47 FILMS: 23. CHILDREN OF MEN
47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams continues with Clive Owen in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men.
The future is a grim reality. Children are not being born and humanity is on a nihilistic march towards its own extinction. Theo (Clive Owen) is a working stiff who likes his drink, an occasion flutter on the dogs and to just get by. But when he is contacted by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore) to do a job for her radical movement the Fishes, he is tasked with guarding perhaps the only hope in a world of increasing hopelessness and violence.
Alfonso Cuarón’s film takes PD James science fiction novel and creates one of the most interestingly subversive and thoughtful dystopias of recent times. The Britain of virulent anti-immigration hatred and militarized police is all too recognizable. As with his Harry Potter film, the Mexican director proves to have a perceptive eye at capturing those particularly English details of rain wet tarmac and occasional beauty of the ‘Sceptred Isle’.
Clive Owen has never been better as the rumpled hero. His apathy and non-ideological stance attains a nobility in contrast to the fanatical opponents of the political process. Add to this Cuarón’s now famous extended one shot sequences and what we have is a deeply intelligent and witty political thriller (brilliant cameo by Michael Caine by the way) that is also an exciting chase film.
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