Monday, January 8, 2007

Children Of Men

This is the best damn movie I've ever seen. I'll probably revise that hyperbole at some point in the future, but at the moment I just can't think of a movie I've ever seen that I like better. Not even Muppet Treasure Island. It's that good. How do I love this flick? Let me count the ways:

  1. This movie displays what a British fascist state would look like about as well as the original V for Vendetta comic - that is to say, much better than V's movie adaptation.

  2. The last third of the movie shows pretty much what it must be like to live in Baghdad right about now.

  3. Sci-fi premeses allow political situations to be displayed and discussed with an assumption of no political bias. You can actually put all this on the screen without seeming preachy, because even the geopolitics are hypothetical - as opposed to movies such as Syriana or The Constant Gardener, where the geopolitics are real.

  4. Even though it's set 20 years in the future, the presumed technology changes are really quite subtle, and therefore believable. Pretty much they've got flat-screen TV's everywhere for advertising - that's about it.

  5. Clive Owen and Julianne Moore sure can bicker.

  6. Although much of the situational commentary applies to American politics, far more of it applies to English politics more specifically. I like it that more and more movies aren't being made by and about Americans or otherwise dumbed down so that Americans can understand what's going on.

  7. As difficult as it is, every once in a while the technical aspects of the filmmaking are so good (without being all cgi-flashy) that it actually breaks you out of the picture. For example, one sustained handheld shot requires the precise coordination of hundreds of people starting in different areas at precisely coordinated times. Blood spatter gets on the camera lens. Everything works.

  8. There's no big flashy "save the world" ending. All this film does is follow one leg of a journey that hopefully will lead to the literal salvation of humankind - but there's hardly any one point you can point to and say that's the climax where things officially shift towards "happily ever after." In other words, you don't get a movie ending where everything is wrapped up neatly with a bow. It's more like a short-story ending, where you got to see only one slice of the larger situation and that's all you get. You know, like life.



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