Title: Children of Men (2006)
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Stars: Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julianne Moore and Peter Mullen
Children of Men takes place in England in the year 2027, where the world has not seen any new babies for eighteen years, due to a mysterious ailment which has rendered women incapable of giving birth. Foreigners and illegal immigrants are also rounded up and placed in detention centres and concentration camps. We encounter Theo Faron (Owen), who is suddenly contacted by his former lover Julian (Moore), who is the leader of a terrorist group known as the Fishes. She entrusts Theo with escorting a very special woman to a group known as the Human Project. Amazingly the young woman is pregnant and could be the saviour of the human race. However, the other members of the Fishes, primarily Luke (Ejiofor), cannot be trusted and things start to get out of control.
Clive Owen is very good as the dryly humorous Theo, who seems content with his rather unimportant role in life. Michael Caine scores well as the long-haired, marijuana smoking, John Lennon channelling, Jasper. Constantly in good humour, telling jokes and caring for his sick wife, he is a joy to watch. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Julianne Moore give quality support in their respective roles also. Moore was billed very high in the cast, but is only in the film very briefly. The supporting cast also includes Charlie Hunnam, Danny Huston, Pam Ferris and the great Peter Mullen as Sid.
Children of Men looks utterly fantastic and has a really dystopian near future feel to it. The cinematography has a dull and emaciated look, as if all the colour has been sucked out of the world due to the lack of children. It was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Oscars, but failed to win the award. The locations used in the film are stunning also and goes hand in hand with the total immersion you feel in this somewhat desolate world.
The film is notable for having very long, complicated takes, which are most notable and most noticeable in the car-attack scene and the closing urban battlefield scene, which is a real show-stopper. Obviously these scenes require intense preparation and rehearsals, so it must have been very gratifying for all concerned to see the finished article on the big screen.
Children of Men was released in 2006 which makes it a decade old this year, so do yourself a favour and sit down to this classic movie. It is only 110 minutes long and features a great cast, other-worldly visuals, Oscar nominated film editing and also an Oscar nominated screenplay.