioned in another posting that The War was the real "villian" in this story---but Paul was the purest representation of it in one person. Not only did he violate a young girl and disrupt every character's well-being, but he benefitted financially from The War and somehow convinced Lola to marry him (without considering her psychological well-being).

I didn't say Robbie was perfect, I made it clear it was his humanity that propelled his character through the story. Goodness is not synonomous with perfection. Robbie was simply a good person who became entangled in a bad situation. I do think Briony's pre-occupation with literal archtypes led her to view the situation from a "black and white" standpoint; Robbie was either a prince or a villian. She realized later that she had assigned him the wrong role.

I do think Robbie's goodness, in itself, was a strong player in this story; as Briony matured and looked back on Robbie from an adult's perspective, she appreciated how good he really was and how much he and Cecilia deserved to be together. It's not that she ever really believed that he deserved the fate she'd set rolling for him, but a guilty kid might conjure up convinving stories to herself in order to ease the guilt. Robbie lived a life of strong character and I think that fact was meant to convey a poignant message; sometimes a bad fate isn't earned at all. A "bad" or rather, unfortunate life can happen to good people.
 
I do think that Briony knew "deep down" that Robbie wasn't guilty. Briony realized she'd gone too far from the moment she told the authorities that it was indeed Robbie she'd seen. She already knew, watching him from her window, that her character wouldn't allow her to retract the lie--he was doomed to suffer from it. At that point, she was likely terrified of being caught-out a liar in a courtroom or by her family.

However, I'm not sure if she fully understood the consequences of such a grave accusation when she made it; like Cecilia stripped and jumped into the fountain to "punish" (tease, actually) Robbie, so do I think Briony accused Robbie to punish him for liking Cecilia over her, as well as for the genuine uneasy feelings she had over his sexual relationship with her sister. At 13, she was certainly experiencing a developing attraction to him, but I think she was still in the "sex is unspeakable--so bad!" phase. Perhaps, for a while, she justified her behavior with that consolation. She might've even imagined herself as later being a sort of savior for Robbie, earning his adoration once she stood forth to clear his name. Of course, it was all fantasy comfabulation---there was/is no place for storytelling when accusing someone of such a serious crime.Briony learned this too late and didn't have the strength of character to come forward before Robbie was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.

If she weren't so self-absorbed and headstrong--determined to always be exactly right--perhaps she would've come clean in time and suffered the consequences of her behavior. She waited too long and the lie developed into a disease of heavy guilt. When she was old enough to reflect on her actions, realize that it wouldn't have been death for her to have come clean before Robbie was sentenced, it became her lifelong journey to make any ammends possible for such an awful, impetuous choice.
 
I don't think it necessarily was atonement, at least, not an atonement for Cecilia and Robbie but within Briony herself. I think Briony realized later in life the earlier limitations of her personality and character. What she developed in old age was what Robbie had as a young man; a sense of wisdom and reflection. Briony knew how many opportunities had been lost for everyone but death had prevented her from ever finalizing that story in reality.

The book was an attempt to accomplish something for Cecilia and Robbie that her lie had prevented them from investigating while alive...but Robbie's name wasn't cleared in reality, so I suppose that could've been looked upon as the greatest error of Briony's life. Her lie had placed the burden/responsibility of many people's happiness on her back and she realized she wasn't capable of carrying it. I don't think this exempts her from responsiblity, but I think it took a lifetime for her to truly understand the depth of her mistake.At that point, I think she still didn't know what was the best thing to do about it because her choice had isolated her from those who would've given the best counsel. Noone reached out to her and she was too paralyzed to reach out to anyone else. She retreated into her stories as a way to find peace from her reality and to deal with it on her terms.

It's a sad premise; serious enough betrayals can divide people, nomatter how close previously, for life. While Cecilia was perfectly justified in her disgust, her expectations for Briony were above what Briony had already shown she was capable of. Cecilia knew she was a story-teller and that her lie landed Robbie in jail and war, so why wouldn't Briony show cowardice in attempts to patch things up? If Cecilia had reached out to her--however much it bothered Cecilia to have--perhaps an older sister could've helped Briony see the error of her ways and requirements of decency. I certainly don't blame Cecilia for the outcome of things, but it's a pity it couldn't have worked out that way.

Damage was done but with the right amount of support from Cecilia (despite Cecilia being a sort of rebellious spirit--her sloppiness and casual, no-stocking attire might've made her seem less credible to the Tallis' than her story-telling kid sister) and Briony's own dedication of will, she might've prevented things from getting worse. Of course, there was also the case of Mrs. Tallis; in the darkest caves of her soul, Mrs. Tallis would likely resent that it wasn't Robbie, especially if Cecilia's love affair with a "villager" was realized. However nice Robbie was, he was still a working class guy benefiting from her husband's attention and faith in his capabilities(something she certainly saw little of). What did Mr. Tallis have to say about everything? If he believed so strongly in Robbie's intelligence and character that he funded his education, isn't odd that he did little to understand what actually happened? Did he sit down and discuss it with Briony?

I wouldn't say the situation would ammend itself easily, but it could've been done. I'm sure Robbie would've had to work through his own anger toward Briony, the family would've been dissapointed in her, she'd have to testify against Paul and Cecilia's sisterly trust in her would've been diminished. But everything would've been "righted" in time and she probably would've suffered less in the long run. She could've paid her penance while also allowing Robbie freedom from public shame of a crime he didn't commit...but the trade-off would've been her own deserved shame for his undeserved.
 
 
I'd have to reconsider that atonement within Briony was actually achieved; her life was ending but it would never be "finished" in the neat, satisfying way her novel was. Ideals--challenged, lost or realized--replaced the comfort of common lives; all three were denied the normalcy of romantic companionship, perhaps children and a hum-drum daily life. They remained fixed in time, two by death and one by the consequences of her life. Briony anticipated in old age what Cecilia and Robbie had by dying in youth; life cut short by circumstance rather than a finalized story of life with its typical ebbs and flows over time. It is unlikely that Briony would even experience her last breath in a lucid moment...rendering a profound sense of the unfinished life, even as it would end. 

 
 
 
What made me like Briony, and dare say love Briony, the character is when I realized that she too loved Robbie. It's even clearer in the novel if you ask me, but I'm speaking directly about the film.

The imagined apartment scene, if you can't see the love and the pain in the eyes of Briony then I don't think you've ever seen a person in love, and hurt. 

I know Robbie loved C, and C loved Robbie. Briony loved them both. And she betrayed them. And she had to live with that for the rest of her life right down to her last days. Poor Briony. Poor all of them, really.
 
 
 
Yes, she was a 13 year-old. But the point is, she didn't remain a 13 year-old her whole life. Or did she?
Because, see, it's not that I personally want Briony to suffer. It's only that I can't offer her any forgiveness. Not because of what she did as a child, but of what she didn't do as an adult. But if she never really abandoned her 13 year-old self - because of mental problems or any kind of pathology - it could be a different story.
Maybe she remained forever stuck in her own fantasy world, even if in the book she tells us that, after seeing the scene by the fountain, she left her childhood behind. She suddenly understood the adult world. But in reality, how little did she know about it. 

In fact, what Briony couldn't understand when she saw the scene by the fountain, or when she read Robbie's letter, was sexuality. In her own orderly mind, sex was chaos, confusion. Her stories had moral issues, and sex somehow subverted it all. The sex maniac, the psycopath, that's how she started to see who Robbie "really" was. He was no longer the immaculate prince from so many of her tales, the one she once professed to love with such intensity and purity.

Briony sent Robbie to jail because of a lie. I can understand that the over-impressed, over-imaginative girl Briony once was really believed in her own lie at the time - "I saw him with my own eyes". But, even when she started to admit to herself she wasn't so sure, she still insisted in her lie. Because she wanted to punish Robbie. He had betrayed her pure love with a carnal one. He turned out to be human, imperfect and tarnished. A fallen idol. It was Briony's job to teach him a lesson.

