Children of Men (2006)

DailyView: Day 58, Movie 100

This is the one hundredth film in the DailyView and I wanted to pick something special. I decided on Children of Men from director Alfonso Cuarón, and at first, I did not think I had found something worthy of number 100. As the movie went on though….

The year was 2027 and the world had gone into a horrible place. The youngest person on earth had just died and it had been 18 years since the women on the planet had become infertile. This divided the world into factions and terrorist groups looking to rise up and take over. Local government bureaucrat Theo Faron (Clive Owen) was approached by his ex-wife Julian Taylor (Julianne Moore) to get papers to help a young immigrant girl Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) get to safety. Julian had connections with the terrorist group The Fishies, including Luke (Chiwetel Ejiofor). When Theo gets Kee to the Fishies’ holdout, he realizes the importance of the girl: she is pregnant.

I was bored at the beginning of the movie and I was afraid that I was going to have to do a negative review for #100. However, after the first 20 minutes or so, this film picked up big time, to a point where I was hanging on every word and I had to wipe away tears from my eyes. I understand that the beginning of the movie needed to have some world building going on, but it nearly lost me a couple of times. I am so happy that I stuck with the film.

SPOILERS: The film for me really picked up pace when Julianne Moore gets shot and killed in the first act of the movie. I had no expectation for that happening and it immediately showed the viewers that absolutely anything could happen. END OF SPOILER.

Easily my favorite character in the movie is played by Michael Caine. Caine steals every scene he is in and he is just completely engaging and entertaining. He played a character that was just so kindly and easy to love that you can’t help but be enthralled with him.

There are some scenes, in particular in the third act, that require you to not breathe, because they are so tense. The whole time, I had no idea what was going to happen, because the movie had laid the groundwork for something tragic to perhaps happen. It made it just as likely that the film would end in tragedy as it did to end in happiness. That made the trip all the more suspenseful.

The images of the world were astounding, masterfully envisioned by Alfonso Cuarón, who would take that brilliant eye for imagery into a list of successfully beautifully shot movies, proving that he is one of the top directors working today.

Children of Men nearly lost me in the first 20 minutes, but I stuck with it and the work that first part of the movie does pays off in spades. It is a brilliant movie with real human emotions in a world that is not that unlikely and one that has ties to the present day issues.

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