Atonement (film): Wikis


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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joe Wright
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Paul Webster
Written by Screenplay:
Christopher Hampton
Ian McEwan
Starring Keira Knightley
James McAvoy
Romola Garai
Saoirse Ronan
and Vanessa Redgrave

Brenda Blethyn
Juno Temple
Benedict Cumberbatch
Patrick Kennedy
Harriet Walter
Peter Wight
Daniel Mays
Nonso Anozie
Gina McKee
Jérémie Rénier
Michelle Duncan
Music by Dario Marianelli
Piano solo:
Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Editing by Paul Tothill
Studio StudioCanal
Relativity Media
Working Title Films
Distributed by Focus Features (USA)
Universal Pictures (UK)
StudioCanal (France)
Release date(s) United Kingdom:
7 September 2007
United States:
7 December 2007
Running time 123 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $30,000,000
Gross revenue $129,266,061 (worldwide)

Atonement is a 2007 film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel of the same name, directed by Joe Wright, based on a screenplay by Christopher Hampton, and starring James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan. It was produced by Working Title Films and filmed throughout the summer of 2006 in England and France. Distributed worldwide by Universal Studios (with the North American release handled through its Focus Features division), it was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 7 September 2007, and in North America on 7 December 2007.

Atonement opened the 64th Venice International Film Festival, making Wright, at the age of thirty-five, the youngest director ever to open the event. The film also opened the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival.

The film won an Oscar for the Best Original Score at the 80th Academy Awards, and was nominated for six others, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Saoirse Ronan).[2] At the 61st British Academy Film Awards, it won the Best Film of the Year, and the Production Design award.[3]



In 1935, Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan), a 13-year-old girl from a wealthy English family and the youngest of three, has just finished writing a play. As Briony attempts to stage the play with her cousins, they become frustrated and decide to go swimming. Briony stays behind and witnesses a significant moment of sexual tension between her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), outside at the fountain. Robbie returns home and writes several drafts of letters to Cecilia, including one, explicit and erotically-charged. He does not, however, intend to send it and sets it aside. On his way to join the Tallis family celebration, Robbie asks Briony to deliver his letter, only to later realise that he has mistakenly given her the prurient one. Briony secretly reads the letter and becomes still more suspicious of Robbie's intentions.

That evening, Briony encounters Cecilia and Robbie again in the library and mistakely believes that Robbie is indecently assaulting her sister. Briony goes off alone into the woods and stumbles upon a man running away from apparently raping Lola. Lola claims that she does not know the identify of her attacker, but Briony is certain that it was Robbie, and tells everyone this, including the police. She shows the shocking letter to her mother. Everyone believes her story - except for Cecilia. Robbie is arrested and sent to prison.

Four years later, in 1939, Robbie, is reunited with Cecilia in London, where they renew their love. Briony (Romola Garai), now eighteen, has joined Cecilia's old nursing corps at St. Thomas's in London. Her attempts at contacting her sister go unanswered: Cecilia has refused contact, blaming her for Robbie's imprisonment. Later, the wounded and very ill Robbie finally arrives at the beaches of Dunkirk, where he waits to be evacuated.

Briony later visits Cecilia to apologise to her directly. Robbie angrily confronts Briony and demands that she immediately tell her family and the authorities the truth. Briony reveals that the rapist was actually Paul Marshall and that he cannot be implicated in a court of law due to Lola now being his wife.

Decades later, an elderly Briony (Vanessa Redgrave) reveals in an interview that she is dying of vascular dementia, and that her novel, Atonement, which she has been working on for most of her adult life, will be her last. She then reveals that Robbie actually died at Dunkirk of septicemia while awaiting evacuation, and that Cecilia died a few months later while taking refuge during The Blitz. Briony hopes that, by reuniting them in fiction, she can give them the happy conclusion to their lives that they have always deserved.


Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis
  • Keira Knightley as Cecilia Tallis, the elder of the two Tallis sisters.[4] Originally intended to play 18-year-old Briony, Knightley was the first reported to have landed one of the starring roles in Atonement, having previously worked with Wright on the cinema adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice (2005).[5] With the director and Knightley unable to agree over which character the actress should play, Wright finally decided on Cecilia "because she has none of that Elizabeth Bennet vibe."[5] In preparing for her role, Knightley watched films from the 1930s and 1940s, such as Brief Encounter and In Which We Serve, to study the "naturalism" of the performance that Wright wanted in Atonement.[4]
  • James McAvoy as Robbie Turner, son of the Tallis family housekeeper with a Cambridge education courtesy of his mother's employer. Having refused previous offers to work with Wright, McAvoy was the director's first choice: producers met several actors for the role, including Jake Gyllenhaal,[6] but McAvoy was the only one offered the part. He fitted Wright's bid for someone who "had the acting ability to take the audience with him on his personal and physical journey". The actor describes Robbie as one of the most difficult characters he has ever played, "because he's very straight-ahead".[4]
  • Saoirse Ronan as Briony Tallis (age 13), the younger Tallis sister and an aspiring novelist. Twelve-year-old newcomer Ronan was not cast until casting director Jina Jay came across her following many unsuccessful auditions around Britain. McEwan called her performance "remarkable": "She gives us thought processes right on-screen, even before she speaks, and conveys so much with her eyes."[4] Ronan received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
  • Romola Garai as Briony Tallis (age 18):[4] Following Abbie Cornish's refusal, backing out due to scheduling conflicts with Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007),[7] she was obliged to adapt her performance's physicality to fit the Briony appearance that had already been decided upon for Ronan and Redgrave. She spent much time with Ronan, watching footage of her to approximate the way the younger actress moved.[4]
  • Vanessa Redgrave as Briony Tallis (age 77): Everyone's ideal to play the oldest Briony,[4] Redgrave was the first approached (although she was not cast until Ronan had been found),[8] and committed herself to the role after just one meeting with Wright. She, Ronan and Garai worked together with a voice coach to keep the character's timbre in a familiar range throughout the film.[4]
  • Harriet Walter as Emily Tallis, the matriarch of the family. Both Emily Watson[9] and Kristin Scott Thomas[9] were approached to play the role of Emily Tallis before the role went to Walter.
  • Patrick Kennedy as Leon Tallis, the eldest of the Tallis siblings.
  • Brenda Blethyn as Grace Turner, Robbie's mother and the Tallis family housekeeper.
  • Juno Temple as Lola Quincey, the visiting 15-year-old cousin of the Tallis siblings.
  • Charlie and Felix von Simson as Jackson and Pierrot Quincey, Lola's nine-year-old twin brothers.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Paul Marshall, a visiting friend of Leon Tallis and chocolate manufacturer millionaire.
  • Daniel Mays as Tommy Nettle, one of Robbie's brothers-in-arms.
  • Nonso Anozie as Frank Mace, another fellow soldier.
  • Jérémie Renier as Luc Cornet, the fatally wounded and brain-damaged French soldier whom the eighteen-year-old Briony comforts on his death bed.
  • Anthony Minghella as the Interviewer.


The film was produced by Working Title Films and filmed throughout the summer of 2006 in Great Britain and France.[1]


Redcar's beach was the site of the Dunkirk beach sequence, and also stood in for Bray-Dunes (original film set; August 2006).

Locations for the filming included the seafront in Redcar;[10] Streatham Hill, South London (standing in for Balham, Cecilia's new home after becoming estranged from her family); Stokesay Court near Craven Arms;[11] and Grimsby.[12]

All the exteriors and interiors of the Tallis family home were filmed at Stokesay Court, Onibury, Shropshire, a location found in the pages of an old copy of Country Life magazine.[13] This Victorian mansion was built in 1889 by the glove manufacturer John Derby-Allcroft and is still privately owned.[14] London locations included Great Scotland Yard and Bethnal Green Town Hall, the latter being used for a 1939 tea-house scene, as well as St John's, Smith Square, Westminster, which served as location for Lola's wedding. The scenes from the 1940 Balham station were filmed in the former Piccadilly Line station of Aldwych, which was closed in the 1990s. Parts of the St Thomas's hospital ward interior and corridors were filmed at Park Place, Henley-on-Thames; the exterior of the hospital actually being University College London.[4]