Years passed, and Briony started to fully understand what she had done. And still, she didn't tell a soul that Robbie wasn't the culprit. Because now he had another status in her mind - he was the victim, the innocent man paying for a crime he never commited, and thus he became again appealing and beautiful and immaculate to her. The fact that he was in a prison meant there was no sex, and he was pure. As a purified man he was to start his ordeal as a soldier and complete his journey towards redemption.

And Briony was playing her part as a nurse; seeing Robbie's face in each man she cared for, waiting for him to return so she could hold his hand and see in his face the gratitude "Yes Briony, now I understand what you were trying to do. Thank you! A heroe's journey was all I needed to be THE perfect character!"

It's not a surprise that, when she wrote the confrontation scene, Briony made Robbie say "Tell me, did it give you pleasure, to think about me inside?" This sentence, double meaning and all, means everything. Yes, it did give her pleasure after all. She gave Robbie his journey and made him triumph (because he died as a pure, immaculated man), and she gave the couple their happiness. Robbie was never meant to be hers, but in the end he belonged more to Briony than he ever belonged to Cecilia. 

Briony is a wonderful character. She fascinates us with her complexity. But I find it impossible to have any kind of empathy towards her - menatl illness or whatnot. When I think about her, in terms of a real human being, a human being doing what she did to Robbie and Cecilia...her suffering is nothing compared to their suffering. As a human being, she's crap. As a fictional character, she's brilliant.
 
 
Cecilia and Robbie (Tea Room scene)
Yes, she's doing it for Robbie, too. For the both of them. She feels the need to be strong, to keep her mind focused on her new job (and we know how hard and demanding the nurse training was), for that Robbie will have something solid, real, something to hold on when he returns. Because I'm sure Cee never doubted he would return, but in what conditions? Badly wounded? Traumatized by the war experience? And also, maybe he would have trouble finding a job, being an ex-con and all. So, I guess all these thoughts crossed her mind, and she chose to remain strong, as much as she (like all of us) just wanted to hold him at that bus stop and never let him go. The romantic in me felt that she should had never returned to the hospital that afternoon, but at the same time, I respect her a lot because of it. I understand why she did it. Cecilia certainly grew as a character...her suffering made her more compassionate and at the same time, stronger.
 
Thinking about it, it just adds to the complete tragedy of their story. Because not only Cee, but also Robbie, never doubted for once that they wouldn't be together one day. When he said in his letter "I will return...our story will resume" we never doubt his determination for one second, and Cee never doubted, too. Just as Robbie (and we all) never doubted that she would wait for him. With all their suffering, they were still young and optmistic. They really believed their love would prevail.
 
 
 
I think people are overcomplicating things because they feel duped by a "trick" ending and then confuse themselves trying to understand what was real and what wasn't. Also I don't think it's meant to be a clever, big reveal "surprise" ah-ha type ending - and if you are looking at it that way you will overthink it. It actually flows quite naturally from the story and underscores its themes.

Everything that occurs in the story is absolutely true, forget Briony writing it and just consider it as true, except that the couple doesn't have a happy ending: the scene where Briony meets with them to apologize never happens because Robbie is already dead and Briony doesn't have the courage to go to see her sister who is subsequently killed.

It's really not a trick ending, in my estimation. It's just that we aren't told that Briony has created that ONE scene until after we've seen it. And when it is revealed we see the utter tragedy of this girl's life, and the pathos of her attempt to atone.

In a real sense Briony loses her chance to make any real atonement when Robbie dies at Dunkirk, his death, and Cecilia's, shuts the door forever.

It's interesting that people are talking about Briony being rich, successful, etc. I think that really misses the point. I think we are meant to see that she is forever "stuck" in the evil she committed as a young child, that her actions truncate and define her life as much as they do Robbie and Cee's. She is shown wearing the same hairdo, the same necklace as an old lady that she had on as a child, had on that night in fact - she is trapped in that moment. We never see her experience love, or real passion, or enjoy the fruits of success. We are shown an image of her standing before a brick wall with Cee and Robbie kissing passionately above her, frozen and immobilized. She is stuck behind that wall, separated from them, ever the voyeur, the spectator, to real life, real love. She can only live through fiction, which is what has destroyed her, and what she uses to try to redeem herself. 

 



I have not found one reviewer to remark on the movie
as a brilliant, multi-layered study of the narcissism of Briony Tallis. The romance is simply her pathetic attempt to atone for her wrong. Yet it is a 'false' atonement, in my opinion, because she only confesses when she: 1. is dying of vascular dementia therefore will suffer no mental or emotional repercussions; 2. can profit financially from her public confession about the real background of her final novel (during a TV interview no less) and 3. all the participants are dead except for her cousin that is molested. (Her confession allows her to extract retaliation from her now famous cousin grabbing the lead role in her play by exposing the basis of their marriage. What a field day the British tabloids will have with her revelation about her famous cousin.)

To classify this movie as a romance is misleading. The romance is only Briony playing god once again (the first time when she jumped into the stream after asking Robbie if he would save her; the second time when she falsely accuses Robbie of molesting her cousin). It is not the innocent imaginings of a highly impressionable young girl misinterpreting a fountainside flirtation. She was a highly accomplished narcissist from a very young age. The romance is very high flown, stilted but examine who the authored the love story. An extremely self-centered woman who has never known true love only a 'crush' and then subsequently never marries. The romance is a product of an arid soul. As the old saying goes, what can you expect from a pig but a grunt?

I had to see the movie twice because at first I couldn't decide if I disliked the movie itself or that the manipulations of Briony influenced my dislike of the movie. When I saw it a second time, I decided that it is one of the best, if not the best movie about narcissism since All About Eve.
I think Briony actually says in the film (if not, then in the book) about the atonement, that "The attempt is all." She knows she will never actually make things better. Not that this makes me feel for her in any way, I despise the character of Briony, especially at the end.
 


I disagree with the premise of this post. Narcissism is an adult personality trait or disorder. To say that Briony, as a child at 13, is a narcissist is entirely misplaced.

She was very egocentric at that age, quite true. But psychological research conducted over the past decade or so has demonstrated that egocentrism--and the inability to appreciate the long-term effects of one's actions--are hallmark cognitive deficits at that age of mental development. (As a sidenote, these same brain studies of adolescents were cited in support of abolishing the death penalty for juveniles in the United States, among other things.)

Part of growing up is realizing there is a world outside of oneself. Briony hadn't yet reached that level of awareness yet, and although she is not blameless, her age and corresponding lack of maturity at 13 are extremely relevant in assessing her moral culpability. To hold her to the standards of an adult would simply ignore the science of cognitive developmenet.

Whether Briony exhibited any traits of narcissism as an adult is another matter. But as it concerns a child, that label is simply inaccurate.
 
Thanks for the textbook explanation. Remember, Briony is a character in a novel, not a person. I think the author and the adaptation artfully and consistently reveals that her accusation and self-centeredness was a character trait developed and present as early as 12 or 13. Throughout her life, her manipulations and self-delusion became so highly refined that she defined the standards for atonement and proclaimed them on national tv. What a brilliant character study this author gave to us and how magnificently it was portrayed in the movie.
Yes, Briony is a character in a novel. She's also a child character in a novel. And as such, I feel it's inappropriate applying adult standards to her behavior, and ignoring proven facts about human nature and how our minds develop. I think McEwan would feel similarly.

As I said before, none of this renders Briony blameless. She told a lie that, on one level, she most likely knew was false. But I do very much believe we'd be presented with a much different character--nay, a much different story--had she been 17 or 18 at the time of the accusation.

There is a reason why McEwan made Briony 13 in the story, on the cusp of adolescence and yet very much lacking in maturity especially in matters of sexuality. A large part of the narrative was premised on how Briony genuinely did not fully comprehend what she observed between Robbie/Cecilia--but at the time believed that she did.

