Saturday, December 09, 2006

Children of Men, Briefly

I'm probably not supposed to write about it yet, but I don't think Universal would be too mad with me for telling you that their new film Children of Men is a bleak Christmas present for moviegoers, but a remarkably dynamic, exciting, powerful, moving, and shocking one. From the very first scene, I was utterly hooked and for the next however-long-the-movie-is (it's one of those movies so engrossing you don't even notice the passing of time) that never changed.

I could write pages and pages on the marvelous cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki who follows his gorgeous work on The New World with an a far uglier — but far more impressive — effort. Long take fans take note: Children of Men is bursting with incredible long take goodness. And since the long takes are married with complex action scenes, replete with explosions, chases, and gun battles, it's all the more impressive. More than once I turned to a fellow film critic during the press screening just to shake my head as if to say "How the HELL did they do that?!?" And that happens way more than once.

The formal aspects are never less than impressive, but they are always in service of the story and director Alfonso Cuaron's themes. It's a total package movie: visceral but thoughtful all at once. If they had offered to play the movie again from the beginning as soon as it ended, I would have sat in my seat gladly for another go around. I can't wait to see it again.

One of the reasons I specifically wanted to write something now, a week or two before the movie comes out is specifically because no one seems to be talking about — amongst the holiday clutter of Leo and Mel and diamonds and Mayans and who knows what else (including Clint Eastwood and Letters From Iwo Jima), Children of Men seems the rare end-of-the-year flick that's underhyped. It premiered at Venice and didn't even make an impression. Why aren't people talking about this movie?!? If you ask me, it's easily one of the best movies of the year.


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the good word .. I just love Alfonso Cuaron, so I'm glad, but not surprised, to hear that he hit a home run with this one

6:23 AM  

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