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Atonement (2007)Atonement (2007)

This film opens in 1935 at a spectacular estate in the English countryside, takes us to the bloody beaches of Dunkirk, and then ends in a television studio sixty years later. The well-to-do Cecilia falls in love with Robbie, the son of the housekeeper. Thanks to Cecilia's father, Robbie attended Cambridge and has plans for medical school. Cecilia's younger sister, Briony, also had a crush on Robbie, so when she watches a scene at the estate fountain, reads a love note never meant for anyone's eyes, and interrupts an embrace in the library that would shock any thirteen-year-old, she reacts in fear. Briony tells a lie about a family tragedy, the consequences of which are catastrophic for everyone, especially for her own mind and soul. Briony spends her entire life seeking atonement, and at the end of the film we're not sure that she has convinced herself, much less the audience. Atonement earned seven Academy Award nominations.

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