Without that angle, the story would lose its thematic focus on truth versus perception.
 
On what basis do you feel McEwen would agree with you? Has he hinted as much? Can you show us something he's said in support of your idea? It's rather unrealistic, if not naive, to expect a character in a novel to reflect reality. And the reality you espouse is only a hypothetical one. It may have strong evidence behind it as of now, but is still only a theory, not even a universally accepted one.
 


I agree. What Briony did was the result of the impulsiveness, the imagination and the egocentrism of her age, not to a personality disorder like narcissism. Furthermore, I don't think that a narcissistic person would change her plans of going to Cambridge in order to become a nurse and do something for other people. 

 
 
Are you serious? What she did went well beyond childhood impulsiveness. Children do tend to be self centered, but they aren't totally incapable of understanding that their actions effect other people. Especially when its something this serious.
 That's why Robbie asked her (when she was 18) "How old do you have to be to know right from wrong?"
 


Robbie never asked her the question. Robbie never survived the war. This conversation is no more than a internal conversation she said it to herself. I admit that she never admit her wrong until old age, but that is what atonement is all about right?
 
 I disagree with the premise of this post. Narcissism is an adult personality trait or disorder. To say that Briony, as a child at 13, is a narcissist is entirely misplaced.
 
Not entirely true. Are you familiar with the story of Peter Pan? He is only around age 10 - 13 and he's the very narcissist. A lot of the story focuses on that characteristic of his. Very selfish in nature, has to be the center of attention all the time, constantly boasts and is overly proud of himself...etc. While that is a fictional story it's not unheard of for real children of that age to act similarly.

Her character seemed somewhat narcissist but at the same time she also misunderstood some of the events she saw going on.
 
I'm not about narcissism but it's definition about the God-complex of being a writer. Perhaps that's why it affected me because I am am writer myself and I certainly can relate to this. But it also poses the conflicts within the writer: tell the truth, or not? Compared this to another film about writers: Stranger Than Fiction and you will see the difference in themes, tones, and styles.

I think Briony is a rich and complex character that is going to be studied for a long time to come. It's easy to just reduce her to one thing or another, and to hate or pity her out of necessity, but to me, she's so much more and while I despise what she did (or didn't do), I don't necessarily despise her. She's just human.
 
Personality disorders are generally believed to have their onset in late adolescence or early adulthood.

That's why doctors very rarely diagnose children with personality disorders. Their personalities are still in the process of forming at that early stage.
 
 
 
I don't necessarily agree with the idea of narcissism, but I do think the original post has the right idea: this is not a romance, but ultimately Briony's tragedy. Briony did act selfishly, self-servingly, and heartlessly, and ultimately completely destroyed the lives of Robbie and Cecelia. But the primary tragedy is not their fates; it is that Briony, when she finally feels the repercussions, cannot apologize. In the book, she is too afraid to see Cecelia after Robbie's death, and then Cee dies in the tube bombing. Imagine the guilt she must have felt, not only for her actions, but also taking the fact that Cee was alive for granted? We as people think that our loved ones, even ones we've wronged will be around indefinitely, and Briony learned the hard way that that is not always the case. Her first attempt at atonement is obvious, when she gives up her cushy college seat to pursue nursing in the then very dangerous London. But then Cee died, and she realized that missed opportunity. So in lieu of an actual apology, she imagined one. It's narcisstic in nature, yes, to expunge her guilt, but can you blame her for apologizing in the only means left at her disposal? The guilt she feels is plainly visible and she has obviously lived with that pain her entire life.
 
It's been said here, but not quite in this way--narcissim is the normal state of affairs for many children but an aberration in adults. I'm not a shrink but it doesn't seem incorrect to call a child a narcissist.

Also thinking about the book, on the day of the big event, Briony (the child) determines that she is no longer a child but is in search of adult experiences to write about, and her decision to become a nurse can easily be interpreted as a search for writerly fodder. Although I think you are right and becoming a nurse is a form of self-punishment, I do think there is some kind of personality defect and she is not really living but trying to get life experience that she can put into literary form. As she does.

I think her epiphany in the novel, the point at which she transcends her limitations, occurs when she tells the French soldier that she loves him, because he needs to hear that before he dies. That is really the only moment in either the book or the movie that she achieves genuine shared emotional communication with another person. At all other times she is emotionally disconnected from everyone (and herself).

And I agree, no Atonement for Briony. The book is her failed attempt to achieve it. 

              
 

it doesn't seem incorrect to call a child a narcissist.

I don't know about that. We all know how the term came about. A child can be selfish, yes, even self-absorbed. Often, they do crave attention and would often see themselves older than they really are but narcissism is extreme. IMO, Briony didn't display such tendencies but was just a normal naivè child.

And I understand we are talking about the film so I'm also basing my view on how the actors played the characters.

Remember how 13yr old Briony asked Robbie to come see her play? There was no malice in the beginning, not even a thought about her spurned crush 2 years back. You can judge by her facial reactions.

The way she said "Cecilia" when she witnessed the event in the library, that to me was clearly fear or shock that this man was attacking her sister.

Same with the 18-year old. She sees her reflection in the window and in contrast to the real Narcissus, says "There is no Briony."

For the old Briony, I would have to go back to the book as I can't remember if it was mentioned by Vanessa Redgrave. It was only in her final draft that she gave the lovers the happy ending. She wanted to be honest and tell the world everything and that's how she had been writing it all those 50 years, but finally she realized it was useless. "I no longer saw what purpose it would serve." The fake ending wasn't intentional from the beginning. It was just submission, loss of hope that made her do it. It wasn't narcissism. It was sadness.

I still don't buy the narcissism. There's nothing to be gained by her revealing the true story (despite the made-up ending) in the novel if she's a narcissist. She is desperate trying to atone for what she did. She felt that she had prevented Robbie and Cee's happiness -- self-centered and egotistical, maybe (what writers aren't?) but narcissistic? Not really. Her novel didn't paint her in a good light at all -- and the scene at the flat clearly showed how wrong she was, still, at age 18 and that neither Robbie and Cee could forgive her. That's what something a narcissist would do, in her own book.

Also, at least in the book, her motivation to stop Robbie was to protect Cee from a sex maniac. Confused and misguided she may be, but she isn't narcissistic. No narcissist would care about someone else except herself. In this case, she cared about Cee.

Briony definitely has limitations. She's definitely self-centered (and many people are). But narcissistic? I just don't see it.

 
 
 
As a person, I judge harshly when such thoughtless acts occur and causes so much pain. And yes I do tend to overthink things =). There was a post SOMEWHERE who talked about how Briony was plain, her lack of beauty, plainness, paleness and "sack cloth and ashes" style of dressing underscored her desire to atone. (the baggy dresses in her youth and old age and the nurses uniform etc. That observation shifted my perception somewhat. I think I need to see the movie a third time. I also know that narcissists are incapable of atonement, so maybe the act is everything, at least for Briony (meaning she can't really do much but try).

Briony has some kind of multilayered complication of sexual nature that kind of makes her feel exaltation, aroused, hyperventilating in a satisfactory way or simply said feeling good when she is in the midst an opposing an "occurrence" of sexual nature. (By occurrence I assume everything even sexually explicit text). Acting against just further indulges her trill and that is why she is so at it… Perplexed by her young age and mixed up feelings and knowledge it is indulged further. You see it’s like some people love crying, they feel some kind of sweetness from the fact that they are feeling deeply sad and they are aroused by it. It’s of that nature.
It is very hard to judge the movie as the acting is so good and one can always get mixed up… Added is also a little Dostoevsky vibe and this film becomes so multi layered and complicated we can discuss it by the end of the millennia and we will find we have opened a new discussion in itself... Anyway a good film, good arts and a lot to talk about…
 
 
 Young people are almost invariably self-centered--I'm sure that most of us have played god at Briony's age. The suggestion that the financial and perhaps personal gain brought by her book corresponds to some trend of conceit and narcissism is an unfounded insinuation. Any publishing author makes money and gains fame. This should not be taken to mean that authors in general cannot also be forthright and sincere. The achievement of atonement is not immediately thwarted, as you suggest, by the existence of possible ulterior motives. Instead, it comes through genuine emotion backed by appropriate actions. As for Briony's emotion, it seems clear that her sentiments were authentic. Her actions were delayed for quite a long time, but she acknowledges her failures and it is obvious that she has attempted to do the best she possibly could given the circumstances.
 
