Saturday, November 03, 2007

atonement movie

Atonement = at-one-ment, the theological claim that in Christ, past and present and future are redeemed.


Atonement the movie is must see. Well acted, superb soundtrack, with wonderful moments of cimenatic beauty, and a intelligently complex plot. Theologically, the plot explores the complex realities of at-one-ment. Take the scene in which the adult Briony comforts the dying Frenchman. The red curtain against the white hospital ward is both artistic and theological profound.

Can you unravel the pain of the past?

Save this film for a Lenten movie series, alongside Lion, Witch, Wardrobe and Matrix. But you would want six movies for the six weeks of Lent. So what would be your other three movies?

Posted by steve at 10:58 PM


  1. …. Let’s see. I would add a movie that I saw recently – ‘Black snake moan ‘. Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci. Stunning ! Here’s a story of two very different people, living in the American south, culturally indifferent and struggling with their own personal demons. They are thrust together and embark on a journey that leads them out of darkness. I also found it interesting and refreshing that the ‘ minister ‘ was shown in a relevant, redemptive light. Most movies these days portray the Church or Ministers as being, at best, irrelevant and at worst, down right evil. In summary – It’s a scandalous story of redemption. It’s R rated so be warned…

    Comment by Tangira — November 4, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  2. What about Le Miserables – great themes of grace vs. law

    Comment by Negrito — November 4, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  3. I saw “To End All Wars” last week – most powerful in terms of atonement that I’ve seen yet, at least for an Action film…

    Just had a read about Atonement on wikipedia, sounds like its atheological narrative of se*uality might compromise its efficacy as a lentern movie… no? because, theologically speaking, prison is where Robbie and this world full of Robbies really belong for the way women are treated as s*x objects… all of the rest of the plot assumes his actions were just – thers’s something in Briony’s response that actualyl has a faint ring of justice…

    Comment by A.J.Chesswas — November 5, 2007 @ 8:24 am

  4. Idle pondering – can one enter into discussion of a movie without seeing said movie?

    Comment by steve — November 5, 2007 @ 9:04 pm

  5. I missed The Claim when it was first released and recently caught it at a festival. Well worth considering for a Lenten series.

    Comment by fernando — November 5, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  6. I know it’s not an arty movie at all (I’ll start to think of one that is now) but was considering Stranger Than Fiction as a lenten movie exploring the stories of those around us and how they connect to the story of Jesus, (let’s face it, most of the movie is one long Gethsemane scene)

    Comment by darren — November 6, 2007 @ 4:09 am

  7. … Hipene, I don’t understand what you are asking man ? please clarify…. Do you mean, can you discuss movie’s without seeing them ? If that’s what you mean, then I’d say no, not really… Please clarify.

    This is a great idea though, movies to challenge our ideas of Lent.

    What about ‘Advent’ that’s coming up soon ? Any movies along those lines that could give us new/or re-enforced perspective ?

    Comment by Tangira — November 6, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

  8. it’s be much nicer if people didn’t enter into discussion or debate re a movie that they’ve not seen, unfortunately with all the weird n wonderful biased opinions out there online one can source varied descriptions of a movie and allow these sites to make up their own mind without seeing it…

    example: check out the furor in the States re the Golden Compass movie…

    Comment by darren — November 6, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  9. Tangira, my question arose out of the comment from AJ Cheswass, who was citing a wikipedia entry in terms of atonement movie. And then listening to a preacher recently describe a movie and I began to suspect they had not actually seen the movie. Which got me wondering – an abstract question – about the interpretive impact of talking about a movie without seeing it. A movie is made up of music and visual and plot, and what happens when it’s reduced to textual plot on a wikipedia page.

    And my mind started spinning off into can you interpet U2 songs just based on the lyrics, or the video, or the concert. Just idle ponderings. Sorry if it distracted.


    Comment by steve — November 6, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

  10. Saw Atonement a couple of months back, bloody brilliant, especially the sweeping scale of the Dunkirk beach scene.

    Comment by Jonathan — November 6, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

  11. Jonathan,
    I thought the Dunkirk section was the weakest section, it seemed to meander aimlessly. the absence of German attack for most of the scenes made it seem surreal. was that really how it happened?


    Comment by steve — November 6, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

  12. I thought Atonement awesome.
    I really appreciated Black Book recently – another war movie – but it didn’t make Germans all bad – others all good but highlighted the complexity and mixture of our inner motivations. Even “liberation” was tinged. I’m not sure if it’s for a Lent movie list though.

    Comment by Bosco Peters — November 7, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  13. Hmm, only 3…

    “Chocolat”, as a meditation on true grace. I love the way that chocolate is a character in the move, and that as people interact with it they are changed. It’s the best movie metaphor for grace i’ve come accross. It’s also quite real in the way that grace exposes legalism for what it is, empty and lifeless.

    A second movie would be “Leap of Faith”, the early 90’s Steve Martin movie, issues of betrayal, authenticity, miracles. Very funny too, with some amazing theology.

    One more…hmm?

    “Whale Rider” maybe – for the idea that prophecies are fulfilled in unexpected ways. Or maybe “The Truman Show” for the concept of a life lived within boundaries until truth is revealed. Perhaps an angry polemic like “Bowling for Columbine” that deals with issues of anger, hatred and warfare?

    Ok, pick one..ummm..Whale Rider it is.


    Comment by Jonathan Somerville — November 8, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  14. I thought the beach scene was really good too because it was so chaotic and that’s what the war was like. Plus I think sometimes you get to think that war is all action but really heaps of it is just waiting around, and that scene really captured that. But the chaos part was the best. I thought the inaction was perhaps the best part of it. If there had been action then it would have become a ‘war movie’ too much and that wasn’t what it was meant to be about. And no. You cannot discuss a movie if you’ve never seen it. Which is made so incredibly obvious by AJ’s comment.

    Comment by Sharyn — November 14, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  15. I’m excited for Atonement. Looks great, and the character posters are definitely edgy (surprisingly so for this kind of movie).

    Comment by Movie Review Guy — November 15, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

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