Kazuo Ishiguro's novel 'Never Let Me Go' needed to be distilled into a screen play and is done so with much integrity and care; the understated performances, the muted palette of the cinematography, the plaintive soundtrack, all contribute to this melancholic meditation on the transience of life. There's not a lot of joy here; the morality of this imagined modern world is as chilling as it is horrific, but at the heart of the story is a love of life and a clinging need to live it well. Carey Mulligan is subtly excellent here, even the normally over egging of a pouting Keira Knightly is reigned in to produce a fine performance.
Both works attest that our complicated lives lead us all to the same place and the sooner that we come terms with that simple truth, the better. Accomplishment is vital, suffering inevitable, but life should be celebrated as a joyful journey.
Maybe the one word that haunts both of these beautifully controlled pieces is 'atonement'.