That's an interesting take, and my gut instinct says you're probably right. What I find fascinating about the film (I just saw it), is that one thinks it is a romance even as one is watching. Not all the time, but the second half of the movie definitely seems to shift in that direction.

The most interesting thing about the ending is that it casts a new light and forces us to reexamine the previous scenes. As we do so, we realize (and this is where I think you're right) that even the romantic scenes we think about are about Robbie and the woman are really about Briony. It's all about Briony, even when it's seemingly about someone else.

The title Atonement is ironic, because she doesn't atone. She's so narcissistic that she may believe that this is atonement, but it's not. The lovers are still dead, and there is no justice.

So it's narcissism, but it's ultimately a thoughtful statement on the usefulness and limits of art.

One more thing: Isn't it interesting that movie would be a romance, if not for the last five minutes or so?


 
 

Well, what's your definition of atonement?
You mention the word justice--do you consider the two to be the same or similar? For me, justice connotes punishment or karmic retribution. Justice involves outside forces righting a wrong. Atonement on the other hand comes from within. It is an intensely personal phenomenon that requires a person to deal with their own demons in their own way. Just as a killer may be executed without ever atoning for his or her sins, so might Briony atone without facing justice or repairing the effects of her misdeeds.
 
I would say justice and atonement are related. You're right in making the distinction that atonement is more personal, whereas justice is something that happens or doesn't regardless of one's personal reaction.

Still, I would not consider her atonement proper. Atonement is making reparation, to make amends. But what I was saying about justice and the limits of creativity is that nothing actually changes. Art does not alter the "reality" of her situation, that these people she loved and who loved one another are dead. And everyone her story could have affected is long since dead. So it is a selfish act, one to give her the illusion of atonement. It is purely for herself.

Had she published, or attempted to publish, her story within, say, a decade of the incident, that's another thing. It might not have changed things, but it might have made a difference in the lives of the people she hurt, and that's what counts when it's too late to undo a hurtful action.

As someone pointed out, the title "Atonement" is something she strives for and fails. Notice that in the her final scene with McAvoy and Knightly, they describe what she must do atone for her sin (write it all down and confess immediately). She does not do this. Instead, she waits years and years until it's too late.

I think she realizes this, with sadness. Narcissistic, in retrospect, is too strong a word, but I think what she did she ultimately did for herself.
 
In response to the OP, yes I felt that her admission or confession was entirely self-serving. A happy ending to a nightmare that Briony created and never actually "atoned" for.
 
I dont know about narcissism but its not a love story really thats one thing Ill say.

This film is not about love and certain characters dealing with said emmotion, as much as its about guilty, ignorance, selfishness and well, "Atonement".
Even if its arguably unsuccessful or insincere.
 
 
 
Having had personally viewing the movie from the same side of the fence as you, I also saw it as a tragedy in it's purist literary sense; i.e. Greek Plays. Even to the point of flirting with the tale of Oedipus.
Cecilia and Robbie's relationship (if indeed there was one) was always doomed.

 

There is no debate that WWII imagery is not new
and as such when you use it it had better be in a unique way. This movie does none of that. The long take will assuredly be mentioned as unique and the "shot" was, but the content was not. It was things we have seen already. Further, he is in WWII by choice, or by conscription, but not by Briony. How are we supposed to witness the plight Briony put him through when they skip the prison time he served?"


I dunno, the dude had the choice of rot in jail for a crime he didn't commit or go and fight. And that's over and above the massive emergancy that WAS WWII in Britain. And I must say, the imagery was unique in it's not about the war at all, but rather an allegory for Robbie's conviction and prison time -- confusing, full of both despair and hope, wasteful. 

"Love story - Please... like we have never seen two lovers torn apart before. This is in a somewhat unique way however so kudos for trying, but the lovers have so little screen time leading up to the divide that it is largely unbelievable that their involvement is more than puppy love or infatuation. We get all of a few lines explaining he'd been a friend for a long time. but like the prison, we don't see it. Additionally we hardly ever see them apart. It is really hard to swallow that they had such a bad time away from each other when we don't see it. 

What? Do you need explicite iconography and conversations to understand the concept being presented? The point is that they don't really know how their love would develop, that they were torn apart in the first, powerful rush of it. The awkwardness of the tea room scene does a wonderful job of describing this -- she can't remember how he takes his tea, he's not sure why she's there. It's powerful enough for her to turn her back on her family, but he's not sure she made the right decision.

"Which leads me to the end - 'Seriously audience, we were just faking, the two hours of tripe you just negotiated was not really what happened. I assure you the truth is much more powerful and moving than what was shown to you. It was full of love and adventure and an unfortunate ending. But the ending I gave is better because it is my way of justifying to myself that when I die real soon I have fully atoned (title!) for the horrors I caused (that you didn't see)'"

Wow, I guess you are one of those folks who's lived a pristine, blameless life and has never felt guilty over anything? Must be hard to be you. Seriously though, if that's what you got from this film, you DID miss the point entirely. It's as much about the single-mindedness and certainy of youth as it is about wishing you hadn't been. It's about self-delusion, the choices people make, and how they effect over people. If you can't understand the tragedy of having effectively put your sister and the guy you had a childhood crush on in a position that ultimately caused them massive unhappiness and perhaps death, then I suggest you go watch Alvin and the Chipmunks.

 
I felt that the ending was indeed a cruel trick of the author to play on the reader. Cheated? No. Disappointed and duped? Absolutely. I wanted to throw it away initially, but then the intensity of these feelings began to crystallize.

The author seems to have achieved his goal and further reflection on how he had deceived me gave me an even better reward than the happy ending initially sought. Can art reconcile? For Briony, perhaps not, but she has attempted some form of reconciliation by telling the story we all wanted. Can the author reconcile the fallout between author and reader? Brilliantly.

All art is an attempt at reconciliation, an act of atonement, between life and its artistic representation. But the artist is no man/god and cannot reconstrue events to provide us with idealized reality. It is fiction and it fails when experienced in the oppressive shadow of a real world. If we expect idealizations, perfections, we will feel a sense of disappointment and deception. Art is not just for art's sake, but we must recognize it is not infallible - we should not demand that it make our lives any better, only hopefully fuller. The conclusion was a slap in the face, one, that I at least, have benefited from.
 
 

Granted I have just finished reading Atonement
so my outrage is a bit fresh, but I believe Briony is the same self involved child in 1999 that she was at the opening of the story. She intimates as much, feeling that she is the same youthful girl even as she is 77 and facing her immortality. By spending her life writing draft after draft of the story of her "crime" and the devestating effects it had on the lives of her sister and Robbie she gets exactly what she wished for even before the lie was told. She is a parasite. A parasite that can fancify and dramatise the lives of her host, but no less a parasite. Parasites don't apologize for what they are, and I cannot grasp a real apology or atonement in the entirety of her story. Her play was her attempt to send a moral lesson to her much older brother about his seriousness in relationships. Briefly mentioning the superb father he turns out feels like a weak attempt at dismissing her childhood ignorance and assumption, a weak apology without any cognition on her part of her continual pattern of dramatising and attempting to control the lives of her family. That her attempt at atonement fails doesn't seem to pain her in the least. Worse than that is seems to fuel her conviction that to be godlike in her authorship is worth everything that has happened. The entire rest of the story seems a cheap theft of her sisters life. If this, as she implies, is what it is to be an author I do wonder at the feelings of Mr. McEwan himself. I love this story because even as I am typing I feel myself becoming aware of my own Briony-like stupidity, questioning whether I read each passage right, and sympathising with those who so foolishly jumped to the conclusion that he himself stole the life and story of another for literary success. The effect of the novel is as contagious as Briony's hysteria from her encounter with the adult world of cunts and maniacs. Can I say I love this novel too many times?









