[it is ENGLAND between the WARS]
Briony: Mother, I've written a play. Please note how precocious I am.
Her Mother: Yes, darling. It's lovely. I'm going to have a lie-down because it's hot and I'm rich.
Briony: Sister dear, I've written a play.
Keira Knightley: Lovely. Let's lie on the grass. It's so hot. So very hot, and so meaningful.
Briony: Cousins, I've written a play. Won't anyone notice how good a writer I am???
Annoying Twin Redheaded Cousins: Booooo! We don't like plays!!
Briony: Surely my beloved brother Leon will notice. I wish he would get here.
[she goes to her ROOM and GAZES out the WINDOW with INTENSITY and sees her sister STRIP to her undies and DIVE into the FOUNTAIN right in front of James McAvoy]
Briony: He's not worthy to see my sister's...indecent places. My adolescent mind is spinning!
[time REWINDS so we can see ANOTHER VERSION of the SAME SCENE, which is TOTALLY DEEP]
Keira Knightley: Hello. I have a vase and some flowers. They represent something.
James McAvoy: Yes. Let me help you with them.
[he BREAKS the vase and a piece FALLS into the FOUNTAIN, which prompts her to DIVE in and RESCUE them]
Keira Knightley: I am scandalized, but attracted.
[Leon and his SKEEZY friend ARRIVE and everyone is HAPPY]
Skeezy Friend: Hey there, young redheaded cousin of my friend who is aptly named Lola. Want some? Chocolate, I mean? Nothing untoward here.
[he LOOKS at her GROSSLY]
Lola: Um...I guess.
Skeezy Friend: Bite it. You have to bite it.*
[elsewhere on the MANOR, while TYPEWRITER KEYS play in the DISTANCE]
James McAvoy: Today by the fountain...she was so beautiful...so ridiculously thin...so dripping wet. And I was such a boor. I shall write her a letter of apology whilst listening to some opera recordings.
Keira Knightley: How rude I was to him. I shall gaze at my beautiful self in this mirror from many angles, in many levels of focus, until I feel better.
[they both HANG OUT in their own ROOMS for a LONG TIME and James McAvoy writes a LETTER that says the word CUNT in it]
James McAvoy: Ha ha ha! I can't give that to her. I shall write a new letter, but I shall foolishly save this other one that says "cunt" in it. No tragic mix-ups could possibly occur.
[obviously, he CONFUSES them and gives the CUNT one to Briony, and she RUNS to the house to the strain of TYPEWRITER KEYS and READS it because she is a little SNOOP]
Briony: I am more scandalized! Lola, do you think he's a sex maniac?
Lola: Yes. You should take whatever action your jumped-to conclusions deem best.
[Briony DISCOVERS her sister DOING it with James McAvoy in the LIBRARY]
Keira Knightley: But that's not what happened!
[time REWINDS again, since PERSPECTIVE is a big THEME, or possibly MOTIF]
James McAvoy: Hi. Sorry about that letter. I'm not saying I don't want to kiss your cunt, but you really weren't supposed to see that.
Keira Knightley: I know. Please follow me to the library. I may seem cold now, but I am not.
[they PROCEED to have basically the HOTTEST SEX EVER against a stack of BOOKS and are DISCOVERED by Briony]
Briony: I don't understand! More jumped-to conclusions are in order!
[the TWINS go MISSING and everyone SEARCHES for them and Lola is ASSAULTED by an UNIDENTIFIED MAN]
Briony: I saw him! I SAW HIM! With my own eyes! This is in no way informed by the jealousy I feel towards my sister and her man!
[James McAvoy is ARRESTED and it is SHITTY]
Keira Knightley: Noooooooooooo!!!
[FOUR YEARS later]
James McAvoy: I know I look terrible because I am in a battle, but do I not fill out this Army uniform rather well? Now, let's have some French food and get to Dunkirk so we can get back home.
[SIX MONTHS earlier than that]
Keira Knightley: I love you. I know we just humped in the library before you went to prison, but really...I love you.
James McAvoy: Your love will sustain me when I ship out.
[it DOES, to SWELLING and ABRUPTLY ENDING music]
Briony: Won't you forgive me, my sister? I wrote you a letter. I'm really sorry about the whole sending your boyfriend to prison on false rape charges thing.
Keira Knightley: Well, I'll still hate you, but go ahead and recant if you like. I'll be here, wearing a man's bathrobe.
James McAvoy: I would really like to kill you, Briony, but I won't, for it would sully my good name.
[there is YET ANOTHER TIME SHIFT to earlier]
James McAvoy: Dunkirk suuuuuuucks. We gotta get off of this beach, man.
Comic Relief Dude: I say, let Germany HAVE France. God. I mean, we've got India and Africa. That's sufficient.
[an EXTREMELY LONG SHOT of Dunkirk is shown with a LOT of STUFF happening, such as a CHOIR and a MERRY-GO-ROUND]
James McAvoy: Let's rest here in this exploded church. I'm going to remember a time when I saved Briony from drowning for some reason, and also hallucinate about my mother cleaning my feet in soft focus. Let me be, please.
[there is another TIME SHIFT and I totally LOST the TIMELINE]
Briony: I must do penance for my actions as a child. I shall become a nurse.
[she NURSES a sick FRENCH SOLDIER who thinks she is his GIRLFRIEND and she is TRAUMATIZED because she thinks of her SISTER]
Briony: Will I never have peace for my sins????
[she RIDES the TUBE to the strains of TYPEWRITER KEYS]
Keira Knightley: This is earlier, back before James McAvoy went to prison. Everyone still with us? No? Well, whatever. I love him. I love you, okay?
James McAvoy: Yeah, I think we all got it.
[now Briony is OLD]
Vanessa Redgrave: The book I wrote about my sister and her boyfriend will be my last book, since I'm dying slowly from a series of small strokes. And I know in the book I said they ended up together at the end, but that was all a lie, since he died in France in the exploded church and she died in a Tube tunnel. So I never got forgiven, and they never got to be together. How's that for a downer?
[Keira Knightley and James McAvoy FROLIC on a FRENCH BEACH, presumably in a DREAM or Briony's MIND]