|Cast: Clive Owen,
Director(s): Alfonso Cuaron
Genre: Action / Disaster
Website: Click Here
An absolutely tremendous film.
This is one the most spectacular, brilliantly designed, impressive, and intense films of recent history.
It works as an action movie, it works as a apocalyptic vision of the world, it works as a cautionary tale about the way we treat those among us less equal than we are... I could go on and on.
Rarely have I been so deeply impressed and enveloped by what was being projected on the screen; and I say this as a very positive attribute: rarely have I been so depressed. The production design of this film to create a version of the UK (or any western country) set in the near future, having become deeply fascist, and just so despairing is truly remarkable.
This movie is certainly in the top 5 of 2006 for me.
Well, today I decided to treat myself to a double-header of 'the world is a shitty place' movies! Talk about a depressing double bill....
first up was 'Children Of Men', followed immediately by 'Blood Diamond' (review to follow).....
Okay, 'Children Of Men'...
Wow, what a bleak, harsh, rude awakening of a film. I knew nothing of the plot going in, and I believe the aftershock is more striking if you go in cold. So if you don't wanna know the plot, continue nae further......
The year is 2027, so it's not too far off and depicted quite realistically, given the situation that the world has pretty much doomed itself to extinction because women started going infertile as of 2009, when the last child was born on Earth.
This pretty much shoots hope out the window, and incites much rebellious uprisings, terrorism, over-the-counter suicide assistance, mass deportation of all foreigners from Britain (and presumably other civilized countries who haven't completely crumbled), and general political upheaval and moral decay.
The cast is superb. Clive Owen is joe everyman, living with no real purpose, until the term 'saviour' is unknowingly thrust upon him. What would you do if the fate of mankind landed squarely on your shoulders (I mean, for real, not in a John Connor/Terminator way)?
Julianne Moore (damn, she is one of my favourite beauties) and Michael Caine are effective in their limited roles, but the supporting cast of unknowns really give this film more depth for Owen to play against, as his character is for the most part stone-faced and depleted.
Much of the camerawork seems to be of the steadi-cam variety (a camera is strapped to the Director of Photography via a waist and shoulder harness and he walks around with it. It can be quite uncomfortable, given the weight of the camera, so lengthy uses of it is quite the task),
giving the film a man-on-the-street-right-next-to-Owen look about it.
Anyways, there definitely is a bit of a baby Jesus parable going on, especially towards the end, and to say this film ends on a bit of a happy note is definitely the glass-is-half-full view. I'm more of a glass-is-half-empty-so-I'll-drink-what's-left kinda guy.
Still, a very powerful, moving film. I think Jeffy came out a little more optimistic than I did. What does that say about ME? Geeez.....
Mitchy, check out this... I believe it is the "Making of" featurette from the UK DVD release... it shows the incredible work required to attain the incredibly long single takes... (note, some of it is not steady cam, but simply hand held...)
One thing speaks to the power of this film; while it was largely shot with incredibly long single takes without editing (one scene I saw online went for a full 6 unbroken minutes, I am sure there are others), I did not even come close to noticing it while watching. The film was so powerful and enveloping that one has no time to take note of some of the incredibly impressive technical aspects.
No doubt however, that this use of brilliant cinematography added to the film's power, even if not noted immediately by the casual viewer.
That fix-up of the car with the camera set-up on the roof and the whole thing on a big sled with the gizmos and doo-dads.....very cool.
Wow! One of the best movies I've seen in a while. Although very depressing, it is so powerful and well executed. it's one of those movies that has you thinking about it days after watching (of course, I just watched it last night).
Not much more I can add to what Mitch & Jeff wrote except...
When the girl goes into labour and gives birth,all i could think about is how lucky we are to have the hospitals & expertise we do have in Canada. This struck me exptra hard as Anat just gave birth 2 weeks ago. I couldn't think of a more uncomfortable feeling then when she was having contractions while going through the camps and watching her helper-lady get taken away (and presumambly killed).
i can go on and on. This movie hits home on so many level.
I honestly think the Oscars missed out on something here. This should have had nominations all over the place.
Finally watched it tonight (thanks to Mitch for lending it!) and....WOW. Just wow.
I'm speechless, haven't been this moved by a film since Hotel Rwanda, nor so deeply emotional about my own family.
Several times during the film, as Jeff pointed out, I was so DEEPLY immersed in the scene that I stopped sensing I was watching a film and felt I was literally alongside the characters.
I felt deep pain for Julianne Moore's char getting shot, and was confused as to why, she hadn't seen more than 10-15 mins of screen time, not much for char development, yet I did.
I broke down in tears when the baby was born, having witnessed this myself first hand twice, it was powerful only made more so by the situation and the power behind the destiny of this child. Which then galvanized itself into the feeling I felt when I first looked upon Aidan for the first time, that this indeed COULD be the child that would save the world. My apologies for getting overly melodramatic, but damn.
My only SMALL miniscule complaint was outlined above, that it did seem to wrap up too quickly and too cleanly...but DAMN, how much more COULD they stretch my already flayed emotions...
OK, sorry for the severe character shift, folks. Now back to PLONT....I'll need to watch a few Zombie movies so as I don't let my "reputation" slip....
I hate to sound like all of you bozos, but...
Wow! This was truly a tremendous film! *Spoilers ahead!* The idea that no more babies are arriving on the earth has to be one of the bleakest and darkest stories to have come about in a very long time. No children is truly no future, and that's what the background to this movie is about: the end of the world. Powerful stuff.
This movie was brilliant beginning to end. The cinematography gets extra-special kudos for bringing the audience in so closely.
The saddest part of the whole film (and all of you missed it) was at the birth scene. For the first few seconds the baby doesn't move or make any indications of life at all. It appeared to be a still-birth, which would be entirely appropriate considering how much a shit-hole the world has become. My heart plummeted, but as soon as it moved it soared up again. Brilliant stuff, once again!
And the photo-shot goes to the eternal stoner Michael Caine! Man was I Jonesing!
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