Jul. 5th, 2008

library

Atonement: Symbolisms

We've been having some very interesting discussions at the Atonement IMDb board. Many posters there are very insightful, when coming up with new ways to look at the film. One of the most intriguing things about Atonement is the use of symbolisms to express the most different themes, or to take us inside the hearts and minds of the characters. Here's a small dose of what we've been talking there. The posters are not identified (I used different colors for different posters and/or posts), but here's the link for the thread: 
If you want to give your own interpretation of the symbols and themes that can be found in Atonement, please join us...we're always glad to talk with new Atonement fans! : )

I will post more discussions about Atonement from the IMDb board soon...



One image that I thought was interesting
was the way that Cecilia is splayed against the (wooden) bookcases with her arms outstretched in the library scene and this image of her is repeated at the end in her death scene, where she is suspended in darkness, again with arms outstretched, as if crucified. It seemed not only a reference to Christ, and her crucifixion/martyrdom, but that she is nailed to the cross, by love, at the moment she is united to Robbie in the library. At that moment her fate is inevitably sealed, united to his, she becomes a victim and martyr.

It was interesting too that they both die in trapped, underground situations, helpless, hidden, in darkness and isolation, lonely deaths.

There is also symbolism related to blood; the nun tells Briony to wipe the blood off her face (someone else's, a soldier like Robbie). And we see Cecilia dabbing blood off her lip (her own, shed for Robbie). 


Cecilia is pressed against a wall of literature...I hadn't really thought about it. Since it's only in literature that they found "their happiness".
 
Either that or that they are crucified by fiction! And so much wood in the study, like the wood of the cross. 


What is quite astonishing has been the almost total inability of film critics on both sides of the Atlantic to (so far) correctly “read” this film. Even those critics who play up their literary pretensions, by claiming to have read the book, (and there are some pompous assholes out there) still don’t seem to have got it.

There is a lot of largely irrelevant chatter about the English class system, which if it exists, as a system, is about money and power, just as it is in the USA. And neither are the Tallis family aristocrats, minor or otherwise. They are simply wealthy. The book makes clear that the family fortune comes from Cecilia’s grandfather who made his money from padlocks and ironmongery. Quite American, don’t you think?

Some critics have helpfully prefaced their reviews by pasting in a dictionary definition of the word atonement: expiation of guilt, reparation for wrong and injury etc. In so limiting the definition, they spectacularly miss the point, by a millimeter.

Try this: In Christian theology the atonement refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which made possible the reconciliation between God and creation.

Don’t stop reading; I am not a Jesus Freak or even a regular churchgoer. Ian McEwan is an atheist.

But there is no escaping the fact that underpinning both the book and the movie is a Christian allegory. It’s obvious, and in your face from the beginning, but no one seems to have noticed! Where to begin? Perhaps with a name - Robbie!

Jesus saith unto her, Mary (Magdalene, at the resurrection). She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Also in Mark, twice, Matthew and John.

We learn that Robbie comes from humble beginnings, he wants to become a healer and in the book, at least, he has liberal, essentially Christian, politics. James McAvoy brilliantly portrays him as an empathetic, Christ like, figure, a fact some critics have alluded to.

He is betrayed by a previous admirer. The family close ranks against him to protect their wealth and status. The authorities cannot be bothered to investigate the truth. (Pilate?).

He is, metaphorically, crucified and cast in with the thieves.

Now comes the bit which really annoys me about many critics’ comments – the Dunkirk beach scene. Several have said that this is irrelevant, that it slows up the show, and that it is merely a piece of cinematic showing off.

In fact, this is the catharsis. It is the “Passion” of Robbie Turner. The walk along the beach is his Via Dolorosa. What would they have Joe Wright do? Label the Stations of the Cross? Have him carrying his Cross with a Crown of Thorns? Isn’t it enough that his side has been pierced?

Goodness me, if they still haven’t got it, Robbie rises from the dead in the penultimate scene.

So, what is the book/movie about? First of all, it’s a rattling good love story and a page turner. Secondly it’s about Briony’s, ultimately futile, attempt to expiate her guilt for the crucified Robbie through a fiction – whilst also giving him an afterlife and immortality. It’s about the novelists God- like power over his/her creations and, ultimately, it’s an atheistic message. About how fact can be blurred into fiction through the retelling and rewriting of history. The Bible anyone?

A couple of other things you might have missed in the movie.

Look out for when Briony looks through the stained glass (sic.) window which has the word Matilda on it and then refer to the poem of the same name by Hilaire Belloc.

The operatic duet played as the lovers dress for dinner is O Soave Fanciulla, from La Boheme. Check out the English translation of the lyrics on the net and see just how appropriate they are.

As above: the hymn being sung by the troops in the bandstand at Dunkirk is: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind which is both ironic and sadly appropriate. It is not, as some twit of a so-called critic has said, Men of Harlech

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

The movie being shown in the Dunkirk cinema is the 1938, Le Quai des Brumes. Check out the synopsis.

 


 
 
I'm not a religious person but I like the religious symbolisms in the film. Even James McAvoy said in an interview that Robbie was Christ-like, that he was almost a higher being. I can agree with him being some kind of sacrificial lamb, yes. I think Robbie is a very symbolic character anyway, more than literary.
Another great religious symbolism was Robbie's mother washing his feet. Her only son, and he was about to die. It was one of the most poignant scenes in the movie because it brought Grace Turner back to the story, another character who was destroyed by Briony's lie.
 
 
 
I think the director's choice to include Robbie's hallucination of his mother was very interesting. In the hallucination Robbie envisions his mother, Grace, washing his feet. This is so interesting because the act of foot washing is such a biblical act. At the last supper Jesus washes all of the diciples feet. He has a very interesting conversation with diciples about the act of purification in foot washing. He also explains the act as a sign that no one man is another man's master.

How facinating then, to see Robbie's mother engaging in such an act? She is literally washing away the lie and allowing him to be free. The disparity of the classes is also linked to this foot washing scene. Much of what happens to Robbie is linked to his status in the social spectrum. The fact that he is the house keeper's son, makes Briony's lie all the more believable. Having his mother wash his feet reinforces the idea, which becomes evident later in the story, that we are all equals. Both cecilia and Briony cast off their privelidged status in acts of Atonement.
 
 
 
The water is an extremely important element in this movie, just as it is in our lives. Water is seen as the "universal solvent", which is very true. We use it to clean everything! Water is needed for bathing, laundry, dishes, car-washing etc. Also, when you're sick you're supposed to drink a lot of water because it will help you get clean and well.

In the movie, all the characters use water to try to clean or rid themselves of feelings they are trying to suppress or even express. Sometimes something bad is happening or has happened and the characters are trying to clean themselves of it. Cecilia dives into the water mid-conversation after her brother questions her about why she doesn't want Robbie to come to dinner. She wants to keep her feelings suppressed so she goes into the water. Robbie also takes a bath and we can only guess that he is thinking about Cecilia as well, but likewise at this point he is suppressing his feelings. During one of the flashbacks we discover that Robbie had saved Briony from drowning a few years prior to her accusation. After they are out of the water Briony spills her feelings for him. They had been suppressed until the water "cleansed" her of them.

At Dunkirk (and before) there is a LOT of Biblical symbolism. Robbie, Mace, and Nettle are wandering around France trying to get to Dunkirk, looking for water. In the book they finally find a house and demand the woman brings them food and drink which she reluctantly does. In the movie it shows them in a "large upper room" eating, this compares to the Last Supper. (Matthew 26: 17-30, Mark 14: 12-26, and Luke 22: 7-38) At Dunkirk Robbie and his friends are desperately seeking water and can't find any. They are longing to cleanse themselves from the war just as they are longing to get home. In the end Robbie didn't get any water and he didn't go home. When Jesus was crucified the soldiers offered him wine vinegar, not water, then he died. (Matthew 27: 45-56, Mark 15: 33-41, and Luke 23: 36-43) I think when his mom washes his feet this is also Biblical symbolism. In the Bible, Jesus washes his disciples feet which is a little opposite of what's going on in the movie, but it happens right before Jesus is crucified. (John 13: 1-17) John 13: 10 says, "Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean." So, when Grace washes his feet she is cleaning him entirely. Just like Jesus, Robbie dies shortly after his feet are washed. They are also right by the ocean which is the only barrier for them getting home. They need to cross the water to cleanse themselves of the war and be back home.

When Briony becomes a nurse and is sent to talk to the French soldier she gets blood on her face. Sister Drummond then tells her to go wash off her face. I think it's important to note that it was a French soldier because it shows that she also has a part in this war. She didn't just send Robbie off to it. Now she is involved too. It could also be a comparison of: English soldier Robbie who dies in France and now English nurse Briony with a French soldier who dies in England. The movie also shows a scene where she is trying to wash her hands but can't seem to get them clean enough. This is theme of her life. She can never truly atone for what she did.

Two more, Cecilia dies in a flood in the end. I loved how some of you pointed out that she looked like Jesus in this scene and the library scene! So true! Also, at the very end, at the last stage of Briony's Atonement, we see Cecilia and Robbie traipsing in the ocean. This is not only Briony's final attempt at cleansing herself but it is the moment where the Cee and Robbie can finally express their feelings completely. Throughout the entire movie social class, prison, the war, and even time constraints have put a damper on them truly being able to express how they feel. They are now free. 




 Loved your analysis of the water element. You just forgot to include the founatin scene; Cecilia emerges from it like Aphrodite, she's revealing herself to him as a person ready to love. Water "clears" everything for both of them at the moment, even tough Cecilia still tries to fight her feelings, walking away from him as if she was angry. In fact, the water had revealed so much of her, exposed her in so many ways that she didn't know how to deal with her new emotions.

Like the poster above said, I'm not religious as well, but I love symbolisms. It's interesting to notice all the christian symbolisms in the film, and you came up with some interesting ones. Like when you said that Jesus was given wine vinegar before he died; when Robbie died, he had a bottle of wine by his side.

 
 
 I suppose I see water as the universal symbol for purification – not only physical (refreshment, cleansing and de-toxification) but spiritual purification. The rite of baptism, for example, involves sprinkling or submergence in water to symbolize cleansing from sin, restoration to purity, and spiritual renewal. As you suggested, there are also many references to water as a purifying, cleansing and transformative agent in Scripture (e.g. Christ’s baptism in the River Jordan, his references to washing the feet in order to cleanse the “whole” person, feet washing scene at Last Supper, water into wine, etc.).

In that vein I saw Robbie’s association with water as generally representing his purity of heart, and his longing for restoration to purity. It’s interesting that he dreams of living on a beach, that Cee gives him a picture of a cottage and that they are represented in perfect happiness there in the final scene. I saw this as representing not only their personal purity, but their desire for a pure, unsullied life, a life without shame. To be cleansed from the filth and evil that has taken over their lives.

When Robbie is in the tub immersed in water his life is still pure, but the dark silhouette of the plane passing overhead symbolizes the journey that he will soon take that will completely change his life and the impending doom of the war.

Water as a Destructive Force

I think water is used to symbolize a destructive force too; in fact I think the two ideas – water as a source of purification/renewal /restoration v. water as a force for destruction and death, are intentionally juxtaposed in the film. (I have not read the book.)

For example, the beach Robbie dreams of sharing with Cecilia – a place where he can live in peace and love, purified of shame and sin -- is contrasted starkly with the beach at Dunkirk, the site of cruelty, chaos, loss and violence, and ultimately death. Here the idea of water as a source of life and renewal is contrasted with water’s association with chaos and death (e.g. Noah and the flood). One his dream, the other his reality.

Similarly I would contrast the Cee and Briony “diving” scenes. Both women have a scene alone with Robbie where they dive into the water. Both are in some way seeking his attention. But while Cee’s action is ultimately an expression of her sincere desire for him, her love, Briony’s action derives from self-love, not sincere love. What she does is destructive toward Robbie; she is manipulating him to test his response to her, to act out a “drama” in her head, and has no regard for the real consequences of her actions. It is manipulative, selfish, narcissistic and controlling. While Cee risks only herself, Briony risks Robbie: she is willing to risk him - and to exploit his goodness - to glorify herself. She is Narcissus, staring into the pool. This scene therefore is pivotal because 1) gives us insight into the “god complex” aspect of Briony’s character that helps to understand why she did what she did later, 2) it contrasts Cecilia’s true love for Robbie with Briony’s selfish “crush”, and 3) it clearly foreshadows later events when she will indeed destroy his life for the sake of playing out the “scripts” in her head.

There is another subtle Biblical reference here because satan, when tempting Christ in the desert, instructed Him to throw himself down for the sake of “testing” God for his own glory. That is precisely what Briony does here, she “tests” Robbie by forcing him to throw himself down into the water, but she does it for her own glory, not Robbie’s.

Water and Cecilia

Water is also symbolic re Cee’s journey, her martyrdom if you will. Her dive into the fountain is the first step leading to the events that will irrevocably unite her fate and Robbie’s and ultimately result in her death, where she will end as she began with him, in the water. Her plunge into the fountain signifies her plunge into their relationship – at that moment she risks her reputation, leaves propriety behind, exposes herself to him, literally and figuratively strips herself of her defenses – as she says herself, she is acting out of character. On the surface it is an act of defiance but in reality it is a move in his direction. Similarly in the next scene where she is fighting so hard against Robbie coming to the dinner she ends by plunging into the water. Finally, in her death scene we see her again in the water, arms outstretched, crucified now by her love for Robbie. Her journey which began with that first plunge is now complete; it begins with her plunge into the water and ends in the water.

Again this is very Christic, Biblical imagery: like Christ’s apostles, Cee first symbolically makes an act of self-abandonment – leaving herself, the world she has known, behind – and ultimately, having been faithful to him, left home and family and possessions for him and followed and suffered with him unreservedly, finds herself crucified as he has been. It begins with her plunge into the water (her commitment to him, or baptism), is confirmed with her plunge into the lake (confirmation) and ends having come full circle with her again in the water at her death, now, having followed him, crucified with him, a martyr for the sake of love.

Seen in this context, it is also symbolically significant that what she is diving for in the fountain is a precious vessel, the broken vase, a treasure. This vase, a treasure, represents true love, the priceless pearl. Her nearly reckless dive for the precious vase symbolizes her willingness to abandon herself, to dive into the deep, in order to seek and save the priceless pearl, which is true Love.

Okay, this post is now embarrassingly long. I've added subtitles to break it up.

More Biblical Imagery

So I’ll just throw in one more Christ-like image I saw. There are essentially three people who are faithful to Robbie after his “crucifixion” has begun and remain so until his death: his mother, Cee, and his wartime friend. These roughly parallel the three people who were faithful to Jesus at the foot of the cross, his mother Mary, his female disciple, Mary Magdalene, who loved him much, and his faithful apostle, St. John. (I’m not saying he was romantically attached to Magdalene, so nobody accuse me of it, please.) 



When Briony is sent to talk with Luc, the French soldier, she opens the red curtains around his bed as if the curtains of a theater.
It's like she's on a stage, directing one of her plays...but maybe it's the first time she notices the cruel reality of real life opposing her fictional world.
 
