Adapted from the P. D. James novel, Children of Men is set in a dystopian Britain. Women have become infertile and the youngest person in the world has just died at the age of 18. A former activist is given the task to protect a young, seemingly pregnant woman to ensure the future of humanity.
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With this quest, “Children of Men” becomes a dark and bloody magical adventure, played out in cozy woodland hide-outs and hellish concentration camps populated by the human equivalents of hobbits, wizards and orcs. Shot by the distinguished Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the movie has several jaw-dropping long takes (or apparent long takes) that don’t stop the action with their choreographed virtuosity but only enhance its acceleration.
Rarely is a movie at once upsetting and invigorating, yet Alfonso Cuarón’s CHILDREN OF MEN manages to embrace that paradox for pretty much its entire running time… All told, it’s of the supreme achievements of studio filmmaking in the first decade of the 21st century.
In a future world where society itself seems to have forgotten how to see, Cuarón provides the audience with a restless camera, a set of eyes that provides no explicit judgments on the world at large, but that only persistently investigates the fragments, the dead, the poor, and the lost stories that seem impossible to fit within the space of the larger narrative.
Rewatched it again and found it even more uncomfortable than two or ten years ago. There are many noteworthy things in this film. One of them is the documentary perspective with long shots during the Bexhill sequence which makes the war-like scenes so hard to abide. Another one is the brillant use of John Taverner's original music to open spaces of timelessness as counterpoints to the reality.
The world as we know it is beginning to look dangerously close to the one depicted here; but with its backdrop of militant-based terrorism, civil disobedience, refugee crisis & general post-millennial tension, the film always did have its finger squarely on the pulse. Children of Men now looks like the masterpiece it always was; bold, prescient, intelligent & profoundly moving; a perfect combination of content& form.
Although the year depicted is 2027, Cuarón seems to have jumped the gun - the film's complacency and consumerism, fatality and nihilism, terrorism and nationalism, fits all-too snugly into the (a)moral fiber of 2017. The film's unrelenting anxiety gives it both urgency and, strangely, authenticity. The film's future is Now, and it hurts.
Rewatching this in 2016. After 10 years, after Brexit...this could be more real than ever. Brilliant dystopian cinematography. Y tu mamá también and Children of Men: TOP Cuaron films.
One of the best-designed, shot, scored, and imagined films of recent history, imperfect but inimitable. Some of the supporting acting, not to mention the dialogue, can get a little clichéd and treacly, but it's never bad enough to diminish the incredible imagination and veracity of the movie. The long shots are breathtaking, and the tension is often literally unbearable. I just wish it ended about 30 seconds earlier.
A modern masterpiece. Outstanding cinematography and acting, some scenes are just breathtaking - the car chase sequence ! - for the best sci-fi movie of the 21st century, along with Sunshine, Moon and Upstream Color. But just having King Crimson on the soundtrack gives this one an edge.
I have an undying affection for this movie. It's a beautifully classic story. It's a prophetic warning. It's THE movie of the past decade. The cinematography and production design are flawless and full of life. Clive Owen has never been better. It's a deeply felt, magnificent ride.