Saturday, January 20, 2007
"Children of Men" is super-good
Some of you may have seen this movie already. I saw it a couple of weeks ago and kept forgetting to extol it's virtues here. But it's really good. It's a cautionary sc-fi tale set in the year 2027, when society is caught in a downward spiral due to the fact that women can no longer have babies. A generation has gone by, and since people can't reproduce anymore, many have just given up and ceased to care about getting along, art, commerce, or any of the things that currently occupy us. There's no future, so what's the point, right? Clive Owen stars as a former radical, since numbed by the world's situation, who is caught up in an event that could have a significant impact on things and slowly finds hope in this hopeless world.
Director Alfonso Cuaron has done a great job with this movie. Many of the action sequences in the film are composed of very long shots, which really places you in the situation in a way that multiple rapid cuts could never do. Keen observers will see where digital trickery has been used to link cuts, but that doesn't lessen the impact. And the look of the film is entirely appropriate-not too futuristic, not too run down, people aren't ruuning around in jumpsuits, etc. The backgrounds are layered with detail that tell the story of society's decay, without being too showy.
Michael Caine is great in it, and the filmakers wisely resist the urge to have Owen (an actor I really like the more I see him) turn into an action hero throughout the course of the film. He remains almost clumsy and slow throughout, escaping situations merely by luck instead of suddenly becoming a crack shot or a physical superman.
I really dug it. Check it out instead of seeing the joyless romp known as "Night at the Museum."