If you can look past Joe Wright’s exhausting over-direction and Keira Knightley’s jaw, you will find a simple, compelling and tragic love story just crying out to be heard above the clamour of its numerous award nominations.
Childhood friends Robbie (James McAvoy) and Cecilia (Knightley) tentatively begin an affair. However, they almost immediately see their fledgling love torn apart by a single malicious act.
McAvoy is convincingly anguished as the wronged hero, and Knightley plays her transformation from disdain to devotion simply, but charmingly. However, it is 13-year-old newcomer Saoirse Ronan who truly shines as Briony, the architect of all the misery.