The tale of star-cross'd lovers, Cecilia and Robbie, this almost 2 hour flick challenges you to think about your most primary defense mechanism: fantasies.
Freud believed that whatever we lacked in our loves, whatever our Id hoped for, we'd make up for it in our dreams, in our daydreams, in our fantasies. Sometimes these 'lackings' took the shape of numerous symbols - but that is where Freud's tangents got all the more digressive and phantasmal (even for a subject matter such as dreams) so we'll leave it at that.
Briony is a ten year old girl who wants to be a writer. Robbie is the hired-help-cum-boy-wonder who is having his conflicted romance with Briony's elder sister, Cecilia. Briony, filled with her need to have the attention in a world lost in separate psychological battles, and a deep but unfulfilled and unexpressed infatuation for Robbie, begins to believe her fabrication. She believes it so truly - that she forgets the ambiguity, the possibilities and the extent of disaster that her rapid imagination bring to the lives of Cecilia and Robbie.
Well-written and certainly well-directed. McAvoy's arriving but Knightley seems to have convinced her critics that her face is not the only reason why people want to see her onscreen. The movie is dark and suitably so, as the theme involves around similar aspects of human nature. Thumbs up and a deserved Golden Globe nomination. Don't be surprised if it scoops up a couple of Oscars in the go.