I saw it today....
Only one damn theater in the Detroit area was playing it, so I had to drive a bit, but much better than the time I drove all the way to Chicago to see Silk.
Anyway, the movie was very good, but it didn't blow me away like I thought it would. The first act dragged on too long -- every shot was twice as lingering as it needed to be; every pan was twice as slow as it should have been. I was starting to dislike the film, but then it picked up by the Dunkirk scenes, and the third act, featuring the 18 year-old Briony, was beautiful. The girl who played the 18 year-old Briony, by the way, was excellent. If anyone deserves an Oscar nod for a performance in this film, it's her. Keira was the best I've ever seen her, as well. It was sexy seeing her be a bit of a bitch, and I think that type of character suited her perfectly.
The movie would have been one of my favorites of the year had the first third been shortened, and more focus placed on Robbie's experience in France. The drama of the third act would have been more powerful, had there been more emphasis on the love between Cee and Robbie.
I'll have to see the film again, as the most emotional parts were ruined for me by some guy sitting an aisle over who wouldn't stop making comments to his companion, and rattling around a paper bag quite loudly. All the noise this man was making REALLY got under my skin by the end of the film, and I finally leaned over and hissed "Shut the fuck UP!" at him. My Mother, who was with me, snapped at me to settle down, and after the film, she told me the man I swore at was mentally handicapped. OK, fine -- so I'm an asshole; but how was I supposed to know? And who the hell brings a retarded guy to a slow-paced and complicated foreign drama?
I told my mom that if I ever end up mentally disabled in some way -- whether it be through a health problem or an accident -- to never take me out in public like that. "I don't ever want you using me to make a statement", I told her. "If I wind up like that, just hand me the TV remote and a bowl of ice cream, and KEEP ME IN THE FUCKING HOUSE."