Children of Men (2006)

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore

Awards: Nominated for Academy Awards and BAFTAS in Cinemtography, Editing, and Best Screenplay

Adapted from PD James dystopian novel about the end of our species brought about by the inability to reproduce, Children of Men is a brilliant technical achievement and thrilling sci-fi drama that never got the attention it deserved.  In my opinion, this was the best film of 2006, but due the graphic nature of many of its scenes, I think its accessibility was limited.  Though it did its best box office in the United States, it was one of the most critical films of our national policy and reflected many a sentiment of the day in its unforgettable imagery.

Clive Own plays Theo, the archetypical everyman who has lost his son to a flu epidemic and is drowning out the end of the world with Scotch whiskey.  Julianne Moore plays his estranged wife turned revoluntionary who recruits his help to get a passport for the last pregnant woman on the planet to flee the United Kingodm into exile.  An intense, gruesomely violent action scene on the road ends with Moore’s character dead and Theo now in charge of protecting the future of humanity.

What is most brilliant about this film aside from the story, ambience, and raw violence, are the single-shot mise-en-scene sequences, most notably Moore’s death on the road and 454 second race through the war torn streets of future London.  Both of these shots were filmed in parts and then spliced together as I later came to learn when the director spoke with my department where I work, but the use of technology interwoven seamlessly with the cinematography hid any CG handiwork. 

Make sure to watch the special features on this DVD where they demonstrate the mechanics on the car rig used in one of these shots.  Cuaron’s storytelling ability and technical genious foretells him being one of the most influential filmmakers of our time.

Other Notable Films by this Director: Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)

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1 Comment

  1. One of my all time favorite movies! A tv series is coming out next year that is suppose to be truer to the book but I don’t see how it could be any better than this film.


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