Unfortunately, it must be admitted that Atonement is pretty bloody good (and bloody, and pretty). Watching Scorsese's stately Age Of Innocence in the same afternoon (having obviously spent an active morn in fresh-aired acts of derring-do) only pronounced the playful panache of Joe Wright's production.
In his fleet, fluent and wonderfully filmic distillation of the book, Wright perfectly evokes that shivery, sorrowful, self-satisfied survivor-elation that is Ian McEwan's hallmark. He wisely made Christopher Hampton pare his adaptation close to the text, for McEwan is a naturally cinematographic writer. The problem for Scorsese is that Wharton is not, and the emotional effect of her writing, which he so equally and masterfully captures, is a kind of trugid, torporous delirium.
Of course innocence, as a general rule, is far less fun than experience, and atonement far less fun than sin - but Wright's film provides a timely bit of breast-beating just as the lovely luxuries of London Fashion Week tempt us to abandon economic and ecological guilt before an onslaught of sweatshop simalcra and totes that are roughly the same size, though twice the price, of Tanzania.
Children, thy shepherd telleth you to sod yer souls and embrace thine inner ovine. One ubiquitous Balenciaga blazer with badger trim for me, and this iconic bag. Knightley never looked as good as this, even with her damp dark triangle on show.