Monday I had two deadlines to meet, and yesterday I ran errands all day. Today I was all set for a cookbook mansucript to show up, but it has been delayed until tomorrow. So I decided to make a big bowl of soup, wrap myself in my favorite blanket, and watch Atonement, which arrived from Netflix last May (!) and has been just sitting there waiting for me to remember to watch it.
The movie is based on Ian McEwan's novel, which I read when it first came out. I remember feeling annoyed and manipulated by the ending, although I liked the story overall. I liked the movie much better—and luckily I had forgotten most of the story in the intervening 10 years. In fact, maybe that's why I liked it better. I can now recall why I felt manipulated by the book, but I didn't feel that way with the movie.
The story begins in 1935 and tells of a young girl's earnest, well-intentioned lie and the grave repercussions on the lives of those involved in it—and on her own life. I found some of the war scenes a bit overdone and melodramatic, but for the most part I enjoyed it. I do wish someone would either teach Keira Knightley to smoke a cigarette properly or cut those scenes from all her movies, though. James McAvoy, on the other hand, now he can smoke a cigarette.