Thursday, January 18, 2007

See. This. Movie.

Children of Men

I haven't seen a really, really important, exceptionally executed, deeply moving, and compelling movie like this in....er, possibly ever, now that I think of it.

Sorry if that all sounds a little over the top. But I was quite blown away.

I only ever saw one preview, so the film sort of slipped my mind until my good friend, (one of the bestest) Ni_de_Montreal, recommended I see it instead of An Inconvenient Truth. I was intrigued. A Clive Owen movie about a saving a preggers British teenager...more important than a documentary on global warming? C'n'est pas possible!

She was so very right.

The acting. The premise. The writing. The plot. The concept. The dialogue. The symbolism. The cinematography. The effects. The story. The direction. It doesn't do anything too overtly experimental. The genius is in the subtely and the subtext. It deals with the environment. It deals with terrorism. It deals with the dark chamber of the human heart that we rarely enter--the one that knows that at the bottom of it all we're just another animal driven to survive.

EVERYTHING works in this movie. It hits you between the eyes with a gentle, poisonous gust of dystopian future-gas. You're knocked on your ass, which is perfect because that is the precise vantage point of the film.

It made me want to read the book (my order will be in at Chapters.ca momentarily) by P.D. James., in the hopes that I can explore more of the ideas behind the film. None of this explanatory detail is necessary--the film is a complete, perfect whole. But if you're a person interested in the themes of the movie, you'll want to read more. You'll want to see it again. You'll need to see it again, to savour every perfect detail. I plan to.

Interestingly, a basic premise of the James plot is altered by Cuaron--as I understand it, in the book, it's the men who become sterile. In the movie, it's the women. Even this seemingly tiny little change is...pregnant with meaning.

I won't give away anything else--no spoilers here. But I felt compelled to promote this great work. It is a mythical story, beautiful in its ugly truth. It's right about human nature. Hopefully it's dead wrong about where that nature may take us.

9 Comments:

Blogger The Swearing Lady said...

Acting? No. Clive Owen hasn't the range for a film like this. And whoever did the heavyhanded soundtrack should be steralised.

Very watchable, but I really thought it could have been so much more. Its vision of the future was both potent and terrifying, and the cinematography beautiful, though.

6:13 PM  
Blogger The Swearing Lady said...

Acting? No. Clive Owen hasn't the range for a film like this. And whoever did the heavyhanded soundtrack should be steralised.

Very watchable, but I really thought it could have been so much more. Its vision of the future was both potent and terrifying, and the cinematography beautiful, though.

6:17 PM  
Blogger jackp said...

yes, i was there, good movie.

i enjoyed how he never had a gun. total opposite of hollywood.

as i type this...there is hollywood movie commercial...with guns

11:18 PM  
Blogger ni_de_montreal said...

yeah.. i didn't say clive owen = LMIADR Oscar material.. but hey.. i got over the barfy feeling i used to get. however, too true on the cinematography. ap noticed the one continuous shot during the, um, (not to give it away) mattress scene. quite amazing from a film POV.

12:27 AM  
Blogger ni_de_montreal said...

hey, and thanks for the shout-out, whyi!

12:28 AM  
Blogger Fat Sparrow said...

But, but, that would mean I'd have to look at Clive Owen. Voluntarily. He turns me, he really does.

2:43 AM  
Blogger whyioughtta said...

I knew Clive would drive people away. Ah, Clive, what is it about you anyways? The hirsuteness? The horseyfacedness? The immobile facial muscles?

SL: I have to semi-disagree with you there, though. I think he was perfectly cast for this film, which called for a lead character who was a little distant, a little Everyman. Clive invented distant, Everyman. That's why we all feel he has no range. But think about the scene where he tells that yappy care-giver "Don't fucking touch me." He was downright gooch in that. I mean, it's Clive. He'll always be Clive, unfortunately.

Jackp: Yes, you made the excellent observation about 'good' = 'no gun' symbolism right after the film. Nice one, honey.

Ni: Same with a lot of the street scenes in the final part of the movie. And all from ground level. Really cool.

FS: It did make some of us get over our squeamishness, honest. By the end of the opening scene, my stomach was quite settled.

8:55 AM  
Blogger angrycandy said...

hey, what's wrong with clive? i like clive. clive has a certain intensity about him (when clive tells you not to fucking touch him, you believe him damnit).

anyway, haven't seen it yet (but have been very intrigued). now i will for sure. i've been a p.d. james fan for years. she usually writes mysteries (my bubblegum reading of choice, but only well-written ones and hers are well-written...)i haven't seen this book though...i'm gonna go google it now to see if it's the same p.d. james...

5:24 PM  
Blogger whyioughtta said...

Clive just has a big ick-factor for a lot of people, for some reason.

But this movie did redeem him for me, at least a little.

8:26 AM  

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