The year is 2027, and infertility threatens mankind with extinction as no birth has taken place for 18 years. The film begins with news surrounding the death of the world’s youngest citizen, causing further distress in a desperately hopeless world. Enter Theo Faron (Clive Owen), a former activist turned bureaucrat who finds himself mixed up in a plot to protect and transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. The two characters fight through many obstacles on their journey in a dystopian London as they try to keep man’s last hope out of harm’s way.
As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices.
So I decided to kick off my 2015 Blind Spots series this month with a film that many consider as a 21st-century classic. And fortunately, this film didn’t disappoint at all! My favorite aspect of Children of Men is the stunning cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. The cinematographer just won his first Oscar last year for Gravity, another film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and I’m certain he’ll win his second with Birdman. What’s so great about Lubezki’s cinematography is his fluid long takes, which is very evident in all three of the films mentioned. There are moments in Children of Men where the camera acts as its own character, following Theo as he navigates through the rubble and gunfire. It’s a really effective way of bringing the audience into the action scenes with a long take instead of using constant cuts.
The film also boasts a stellar cast led by Clive Owen, who provides a character that the audience is eager to follow on a journey filled with so much uncertainty. Clare-Hope Ashitey, who plays the pregnant woman Kee, is a great screen partner for Owen, and their bond is what really drives the emotional side of the film. Other cast members include Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, all of who give exceptional performances as usual.
Children of Men (2006)
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam
Oscar Nominations: Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing