Friday, January 05, 2007

Children of Men directed by Alfonso Cuaron

The future looks bleak in Children of Men, a sci-fi thriller that has less to do with the plot - centering on a world where disease has left all the women sterile - than with the director's vision of where our culture is headed.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, given that the director is Alfonso Cuaron, one of current cinema's most striking visual stylists - for proof, just check out the soaring majesty of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Children of Men is no less breathtaking, although toward a slightly different end; think of the new film as Potter if Voldemort took over.

But as great as the film looks, the story, adapted from a novel by P.D. James, never quite comes into focus. Is it about the importance of fighting for an ideal? The need to focus on the future, no matter how desolate the present? The redemptive power of love, and devotion? Or is it a determinedly pessimistic ode to the utter (and ultimate) stupidity of men, who spend so much time fighting and looking for scapegoats (thus justifying even more fighting) that they wouldn't know what to do if something good and hopeful happened?
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