The Cinematography of “Atonement” (2007)

The Cinematography of “Atonement” (2007)
Cinematographer: Seamus McGarvey
Nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Cinematography


  • Johan Ilagan

    Hi there, I just think this should have won instead of There Will Be Blood (for which is the most overrated cinematography i saw) The tracking shots of Dunkirk scene is not the only thing that’s great here but it’s the fluid, hazy and dreamlike camerawork of Mcgarvey overall.

    please email me of what are your thoughts about this and about all the nominees of that year overall. Thank you. 🙂

    June 28, 2012
    • evanerichards

      Well, how about I reply here so other people can read it too.
      I did like Atonement a lot. The long steadicam who of Dunkirk was very impressive. There will be blood was great too though. Its funny because Paul Thomas Anderson has done long shots like that himself too. Entering the studio in “Magnolia”, the very beginning of “Boogie Nights” in the nightclub.

      Other than that, Roger Deakins got nominated for TWO best cinematography oscars. Amazing. I really like Roger Deakins; his cinematography is amazing but I like the films he works on too. It’s a shame he hasn’t won an oscar yet. I thought The Assassination of Jesse James was stunning. No Country For Old men was great too but I think I liked Jesse James a little better.

      The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was beautiful. It was a very different one to film because there were a lot of very different sorts of shots. Point of view shots and first person shots. Its rare that the cinematography becomes so much of a character in a film. In this case the camera actually WAS the character for a good portion of the film. That takes skill.

      It’s tricky though to say “the cinematography in such-and-such a film is better than this other film”. There are objective ways to judge the skill of a cinematographer but when you get to that academy award winning level I feel like a lot of it is really subjective and based on personal preference. Who writes better music Beethoven or Mozart? Who’s to say.

      June 30, 2012
  • Johan Ilagan

    Thank you so much. you made a very good point! Wright and Mcgarvey teamed again this year for Anna Kareninna. I hope he will get nominated again this year. The film looks stunning. 🙂

    July 12, 2012

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