Movie of the Week…No…Year: Children of Men

If this isn’t the best movie of the year, than tell me what is?

Part science fiction, part war movie, I don’t even know if I saw a movie last year that was better than this.

This is why I go to the movies almost every week, for the hope that I will see something like this.

I don’t even know where to begin…or end for that matter.

I appreciate cinematography but never really “notice” it but there are two amazing long takes, one involving an ambush and another a full out battle that it up there with Saving Private Ryan.

The world that director Alfonso Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki create is incredibly detailed. What happened in the future isn’t directly told to us in some long drawn out speech. It’s all in the background, on the news reports, newspaper clippings, graffiti, etc. It kind of reminds me of Brian Wood’s Vertigo comic, DMZ, in that way. You see how civilization fell apart. The muted tones make bleak London look utterly hopeless. They create a future that seems a little too plausible. I can’t imagine that they won’t both be nominated for Oscars.

The acting is top-notch. Clive Owen’s (Theo) transformation from a man who has nothing to live for to a man willing to sacrifice everything for the future confirms he’s one of the best actors out (and I’m willing to forgive him for King Arthur but I guess everyone’s got to pay the bills). Michael Caine adds levity and perspective as Theo’s old friend and confidant, Jasper. I can’t imagine that they won’t both be nominated for Oscars.

I can talk about this movie all day.

The point is SEE THIS MOVIE. As angry as I was when Brokeback Mountain didn’t win Best Picture last year, I will be devastated if Children of Men doesn’t. Sorry, Marty. But I can live without you winning an Oscar another year for a masterpiece such as this.

***SPOILER***


There is a scene towards the end during the battle between the army, the immigrants, and FISH, when the baby starts crying and everything stops, the fighting, the screaming. Theo and Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey) slowly make their way through the building and down the stairs and everyone has their own unique reactions – to cry, to try and touch Kee and the baby – and then the soldiers see the baby and they freeze and two of them kneel to pray and as they walk, no one moves. Whatever they were killing each other over, the safety of that child becomes everyone’s priority. They just watch them walk away and you think that, “Wow, this baby may actually create some sense of peace and stability.” and then the rocket fires from the building and the fighting starts up again.

That’s when the seriousness of their world hits you.

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3 thoughts on “Movie of the Week…No…Year: Children of Men

  1. Pan’s Labyrinth, which I also gave four stars is the only movie in it’s league but this movie was better to me because of the cinematography.

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