JT Film Review

14 – Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men REVIEW

5/5 stars

Director – Alfonso Cuaron

Cast – Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Julianne Moore, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clare-Hope Ashitey

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children_of_men_ver3Theo, an apathetic everyman (played by Clive Owen) must escort the only known pregnant girl to freedom in the marvelous Children of Men. The film is set in the near future, in a dystopian England. (Aren’t all the best ones set there and then? 1984, etc.) The film delves into politics now and then, but not (as others seem to think) in a heavy handed way. Instead of dwelling on the politics, they are presented as a backdrop against which an every day man must fight to survive.

One of the most striking things about Children of Men children 3is the colour pallette. It is seeped in greys, blacks, and grimy greens. It is the epitome of the dystopian vision, but instead of being merely a copy cat of the typical dystopian film, it elevates the material into the best of the genre. One of the reasons it does this is the editing and camera movment. Most of the movie is shot in long single takes that remind the viewer of a documentary style. This brings greater impact to the sets and tone (mise-en-scene), and also brings a great sense of realism to the action scenes, which are staged marvelously.

For example there is one scene where the camera stays in one cut for 7 and a half minutes straight, and during a raging urban battle no less! children 2Now some of these scenes were helped by CG, but the impact is not in the fact that they were or were not filmed in one take, but the impact we see as we view it. And then what happens at the end of that particular scene is absolutely heart breaking, and is probably my favorite moment ever on film. It involves soldiers, and a baby crying, and is sheer beauty.

The acting is wonderfully naturalistic. Clive Owen reminds us of a grimy Cary Grant, and holds our attention thoroughly. Michael Cainechildren-of-men plays a John Lennon-like hippy character, in a nice break from his butler/English gentleman roles. Juliane Moore may be the only weak link in the movie, but that may come down to my personal bias against her. I’ve never found her to be that natural or interesting on screen, but that is just my own personal view. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Pam Ferris do wonderful jobs as well in their supporting roles.

OVERALL

This is one of my top five favorite films. It’s extremely original, it’s very thoughtful, has a great visual sense, and characters about whom we actually care. In my opinion, this is one of the best movies ever made.

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TRAILER

“Children of Men” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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June 22, 2009 - Posted by | 5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Sci-fi, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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