While the third portion of Atonement was entirely filmed at the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, the beach and cliff scene first shown on the postcard and later seen towards the end of the film were filmed at the Seven Sisters, Sussex, more precisely at Cuckmere Haven which is incidentally quite near to Roedean School, which Cecilia was said to have attended. Scenes in the French countryside were filmed in Coates and Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire; Walpole St Andrew and Denver, Norfolk; and in Manea and Pymore, in Cambridgeshire. The scenes shot in Redcar include a remarkably lengthy tracking shot of the seafront as a war-torn Dunkirk and a scene in the local cinema on the promenade.[4]

Another location used in the making of the film was the Lincolnshire town of Grimsby. The Dunkirk street scenes used in the film were shot at the Grimsby ice factory on Grimsby docks. Both the interior and exterior are present in the film, trailers, and the deleted scenes on DVD.


The film opened the 2007 Venice International Film Festival, making Wright, at 35, the youngest director ever to be so honoured.[15] The film also opened the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival.[16] Atonement was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 7 September 2007,[17] and in North America on 7 December 2007. Worldwide distribution was managed by Universal Studios, with minor releases through other divisions.[1]


Critical reception

The film has received positive reviews from American and international film critics. As of 18 January 2008, the review site Rotten Tomatoes records that 83% of 196 critics gave the film positive reviews, with a consensus that "Atonement features strong performances, brilliant cinematography, and a unique score. Featuring deft performances from James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, it's a successful adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel."[18] On other review sites, Metacritic records an average score of 85%, based on 36 reviews.[19]

The American critic Roger Ebert gave it a four-star review, dubbing it "one of the year's best films, a certain best picture nominee."[20] In the movie review television program, At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper, Richard Roeper gave the film "thumbs up" adding that Knightley gave "one of her best performances". As for the film, he commented that: "Atonement has hints of greatness but it falls just short of Oscar contention."

Keira Knightley attending the première of Atonement, in Leicester Square, London

In Britain, the film was listed as number 3 on Empire Magazine's top 25 films of 2007. The Australian edition of Empire gave it a five-star review, praising the intelligent directing by Wright in the second half of the film, where he demonstrates "storytelling and technical flair to match his ability with actors".[21] Time magazine's Richard Corliss named the film one of the Top 10 Movies of 2007, ranking it at number four. Corliss praised the film as "first beguiling, then devastating", and singled out Saoirse Ronan as "terrific as the confused 12-year-old."[22][23]

The film has received numerous awards and nominations, including 7 Golden Globe nominations, more than any other film nominated for the 65th Golden Globe Awards,[24][25] and winning two of the nominated Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture Drama. The film also received fourteen BAFTA nominations for the 61st British Academy Film Awards including Best Film, Best British Film and Best Director, seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and the Evening Standard British Film Award for Technical Achievement in Cinematography, Production Design and Costume Design, earned by Seamus McGarvey, Sarah Greenwood and Jacqueline Durran, respectively. Atonement also ranks 442nd on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[26]

Top ten lists

The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007.[27]

Box office

The film was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 7 September 2007, and has grossed £11,557,134. It was also given a limited release in North America on 7 December, and grossed $784,145 during its opening weekend, posting a per-theatre average of $24,504 in 32 theatres. The film has now grossed $50,927,067 in the US and $129,266,061 worldwide.[29]



Atonement has been named among the Top 10 Films of 2007 by the Austin Film Critics Association, the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Online, the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association.[30][31][32][33][34][35]


Home media

Atonement Region 2 DVD was released on 4 February 2008, and the HD DVD edition followed on 11 March 2008. The Region 1 DVD and HD DVD/DVD combo editions (USA/Canada) were released on 18 March 2008.[62][63]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Cast, Crew and Production Details at Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b c "Academy Award nominations for Atonement". Academy Awards. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "BAFTA Awards for Atonement". BAFTA. 10 February 2008.,17,SNS.html. Retrieved 10 February 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Behind the Scenes of Atonement". Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  5. ^ a b ""Keira Knightley & Director Clashed Over Atonement Character"". Starpulse. Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  6. ^ ""Look who's kissing Keira"". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  7. ^ ""Atonement Gears Up for Start of Filming"". Working Title Films (Official website). Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "A Modern Version of that Stiff Upper Lip". Close-UpFilm. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  9. ^ a b ""Junior pop idols need not apply"". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  10. ^ Hencke, David (24 May 2006). "Redcar scrubs up for starring role". The Guardian.,,1781627,00.html. Retrieved 17 July 2007. 
  11. ^ ""Joe Wright: a new movie master"". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2007. 
  12. ^ Atonement (2007) - Filming locations
  13. ^ Conway Morris, Roderick (30 August 2007). "Review: 'Atonement' and 'Se, jie' at Venice festival: Love and lust in wartime". International Herald Tribune. 
  14. ^ The original McEwan novel mentions the house as having been built in the same period.
  15. ^ "Joe Wright: A New Movie Master, by David Gritten". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  16. ^ "Atonement to Launch Vancouver International Film Festival". CBC News. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  17. ^ "Atonement at Focus Features". Film in Focus. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  18. ^ "Atonement - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 January 2007. 
  19. ^ "Atonement (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 December 2007. 
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger. "No Atonement". Retrieved 28 December 2007. 
  21. ^ O'Hara, Helen (January 2008). "Atonement". Empire (Australian edition, issue 82): p. 34. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  22. ^ Corliss, Richard; "The 10 Best Movies"; Time magazine; 24 December 2007; Page 40.
  23. ^ Corliss, Richard; "The 10 Best Movies";
  24. ^ "Atonement leads field at Globes". BBC News. 13 December 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  25. ^ "Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2008 Golden Globe Awards for the Year Ended 31 December 2007". 13 December 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2007. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  28. ^ Travers, Peter, (19 December 2007) "Peter Travers' Best and Worst Movies of 2007" Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 December 2007
  29. ^ "Atonement (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  30. ^ 2007 Austin Film Critics Association Awards
  31. ^ 2007 Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards
  32. ^ 2007 National Board of Review
  33. ^ 2007 New York Film Critics Online Awards
  34. ^ 2007 Oklahoma Film Critics Association Awards
  35. ^ a b 2007 Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards
  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^ Best Romance film at Rotten
  38. ^ 2007 Houston Film Critics Society Awards
  39. ^ a b 2007 Golden Globe Awards
  40. ^ a b 2007 International Film Music Critics Awards
  41. ^ Brennan, Steve (19 February 2008). "'Tudors,' 'Garage' top Irish awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  42. ^ 2007 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards
  43. ^ 2007 London Film Critics Circle Awards Results
  44. ^ Nilsson Awards: 6th Annual Nilsson Award Nominees for the Most Outstanding Filmmaking of 2007
  45. ^ 2007 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
  46. ^ 2007 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards
  47. ^ a b 2007 Satellite Awards
  48. ^ 11th Pyongyang International Film Festival
  49. ^ 2007 Art Directors Guild
  50. ^ 2007 American Society of Cinematographers Awards
  51. ^ 2007 British Academy Film Awards Nominations
  52. ^ 2007 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
  53. ^ 2007 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
  54. ^ 2007 Costume Designers Guild
  55. ^ 2007 IFTA Awards
  56. ^ 2007 London Film Critics Circle Awards
  57. ^ 2007 Golden Reel Awards
  58. ^ 2007 Online Film Critics Society Awards
  59. ^ 2007 St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards
  60. ^ 2007 USC Libraries Scripter Awards
  61. ^ Focus Features Atonement Awards
  62. ^ DVD Release on The New York Times
  63. ^ Universal official statement for Atonement DVD

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Atonement is a 2007 film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel of the same name, directed by Joe Wright, and based on a screenplay by Christopher Hampton. It was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 7 September 2007, and in North America on 7 December 2007.

