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Children of Men (2006)


Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey in Children of Men

My favorite movies are the ones that get better and better the more you see them. I have only seen Children of Men for the first time just recently, but I am sure my hype for the movie will grow the more I see it.

Before he won the Oscar for Best Director for his stellar Gravity (2013), Alfonso Cuaron directed (and wrote the screenplay with writers Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby, based off of the book by P.D. James) this film about a post-apocalyptic world in 2027, with the weirdest (at least that is how it feels at first) pandemic imaginable: infertility (it is described by a prior flu outbreak, I believe.) An ex-activist named Theo Faron (Clive Owen). We see the start of the film as showing parts of his daily life (the first movie that came to my mind in the start was Blade Runner), with his talks to his good friend Jasper (Michael Caine, proving once again there is not a role he cannot play).

Eventually, Theo runs into his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore), who introduces him to Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey). She is the first woman to become pregnant in years. What the movie does so well is show how precious life really is. There is a scene where Theo and a hand ful of other characters (including a young Chiwetel Ejiofor) are talking about how to handle the situation. Everyone has different views, but they know to lose Kee and her baby would be to lose all hope.

Now to the near immaculate film making. There are tracking long shots in this film that are on par with some of the best known films ever made. It is hard to put to words: the ones that come to my mind are visual, poetic, haunting, charming, epic. Children of Men is one of those futuristic films where it does not look like a world we would like to see (in such films as Star Wars, though that was, of course, a long time ago), but one that could (sadly) have potential to happen.

Parents, though there is no sexual material, there is one brief glimpse of nudity as Kee tries to show she is pregnant (why we need to see her fully nude is beyond me). There is also swearing and violence, but neither that any teenager in this day and age has not seen in other movies or video games. High School and above would be ok.

In many ways, I think Children of Men is a forgotten version of movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) or Star Wars (1977). It is a movie that is going to be known as being ahead of its time. It is not as good as those movies mentioned (it does seem to start off a bit slow), but the journey is impossible to forget. By the end, you will feel like I did, and hope to never take children for granted ever again.

Overall: Four Stars ****

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