 

I found quite interesting the scene where Cee wipes her lip
and we see a little blood on the napkin. We know that she bites her lip when Robbie enters her. To see that little blood later on, as a symbol for the breaking of the hymen, I thought it was quite poetic.
 As for the water, I have already said this in another thread, I think it may symbolize sexuality. This symbolism of water can be found in other authors, like Federico García Lorca. I think that it makes sense to apply this to Atonement. For example, that scene in which Briony jumps inside the water because she wants Robbie to save her... it could be like the awakening of her sexual attraction for him.
 
 
 
All the symbolism with water I think represents the changes and transitions all the characters go through because that is exactly what water symbolizes in many cultures; change, transition, constantly moving and flowing into the next phase.

Also, the shot were Cecelia is lying on the diving board above the lake and you can see her reflection in the water, rippled and distorted. It's almost a premonition of her death...drowned in water, as she appears in the reflection.

Then in the very next shot Robbie comes out of the bath looking up at the plane, showing a premonition of his fate in war. 



 

The very first opening shot of the film
is of a model of the house in which they all live and Briony is typing away, finishing the Trials of Arabella. I got the symbolism in that - it like her whole world is a model and she's controlling it, dramatically changing the lives of those around her and not understanding the severity of her actions.

Also, you see a neatly ordered parade of animals at the start of the film and we see more of those animals, strewn on the bed when Briony finds the letter from the twins. A sign of order falling apart? That things are not all well?



There's quite a lot of Biblical imagery in this, I suppose the most prevalent is Robbie being a Christ-like figure, the sacrificial lamb who bears the burden of others' sins (Briony, the ruling class), and is ultimately destroyed by them. He is quite literally the suffering servant, lol, who is betrayed unto death by his "friends".

And speaking of Biblical imagery, it's interesting the way everything goes black behind Briony at the moment she tells the Lie. It reminded me of that line in the Bible when satan enters into Judas and he goes out to betray Jesus: "And then it was night." The opposite of "let there be light", which is associated with God's act of creation, of giving life. Briony has now engaged evil, and all is darkness, destruction, death.

 

You may have missed a few. Consider the mansion and its grounds in the beginning the Garden of Eden. The residents live in sexless harmony until the serpent, in the person of Paul Marshall, arrives. He offers a bite of the chocolate “apple” to Lola (see the look on his face as he urges her to “bite” it) and from then on chaos begins to reign. The twins run away, Robbie sends that scandalous letter, he and Cecilia do the dirty in the library, and the devil finds ultimate satisfaction with Lola, who, with her acquiescence to Briony’s story, becomes the agent in driving “Adam,” as Robbie, from the Garden. (In the 1958 film “Damn Yankees,” the devil’s female agent, played by Gwen Verdon, was also named Lola.) Briony, besides symbolizing the initial innocence (i.e., ignorance of sex) of the Eden dwellers, is also God. She created it all! A major symbol is the sound of the typewriter from which all the characters flowed. Later, Cecelia, the source of Original Sin, dies in the Great Flood, and Robbie, like Moses, dies just before crossing over into the Promised Land. Only Briony’s God survives, to literally create the final, happy manifestation of her original Adam and Eve.
 
 
 

 

Jun. 29th, 2008

library

Wanted surpreende

Wanted superou as expectativas, e arrecadou mais de 50 milhões no fim de semana de estréia. Com a concorrência pesada da Pixar, com Wall-E, e um certo descrédito inicial, Wanted acabou tendo boas críticas e certamente o boca-a-boca ajudou a bater as previsões iniciais (imaginava-se algo entre 25 - 35 milhões de dólares na estréia.

Parabéns, James! :)



















 

Jun. 23rd, 2008

library

Wanted - Premiere no LAFF


James na pré-estréia de Wanted  no Los Angeles Film Festival. Exuberante! :)



































 




 

Jun. 12th, 2008

library

In this world...Atonement fanvideo










Jun. 11th, 2008

library

Promises: "Atonement" em fotos e música

</lj-embed>                     
                         PROMISES 





























 





 

 



library

Wanted photocall em Berlim

Algumas fotos novas do James, do photocall que rolou ontem em Berlim.

Mas é muito lindinho... ;-)







Mais aqui... http://community.livejournal.com/ohnotheydidnt/24385583.html?page=1#comments



May. 29th, 2008

library

James: uma breve biografia

Há algum tempo, eu estava tentando "explicar" James McAvoy para uma amiga que só o conhecia como o fauno Sr. Tumnus de "As Crônicas de Nárnia". Quando olhei, o email estava se transformando em uma biografia - uma biografia informal, claro, quase como se fosse uma conversa entre amigos.

Dei uma ajeitadinha, e ei-la. Como eu disse, não é uma biografia que está preocupada com datas certinhas e coisas assim. Num dos próximos posts, vou colocar aqui a filmografia completa de James, e me aprofundar um pouco mais a respeito de seus filmes.


James McAvoy nasceu em Glasgow, na Escócia, em 1979 e teve uma infância meio complicada - os pais separaram-se quando ele tinha sete anos, e o pai acabou abandonando a família de vez - até hoje James não  tem contato com James Sr., que já apareceu choramingando em algum tablóide britânico depois que o filho ganhou o Bafta. Mas voltando a nossa história... 

A mãe, Elizabeth, era muito jovem e se preocupava em não poder dar atenção suficiente aos filhos, já que trabalhava como enfermeira e fazia muitos plantões. James e a irmã mais nova Joy acabaram então indo morar com os avós maternos - mummy morou um tempo com eles até que se mudou para um prédio do outro lado da rua, e pode-se dizer que os manos sempre a tiveram presente, apesar de terem sido 
criados mesmo pelos avós . A família vivia em um dos bairros mais barra-pesada de Glasgow, num daqueles "projects" que por aqui a gente se habituou a chamar de BNH. Mas vovô James (que era açougueiro) e vovó Mary (que fazia vários biscates, e até dirigia caminhões de entrega por Glasgow!) deram uma educação esmerada pro menino, uma mistura de dedicação amorosa com o bom-senso da classe trabalhadora inglesa (ou escocesa, no caso), e instilaram nele a noção de que  as coisas se obtém através de muito trabalho e esforço pessoal. Nunca deixaram ele ficar vagabundeando pelas ruas, entre os muitos desempregados e drogados da área, até terem certeza que o moleque tinha a cabeça no lugar e "não iria virar um completo idiota" - como o James mesmo falou. Ele também comentou que os avós nunca lhe disseram "Você pode ser tudo que quiser na vida" - segundo James, a maior mentira que se pode contar para uma criança. O que eles sempre lhe disseram é que ele nunca devia deixar de tentar. Era a educação rigorosa de um bom menino católico, "da escola pra casa, da casa pra escola" até pelo menos seus 16 anos, e James sempre teve a consciência de ter muito menos liberdade que seus colegas, mas a dedicação de seus avós a ele e sua irmã é algo que o enche de orgulho e satisfação até hoje.

Essa boa educação acabou se transformando em sua porta de entrada para o mundo do teatro e cinema. Porque um belo dia, um certo diretor/ator escocês foi fazer uma palestra na escola do menino James, então com 15 anos, e o garoto ficou ao mesmo tempo curioso com as histórias do diretor, e chocado com o comportamento agressivo de alguns colegas, que resolveram ser rudes e atormentar o homem por o acharem efeminado, e "posh" demais para suas sensibilidades "working class". Depois da palestra, o educadíssimo James acreditou que seria de bom-tom agradecer pelas preciosas informações e também se desculpar pelos colegas idiotas. Aí achou que talvez houvesse alguma oportunidade - quem sabe ele não poderia trabalhar na próxima produção do famoso diretor, fazer o chá, varrer o chão? Não que até aquele momento ele tivesse sequer cogitado em ser ator (já tinha até pensado em ser padre missionário, ou entrar para a Marinha), mas filmes, e o ambiente que o diretor descreveu em sua palestra, tinham uma certa fascinação. E também podia ser um trabalho em potencial, claro...algo importante para um jovem que entendia bem as dificuldades da vida da classe trabalhadora.  Para sua surpresa, três meses depois, o tal diretor, David Hayman, entrou em contato oferecendo a oportunidade para James fazer um screen test para um de seus filmes. Assim, na lata. Pode-se imaginar que o menino de pele alva, com seus olhos azuis enormes e brilhantes, tenha causado uma certa impressão no diretor, para que o homem se lembrasse de James depois de tê-lo visto apenas uma vez depois da palestra. Teria sido apenas uma atração física, ou talvez a desenvoltura do garoto, seus bons modos? Talvez a soma de todas dessas coisas; embora surpreso, James resolveu seguir o conselho do avô e, ao menos, tentar.  