You can only imagine the truth. taglines


Briony Tallis

  • What do you think it would feel like to be someone else?
  • If you write a story, you only have to say the word ‘castle’ and you can see the towers and the woods and the village below... But in a play it’s... it all depends on other people.
  • Love is all very well, but you have to be sensible.
  • [in a letter] Dear Cecilia, Please don't throw this away without reading it. As you'll have seen from the notepaper, I'm here at St. Thomas's, doing my nurses' training. I decided not to take up my place at Cambridge. I decided I wanted to make myself useful, do something practical. But no matter how hard I work, no matter how long the hours, I can't escape from what I did and what it meant, the full extent of which I'm only now beginning to grasp. Cee, please write and tell me we can meet. Your sister, Briony.
  • I am very, very sorry for the terrible distress that I have caused you. I am very, very sorry...
  • [writing] The princess was well aware of his remorseless wickedness. But that made it no easier to overcome the voluminous love she felt in her heart for Sir Romulus. The princess knew instinctively that the one with red hair was not to be trusted. As his young ward dived again and again into the depths of the lake, in search of the enchanted chalice, Sir Romulus twirled his luxuriant mustache. Sir Romulus rode with his two companions, northwards, drawing ever closer to an effulgent sea. So heroic in manner, he appeared so valiant in word... And no could ever guess at the darkness lurking in the black heart of Sir Romulus Turnbull. He was the most dangerous man in the world.
  • My doctor tells me I have something called vascular dementia; which is essentially a continuous series of tiny strokes. Your brain gradually closes down. You lose words, you lose your memory: which, for a writer, is pretty much the point. That’s why I could finally write this book; and why, of course, it’s my last novel. Strangely enough, it would be just as accurate to call it my first novel. I wrote several drafts as far back as my time at St. Thomas’s Hospital during the war. I just couldn’t ever find the way to do it.
  • [Last lines] I never made that journey to Balham. So the scene in which I confess to them is invented, imagined. And, in fact, could never have happened... .because Robbie Turner died of septicaemia at Bray Dunes on the first of June 1940, the last day of the evacuation...and I was never able to put things right with my sister Cecilia....because she was killed on the 15th of October, 1940 by the bomb that destroyed the gas and water mains above Balham tube station. So, my sister and Robbie were never able to have the time together they both so longed for... and deserved. Which ever since I've... ever since I've always felt I prevented. But what sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that? So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I'd like to think this isn't weakness or... evasion... but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness.

Cecilia Tallis

  • [In a letter] My darling, Briony found my address somehow and sent a letter. The first surprise was she didn't go up to Cambridge. She's doing nurses' training at my old hospital. I think she may be doing this as some kind of penance. She says she's beginning to get the full grasp of what she did and what it meant. She wants to come and talk to me. I love you. I'll wait for you. Come back. Come back to me.
  • [To Robbie on several occasions] Come back, come back to me.

Robbie Turner

  • [In a letter] Dearest Cecilia, the story can resume. The one I had been planning on that evening walk. I can become again the man who once crossed the Surrey park at dusk, in my best suit, swaggering on the promise of life. The man who, with the clarity of passion, made love to you in the library. The story can resume. I will return. Find you, love you, marry you and live without shame.
  • [to Briony] I’ll be quite honest with you. I’m torn between breaking your neck here and throwing you down the stairs.
  • [to Briony] How old do you have to be before you know the difference between right and wrong? Do you have to be eighteen before you can own up to a lie? There are soldiers of eighteen old enough to be left to die on the side of the road! Did you know that?
  • [to Briony] Five years ago you didn’t care about telling the truth. You and all your family, you just assumed that for all my education, I was still little better than a servant, still not to be trusted. Thanks to you, they were able to close ranks and throw me to the fucking wolves.


  • Tommy Nettle (on France): No-one speaks the fucking lingo out here. You can't say, "Pass the biscuit", or "Where's me 'and grenade?"; they just shrug. 'Cause they hate us too. I mean, that's the point: we fight in France and the French fuckin' 'ate us! Make me 'Ome Secretary and I'll sort this out in a fuckin' minute. We got India and Africa, right? Jerry can have France and Belgium and whatever else they want. 'Oo's fuckin' ever been to Poland? It's all about room, empire! They want more empire; give 'em this shit hole, we keep ours, and it's Bob's your uncle and Fanny's your fucking aunt! Think about it.
  • Paul Marshall: Bite it! You have to bite it.


[Robbie breaks a vase]
Cecilia: You idiot! You realise this is probably the most valuable thing we own?
Robbie: Not any more, it isn't.

Pierrot: It's boring how everything ends in "O". Polo and Aero.
Jackson: And Oxo and Brillo.

Cecilia: [about Paul Marshall] I suppose he’s what you might call eligible.
Leon: Rather!
Cecilia: He certainly seems to think he’s the cat’s pyjamas. Which is odd, considering he has pubic hair growing out of his ears.

Cecilia: [crying] I don't know how I could've been so ignorant about myself... so... so stupid. And you know what I'm talking about, don't you? You knew before I did.
Robbie: Why're you crying?
Cecilia: Don't you know?
Robbie: Yes, I know exactly. [kisses her]

Briony (comfortingly): Lola, can I tell you something? Something really terrible?
Lola (sobbing): Yes please.

Briony: It was Robbie, wasn’t it? [Silence] Robbie.
Lola: You saw him?
Briony: Like you said, he's a sex maniac. And you don't even know what happened before dinner. I caught him attacking my sister in the library. I don’t know what he’d have done, if I hadn’t come in...
Lola: You actually saw him.
Briony: Of course I did. Plain as day.
Lola: He came up behind me. He pushed me to the ground and then he put his hand over my eyes. I couldn’t actually, I never actually...
Briony: Listen, I’ve known him all my life. And I saw him.
Lola: Because I couldn’t say for sure.
Briony: Well, I can. And I will.

Cecilia: My brother and I found the two of them down by the lake.
Police Inspector: You didn't see anyone else?
Cecilia: I wouldn't necessarily believe everything Briony tells you. She's rather fanciful.

Robbie: Have you been in touch with your family?
Cecilia: No, I told you I wouldn't. Leon waited outside the hospital last week. I just pushed past him.
Robbie: Cee, you don't owe me anything.
Cecilia: Robbie, didn't you read my letters? Had I been allowed to visit you, had they let me, every day, I would have been there every day.
Robbie: Yes, but if all we have rests on a few moments in a library three and a half years ago then I am not sure, I don't know...
Cecilia: Robbie, look at me. Come back, come back to me.

Robbie: Come on, pal. You should be getting dressed.
Briony: If I fell in the river, would you save me?
Robbie: Of course.
[Briony jumps into the water and Robbie dives after her; eventually, he pulls her out and drops her near the bank]
Briony: Thank you, thank you, thank you...
Robbie: That was an incredibly bloody stupid thing to do!
Briony: I wanted you to save me.
Robbie: Don't you know how easily you could have drowned?
Briony: You saved me.
Robbie: You stupid child! You could have killed us both! Is that your idea of a joke?
[Briony looks at him for a moment, shocked by his tone, but defiant nonetheless]
Briony: I want to thank you for saving my life. I'll be eternally grateful to you.

Cecilia: There isn't much time. Robbie has to report for duty at six, and he's got a train to catch. So sit down. There are some things you're going to do for us.
Robbie: You'll go to your parents as soon as you can and tell them everything they need to know to be convinced that your evidence was false. You'll go and see a solicitor and make a statement and have it signed and witnessed and send copies to us. Is that clear?
Cecilia : Yes.
Robbie: Then you'll write a detailed letter to me, explaining everything that led up to you saying you saw me by the lake.
Cecilia: Try and include whatever you can remember of what Danny Hardman was doing that night.
Briony: Hardman?
Robbie: Yes!
Briony: It wasn't Danny Hardman. It was Leon's friend, Marshall.
Cecilia: I don't believe you.
Briony: He's married Lola; I've just come from their wedding.
Cecilia: Lola won't be able to testify against him now. He's immune.
Briony: [very formally] I'm very, very sorry for the terrible distress that I have caused. I'm very, very sorry.
Robbie: Just do as I have asked of you. Write it all down. Just the truth. No rhymes, no embellishments, no adjectives. And then leave us be.

Fiona: It says in the paper the army are making strategic withdrawals.
Briony: I saw that. It's a euphemism for retreat.


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