Children Of Men

Prophetic to the point of being deeply unsettling. Unmistakably British. Dystopian masterpiece.

“As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices.”

Prophetic to the point of being deeply unsettling. Children Of Men rode a new wave of critical appraisal in the wake of Brexit, but its enduring appeal has been swelling since its release. Simply put, it’s one of the defining pieces of cinema of the 21st Century so far. I’d like to say I revisited this on a whim, but I confess the actions of a certain American fuckwit in Paris today played a big part in it. I imagine the worst-case-scenario fallout of Trump’s tenure would look something like this. Society descends into a ‘me first’ selfish form of anarchy, where outsiders are scapegoated and the very essence of humanity has been extinguished. Of course, the film itself is unmistakably British. It captures the essence of both urban and rural Britain and translates it to a big screen spectacle of seemingly gargantuan proportions. It feels poetic then, that Alfonso Cuarón is an immigrant himself, having moved to London six years prior to the film’s release. It’s almost as if you don’t need to have been born in this country to truly identify as British…

Cuarón does so much with so little. He effectively builds a dystopian society from the ground up, throwing in painstaking attention to detail via newspaper cuttings, propaganda PSAs, subliminal advertising and even his characters’ backstories. It feels disturbingly realistic and removes the need for much expository dialogue, telling an affecting visual narrative all on its own. Performances are outstanding across the board, from the refugee and military extras to the likes of Moore, Owen & Ejiofor. Lubezeki’s camerawork is a real highlight, using handheld techniques to add an extra layer of horrifying realism and occasionally taking command of the whole movie through captivating long takes (the 6 min finale sequence is an absolute show-stopper). And yet Cuarón’s greatest achievement is crafting a tale that strikes so much terror into your heart through bleak imagery and deeply affecting consequences while still managing to weave in fleeting moments of hope that flicker like a beacon at sea, shining brightly in total darkness…

5 Stars


Random Thoughts

This one goes out to @realDonaldTrump on Twitter dot com, for obvious reasons.

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