James disse depois que, apesar de ter conseguido o papel em "The Near Room", se achou uma droga quando viu o filme. Mas sua autocrítica sempre foi poderosa mesmo - e ainda é até hoje, o que é um grande atributo para um ator de verdade numa era de meras celebridades (Ian McEwan, o autor do livro "Reparação", comentou que James era "brilhantemente despretensioso, para alguém tão 'hot' "). O fato de não ter ficado satisfeito com sua atuação, apesar de só ter 15 anos e nenhuma experiência, demonstra o quanto ele levava a sério o trabalho. Qualquer trabalho, na verdade, porque James nunca achou que alguém se torna mais interessante ou especial por ser um ator. Ele tinha um bom exemplo disso em casa.


James em seu primeiro filme, "The Near Room", 1995

O que acabou acontecendo foi que esse primeiro papel o fez ser picado pelo bichinho da atuação, embora nos 2 anos seguintes James tenha apenas prosseguido com seus estudos, ainda se debatendo entre a idéia de entrar para a Marinha ou tentar uma vaga em uma universidade (a essas alturas a idéia de ser padre missionário já tinha sido abandonada, pois ele havia acabado de descobrir as meninas e não tinha nenhum interesse em ser um celibatário). Ele foi um bom aluno, e quando chegou o momento de decidir seu futuro, já tinha propostas de três universidade em Glasgow, para Inglês, Política e Estudos Sociais. Aí de repente surgiu outra - improvável até o momento - opção: "Por que não uma Faculdade de Artes Cênicas?" Porque havia, em Glasgow um razoável número de boas escolas dedicadas às artes do palco, e como ele já tinha aquele pequeno papel no currículo, não custava tentar. Escolheu a Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD). Os professores que o analisaram para a admissão comentaram depois que James era um dos candidatos mais jovens e um dos mais impressionantes, e não tiveram dúvidas em aprovar sua entrada. Sempre com a mentalidade prática que lhe havia sido instilada pelo avô, James, ao mesmo tempo em que cursava a faculdade, trabalhava de madrugada como confeiteiro em uma Mark & Spencer's. "Se tudo o mais falhar...". Mas não falhou. Começou a fazer muito teatro em Glasgow; como boa parte dos alunos formados na Escócia tentava a sorte em Londres, havia muitos e bons papéis disponíveis nas produções locais. Começou também a fazer pequenos papéis na televisão e no cinema, enquanto ainda estava estudando. Antes mesmo de receber o diploma, James embarcou para os Estados Unidos, onde uma oportunidade de ouro surgiu para um pequeno papel numa das séries mais badaladas de todos os tempos, o drama de guerra "Band of Brothers". Embora como o soldado James Miller sua participação tenha se restringido a um episódio, ainda assim ele conseguiu chamar a atenção de um dos produtores da série, Tom Hanks, como veremos na outra parte da bio...

Logo depois de formado James seguiu o caminho de outros atores escoceses e foi para Londres, aos 20 anos, começar finalmente sua vida adulta longe dos avós, dividindo um apartamento com colegas boêmios e fazendo teatro sem parar. Foi em uma de suas primeiras peças em Londres, "Out in the Open", que ele capturou a atenção de Joe Wright, então um jovem se iniciando na carreira artística, como diretor de séries na BBC. Ele ficou intrigado com aquele ator intenso que fazia o papel de um garoto de programa com um sotaque "scouse" perfeito de Liverpool, embora, como Wright descobriria mais tarde conversando com o diretor da produção, o jovem fosse escocês. Ainda se passariam 5 anos até que os dois finalmente tivessem a chance de trabalhar juntos em "Atonement".



"Out in the Open", 2001


James não teve maiores problemas em fazer a transição do teatro para a televisão em papéis cada vez mais importantes, como um dos protagonistas da mini do Sci-Fi Channel “Filhos de Duna”, onde fazia o papel do complexo Leto II, e também atuando em algumas séries muito elogiadas como "State of Play", sobre um grupo de intrépidos jornalistas (que Hollywood já está transformando em filme - sem James) e "Shameless", onde finalmente seu rosto e seu nome tornaram-se conhecidos do grande público britânico. 


"Filhos de Duna", 2003


Na excelente e premiada “State of Play”, de Paul Abbott, dirigida por David Yates, seu papel como o jovem jornalista Dan Foster atraiu a atenção de bons diretores de cinema ingleses. Tom Vaughan, (que anos depois dirigiria James em “Starter for 10”) comentou: “Assim que James fez sua primeira cena em “State of Play”, virei para alguém e perguntei ‘quem é ele?’ Porque havia uma segurança, uma presença e um carisma que não muito comuns em atores jovens e iniciantes. Era bem óbvio que James era um estrela em ascensão.” 


"State of Play", 2003


Em "Shameless", também escrita por Paul Abbott, ele interpretava Steve, um garotão classe média de Manchester que resolve se tornar ladrão de carros por pura adrenalina, mas que se apaixona pela "working-class" Fiona e sua família complicada, e acaba virando uma espécie de Robin Hood, roubando carros dos ricos para ajudar a namorada e seu monte de irmãozinhos meio que abandonados pelos pai doidão. James ficou pouco tempo na série - apenas 13 episódios, entre 2004 e 2005 - mas o suficiente para penetrar no imaginário coletivo dos ingleses e ainda ter que ouvir até hoje nas ruas algum passante gritar "Shameless!" pra ele. Na época um jornal inglês fez uma pesquisa a respeito dos jovens solteiros mais cobiçados da Inglaterra, e deu James na cabeça - batendo até o Príncipe William! - embora o ator, sempre muito consciente, tenha afirmado que as garotas que votaram não estavam apaixonadas por ele, e sim pelo largadão, charmoso e afetuoso Steve. Modesto, o rapaz...





"Shameless", 2004 - 2005

 
James não ficaria solteiro por muito tempo. A melhor coisa que ficou de "Shameless", segundo ele, foi ter conhecido sua futura mulher, Anne-Marie Duff. Sim, ela era Fiona, a namorada de Steve, e os dois protagonizaram algumas das cenas mais quentes da televisão britânica, com direito a nudez e sexo no chão da cozinha logo no primeiro episódio! Na época seu relacionamento de nove (!!!) anos com uma também jovem atriz estava desmoronando. James estava entrando numa espécie de depressão, incerto sobre os rumos de sua carreira de ator, ainda incerto se ERA mesmo um ator. Anne-Marie, 9 anos mais velha, surgiu como uma espécie de amiga e conselheira e se transformou na pessoa mais importante de sua vida. Quando ganhou o prêmio Bafta como Revelação Britânica em 2006, James disse "Quero agradecer à Anne-Marie, pois ela me ensinou a respeitar a vida." Anne-Marie é ela mesmo uma atriz premiada, mais voltada para as excelentes miniséries da BBC e para o teatro. O casalzinho está firme e forte desde o casamento em 2006.


Um dos próximos posts vai ser dedicado aos filmes de James!


 

May. 28th, 2008

library

Possession, an Atonement fanvideo

Muito fanvideos lindos foram feitos para Atonement. Pretendo aos poucos colocá-los aqui. Este é "Possession", com música de Sarah McLachlan.

 




Previous 10 | Next 10