Thursday, January 11, 2007

Review: Children of Men

A Universal Pictures release 2006
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Writing credits:
Alfonso Cuarón (screenplay)
Timothy J. Sexton (screenplay)
David Arata (screenplay)
Mark Fergus (screenplay)
Hawk Ostby (screenplay)
P.D. James (novel The Children of Men)

In 2027, as humankind faces the likelihood of its own extinction, a disillusioned government agent (Clive Owen) agrees to help transport and protect a miraculously pregnant woman (Claire-Hope Ashitey) to a sanctuary at sea where her child's birth may help scientists to save the future of mankind.

Children of Men is easily the best science fiction film of the past year. As director Cuarón's follow up to Harry Potter 3, the film is expertly handled, convincingly portraying a dying world some twenty years into the future. What makes this film work is the use of a 3rd person style hand-held camera - it follows the characters around, immersing the viewer in the world as if they were running with Clive Owen. Quick pans and sweeping camera moves allow for a rich, realized atmosphere that is grounded in realism. That said, the story has some holes and could have been stronger, particularly in terms of characterization. While none of the performances are bad here, the characters simply feel like sci-fi stock. But if you're looking for the cinematic equivalent of a roller coaster ride, this may be as good as it gets.

No comments: